Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Touch of Power (Avery of Kazan #1) by Maria V Snyder

Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan, #1)Pages: 390
Publisher: Mira Books
Released: December 2011

Plot: Avery is a healer, she has the ability to cure the sick by temporarily taking away their disease. A gift some might say, however this is not true. Avery lives her life in hiding, hunted and feared all through the realms as the scapegoat to the cause of the plague that has killed many.
Avery soon discovers that she is the last of her kind when she is hunted and captured by Kerrick and his men with the task to travel back with them and cure their friend. But with trouble always at their backs will they make it in time? And even if they do will Avery want to heal this 'friend'?

Good Points: I actually quite liked this book. I thought the story was quite unique and they're was plenty of action and drama to keep me entertained. The book is written in the main character, Avery,'s perspective and what a character she is! By the end of the book I was very impressed by her strength and the things she does to protect her friends. She wasn't whiney and she got on and did what she had to do which I liked.
The other characters, mainly those who help capture and save Avery all work well together, they're personalities shining though individually as well, Belen or Poppa bear as Avery nicknames him and Flea are the main stand-out characters in my opinion, yet the book does not fail to show humour and fun through its other notable characters.
The plot was good and I liked where the series is going, definitely looking forward to the next books!

Bad Points: I have to admit at first I wasn't sure about the pacing of the book, in my opinion especially when they were travelling near the beginning that large chunks were missing. However by the end of the book you realise the vast time period to which the book spans and it would have been unrealistic for everything to have been shown. But I would have liked a little of something.
Also I was a tiny but confused at how the plague spread....

To Sum Up... This book is a really good read, once you get into it you can't seem to escape from the world Snyder has created and its characters that you fall in love with just like Avery does.
It's got to be said this book isn't as good as Poison study which is by far my favourite Snyder novel but I think the series has lots of potential and I look forward to reading the next books!
Read the book!
Please comment :)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Pages: 392
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Released: August 2009

Plot: Grace has always liked watching the wolves at the back of her house, one wolf, her wolf always seems to catch her eye. Grace can recognise those golden eyes anywhere.
Sam lives a human life and another as a wolf. In wolf form he watches silently the one girl he truly loves, never speaking to her in his human form. Until now.

Good Points: I. loved. this. book. The books chapters alternate between Sam and Grace's perspective which help to give a strong insight to what both of the pair are feeling and for some reason these emotions are heightened to a level that make you believe the story is real. If you're a book lover like me then you definitely relate to Grace quickly if not you always have Sam who is always singing and so on... which adds to the characters depth.
Also everything doesn't happen all at once, you get chapters where the two are just getting to know each other and are really mellow then scenes where there is suspense and danger.
The whole idea of the wolves changing by season and not moon cycle I thought was well thought out and played nicely with each chapter that gave you the temperature outside which also created a tension knowing that as the chapters go on the weather will go colder and Grace and Sam will be separated by him turning into a wolf.

Bad Points: Not many bad points really. There were some things that annoyed me but they were only minor and yes it is a little creepy that she likes the wolf before she knows he's human but then again maybe she just had an inkling. Unlikely I know, but then again it is only fiction...

To Sum Up... I don't know why but this book has always been my Christmas book. Maybe I should have written this review during Christmas but I just thought that I've left it way to long enough already not to write a review.
Please, Please, Please read this book. Ignore what you may hear about it being twilight-y because that just seems to be the answer to any book lately if it contains paranormal and romantic influences. It's not. Its brilliant and yes I maybe going over the top over this now but so what. Read the damn book!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Starter for Ten by David Nicholls

Pages: 469Currently Reading...Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Released: 2003

Plot: Brian Jackson is on his way to University. He's leaving behind his best friends Spencer and Tone and his mum and sets out into 80's college life alone. On arrival he meets the beautiful Alice who Brian falls madly in love with and the head strong Marxist Jew Rebecca. Finding a place on University Challenge, a long time secret ambition of Brian's alongside Alice he soon discovers that a life at University is more complicated that he thought.

Good Points: Well I loved this book! Brian is one of the most awkward lovable characters I have read in a long time. He always seems to find himself in those cringe-worthy moments and the story of his development into university life is great.
This being the first David Nichols book that I have read I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail he goes into and the world he manages to create. With characters such as his best friends Spencer and Tone who is described as a Viking, the book is soon brought to life with its humorous anecdotes and Brian's interactions with the foul mouthed Rebecca and Alice's very naked mother.
Also another thing I really liked about the book was the quick questions that reflect each chapters content and helped add a stronger input of the theme of the University Challenge when we were lost in the life of Brian.
I loved how Brian was one of those characters that you can actually imagine and compare even though the book is set during the 80's. Brian's wishful thinking and soppy behaviour just adds to his character and his geeky way.

Bad Points: By no means can this really be considered a bad point really but its as close as it can get, I did think that the University challenge bit only really happened at the end and it was way too quick. The book is basically just about the start of Brian's life at University and his long quest to 'find himself'.

To Sum Up... Although the overall relationship ending is quite predictable the overall ending isn't. Starter for Ten is a wonderful book that is both charming and HILARIOUS! Everyone I think can take something from this book and find a little Brian in themselves.
Basically READ this book. I'm definitely going to read other books by this author and you should also check out the film adaption of Starter for Ten mainly because it has both Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy which isn't as good as the book but still awesome.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Enchanted Truth by Kym Petrie

Pages: 40
Currently Reading...Publisher: Greenleaf Book group Ltd
Released: September 2012

Plot: A modern day princess gets more than a little help from her savvy fairy godmother when potential relationships fall apart. In this humorous, insightful tale, the damsel with a tender heart learns to look inside before looking out. And by entrusting her list of what she truly desires to an unlikely confidant, the wise young royal soon discovers a truth she had overlooked: to find the person who could make her life everything she wants it to be, she just needs to look in the mirror. (amazon description)

Good Points: Okay I really liked the take on the classic tale and thought that the twist that Petrie uses was uplifting and at times funny. With elements of the book being turned on their head, lines such as when the princess 'stepped bravely into the world of single chickdom' and during the moment when she is sat with what should be her prince charming but is actually 'spending the evening as his conversation hostage' you can't help but chuckle.

Bad Points: This short story is well... short, at 40 pages long and with its fast paced yet fairytale-esk plot you begin to grow into the story only for it to be ended really quickly and with little more than a question mark to whether the story will continue or not.

To Sum Up... Liked the idea of the story and apparently the author wrote it for a friend who was having a bad time. You can already see women everywhere reading this after a hard break-up to make themselves feel better but I think it would probably sell more copies and reach a wider audience if it was made into a much lengthier story rather than it cutting off so quickly. Other than that I had a few chuckles and liked the reference's to fairy tales I think we all grew to love.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Midnight City by J.Barton Mitchell

Pages: 384
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Midnight City (The Conquered Earth, #1)Released: October 30th 2012
Plot: When Holt a bounty Hunter in a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders captures Mira, an outcast with a high price above her head, they both embark on a dangerous journey back to Midnight City. Along with his dog Max and Zoey, a little girl they find in an alien ship the four venture out finding trouble against alien armies, mutants, pirates and various alien artefacts alongside Mira and Holt's growing attraction to each other.
The first novel in the Conquered Earth series.

Good Points: For starters I love the cover I think it is simply amazing and really sets the mood for the book. The novel starts off really well in my opinion and you really get to understand the characters quickly. When Holt and Mira meet you can immediately see where this relationship is undoubtedly going to end up but with the addition of Zoey and 'the Max' as she refers to him quite sweetly this group of characters are both interesting and fun to read about.
I thought the plot to the story was okay, the whole idea of the young people being the one's who run the town was cool and the different situations the four find themselves into certainly makes the story more interesting.
I loved the whole idea of the artefacts as well, I thought that the idea was unusual yet inventive and I liked how the book showcased a range of themes exploring human behaviour.

Bad Points: Although at times I did enjoy all of the description in the book I did think as a whole it was just too long. I read this book on my Kindle and although when I checked on GoodReads that it was only 384 pages long it just seemed to go on and on. Sometimes this can be a good thing in a book, however there were moments that for some reason pulled me out of this story. I think this was somewhat due to a lot of things happening in the book. So much so that not everything was fully digested, for example I would have liked to stay aboard Captain Dresden's ship for a little longer to get a grip on other people's lives and his character. However saying that I am pretty sure this character will make an appearance in the next book so...

To Sum Up... Midnight City was an enjoyable read. With the alien invaders and the post-apocalyptic premise to the book at first all I could think about was that TV show Falling Skies. The ending to the book leaves it open for a sequel which I will be looking forward to and  there was plenty of action and mystery to keep you reading on. The characters were well developed and with flashbacks into Holt's life you really get a  clear picture about what makes this character tick which I liked.
Further more I thought J.Barton Mitchell created a descriptive and exciting plot that explored how people (more specifically the young generation) would react in this tricky situation.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Pages: 327

Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: April 2012

Plot: Set in the future in the country of Illea, 35 girls compete to win the heart of Prince Maxon in the Selection a competition.However for America Singer, being selected is her worse nightmare, it means turning away from her secret love Aspen and a very different way of life all for a title she doesn't want.
However when America meets Prince Maxon she begins to question everything that prompted her not wanting to be there. Will she change her mind?

Good Points: Okay, I really liked the book, I thought the dialogue worked well aside from a few little annoying bits and the character of America was built up well. I liked her strong determined side and the ongoing relationship between her and Maxon and it didn't take long for me to read the book mainly because I never put it down! Yes, I can understand why people who have read the book have compared it to the likes of the Hunger Games and The bachelor however I didn't think this was really fair. I don't think you can keep labelling books 'The Hunger Games' if it's a competition or set in the future or whatever, In my own opinion I thought the book more suited the idea of Cinderella as a sort of Rags-To Ritches tale that we're still awaiting to find out the happy ending to.

Bad Points: If I'm honest I really hated the name America Singer, I know there is probably going to be some underline message in their somewhere especially because of the secret-history-books-hidden thing the story has going for it, but I just didn't like it. I didn't realise the book was a series, so that was a bit of a shock but I don't really think that can be deemed a bad point because I can't wait for the next book!!!
Because there were so many characters (35 girls) you didn't really get to experience much from all of them and so I would have liked a little more character interaction.

To Sum Up.... I really did enjoy this book and cannot wait for the next one. I have heard rumours of a TV series being picked up ( check it out on IMDB) so that is quite exciting, however I just hope that they keep it like the book and don't try to play into the idea of the Hunger Games. Otherwise, a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed. :D
And OOoooo pwerty cover ;)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Pages: 387
Publisher: Puffin
Released: January 2012

Plot: Years into the future Cinder a young Cyborg lives in New Beijing where she works as a talented mechanic for her step mother Adri.
One day Cinder's market stall is visited by Prince Kai and she slowly becomes attached to the young prince. Already being told she cannot attend the ball, Cinder continues her work keeping guard from the incurable plague that is killing many. When Cinder's sister catches the disease and Cinder is blamed she is sent to the labs as a guinea pig to be experimented on.
Discovering new secrets about her shaded past and caught between two very different worlds, Cinder finds she may be the key to all.
And with the evil Lunar Queen threatening to wage war on earth, the lock needs to be opened soon.

Good Points: I loved this book and I can't believe its taken me this long to pick this book up! Cinder is one of those characters that you just cant wait to read on about and discover more of her story, also she isn't one of those constantly crying girls (if you can really even call her that ... Cyborg-girl?) because quite literally she can't cry as she has no tear ducts.
I thought Cinder had a great plot although at times could be a little predictable but makes up for this with its nail biting scenes and great characters such as Prince Kai who you just can't help but love.
Cinder also isn't one of those characters who swoons over the guy immediately declaring her undying love for him which I really can't stand and she actually makes a really good heroine that you want to root for.
The bad-guy Queen Levana was a slightly more evil disney villain, I just pictured her with the sharp features of snow white's Queen but without the whole obsession with mirrors and I definitely thought she brought a real sense of terror to the book with her gruesome punishments and tricks.
The political side to the book was simply brilliant. I felt like I was sat in the room with Prince Kai and his advisor's arguing over the state and the interests of the people and I think by allowing to show this side to the story as a reader you gain a much more in depth knowledge to the problems the people are suffering and a greater insight into each characters own opinion.

Bad Points: I have to admit I did find the plot a little predictable especially the parts including the past of Cinder's life. That's about it.

To Sum Up... Definitely read this book, it has a good balance of action, romance and drama to send you on one heck of an emotional roller-coaster.
The book does end on a cliffhanger slight warning for all you cliffhanger haters, but honestly try this book out, I think you might just love it. I already cannot wait to read the sequel which comes out next year rumoured to be named Scarlet and also contain more of the story of Cinder and Kai but also of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
These books are sort of reminding me of the ABC show Once Upon a Time which also has retelling's of fairytale characters tangled together.
Overall though if you love fairy tales and Dystopian fiction this book is the one for you.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young

Pages: 358
Publisher: Self-Published (Kindle)
Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits, #1)Released: October 2011

Plot: Ari Johnson is a senior at high school, she's signed up to go to Penn to study Business after the years over but what Ari isn't telling people is she feels lost, she doesn't know what she wants to do and she feels alone with her father leaving her on business trips every other week, her broken relationship with her best friend Charlie and her only company being her poltergeist Miss Maggie.
That is until after her 18th Birthday Ari discovers she is Jinn and stuck in the middle of a war. With her guardian Jai following her wherever she goes and only just learning the basics of her true heritage can Ari make the right choice in who she can trust?

Good Points: I really loved the whole concept of the Jinn and I thought the plot was well adapt in bringing the reader up to date quickly on what the whole mythology of the Jinn is. I liked where the plot was going as well in terms of the character Ari becoming heavily involved, finding about her birth and true family.
I think this series does have promise in the future to become a really good series hopefully with a little more action.

Bad Points: I didn't really get into this book the way I did with other novels published by Samantha Young. I think this was mainly due to the close knit group of characters that are created within the story and at times I did think Ari could get a little whiney. I didn't really like her character in this book and I have to admit that the plot was a little slow.

To Sum Up... I liked this book I just didn't love it like I did with the other novels Samantha Young has released. I thought the whole idea  of the book was very good though and really loved the same aspect of mythology and the use of the Jinn which was original in the sense that I haven't seen this being done before compared to overused mythologies such as Werewolves and Vampires.
Overall though quite a good easy read, hopefully the next books will pick up pace a little more.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Review of Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

Pages: 503
Currently Reading...Publisher: Macmillan
Released: July 2012 (UK)

Plot: Dreamless is the sequel to Starcrossed and starts off with Helen still trying with all her might to stay away from Lucas after discovering they are cousins. On top of that Helen is also trying to cope with the terrors of being transported into the Underworld on her quest to save the Scions from their blood debts and suffering on her own. That is until one night she is helped by a stranger named Orion who begins to help Helen.
However the Furies want blood and they won't stop at anything till their debt is paid.

Good Points: I really liked elements to this book, especially the mythology which I think definitely takes a step up in this book compared to Starcrossed, including more tales and twists from classic Greek mythology. However not quite sure yet whether this book was as good as it's first as a whole though....
The relationship Helen forms with Orion is built well and contains elements of humour and fun that I don't think I've seen with Lucas. Yes I know another love triangle! A little annoyed about this but hey it is re-imagining an ancient Greek tale and we all know there was a hell of a lot of scandalous cheating and drama going on in them so you can't really complain at this.
I think I even prefer Orion to Lucas now...
I thought the description within the book was done well and it really helped build a detailed picture of what the Underworld is like and some of the hardships that Helen ha to go through down there.

Bad Points: For starters the little things in this book are already really annoying me, cheesy lines such as 'Lucas had always been good at solving problems, especially the unsolvable kind...' Also the age difference thing again...how have they not realised this yet and I know other people have noticed this as well.

Quick note on covers: I prefer the UK covers to the US and International covers, I just think the UK one is so much more 'alive' if you like and reflects more on the Helen and Lucas.

To Sum Up: I found this book a little hard to get into at first but then I really started to enjoy it. I thought the relationship between Orion and Helen was built up well and at times added a little humour to the book. On the other hand parts of the book I felt were just a little too slow and I would have liked a couple of scenes exploring the relationships of Clare and Jason and Matt and Ariadne to try and liven things up a little and allow us to get a feel of the other equally important characters in the book.
Overall though looking forward to the next book and I am already expecting some big kick ass fight scenes, so hopefully I wont be disappointed !! :D

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Pages: 404
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Released: August 2012 (This was an ARC copy)

Plot: Celaena Sardothien is known as the world's greatest assassin. However after being captured and serving a year under hard labour and gruesome conditions that have killed most that are sent there Celaena is brought before the Crown Prince to compete against other criminals and assassins to become the Kings champion and also win back her freedom.
If she wins, after 4 years of servitude Celaena will get everything she's ever wanted.
Celaena accepts and travels with the prince and the Captain of the Guard back to the Glass castle and begins to train.
However when members of the competition begin to be found brutally murdered around the castle and Celaena is forced to investigate she discovers a destiny bigger than she ever imagined awaits her.

Good Points: Loved this book! You immediately from page one are drawn into this amazing world that Maas has created. The description of both the settings and each of the characters is just wonderful and I found myself smiling at the little details added within the book that make that big difference into allowing the reader to feel that little bit more for each character.
The overall pacing of the book worked really well and I didn't feel like the story was being rushed like some plots I have read before. Everything seemed well thought out and the details as I have already partially mentioned, especially things like weapons and strategic methods which really made you feel like the character you were reading was an assassin and not just some pretty girl who could use a knife.
The friendships as well, they weren't forced and the author gave them a cause that was the basis for the beginning of their friendship which then slowly grew into so much more.
When I finished the book I was literally shaking with excitement (no, it's not sad, I Just really like books) the author leaves you hanging for more and there is so many questions that she leaves unanswered like what happened to Celaena's parents? What happened to Sam? When will Celaena and Chaol realise that they are meant to be *swoon*! I am already expecting BIG things from this series and this amazing author.

Small note on the covers: I'm on the fence with the cover. I've seen both the American and the UK version and although both covers are beautiful I think I'm swaying a little more to the UK cover she just looks a little more hard-ass than the American cover. But then again... is that really Celeana's character. AGHHH I just don't know!!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Bad Points: I would have liked a little more of an insight to each of the tests that Celaena and the other competitors go through but other than that I didn't find much in the book to fault.
Oh, if I am being really really picky I think that within the middle of the book there could have been a little bit more action, but this kind of ties in with my first point. (Oh no, I feel so bad, honestly I did love this book!!!)

To Sum Up... Oh my word, how I loved this book. The writing reminded me of an early Maria V Snyder novel and the characters within the book were just so exciting to read about yet the author didn't give too many of their secrets away leaving me hanging for more which I loved!
Honestly, I cannot recommend this book to you enough, its just so... I can't even think of the right word to describe it, just read this book.
  Please x
Also as an added note Bloomsbury have also released a series of novella's to accompany the book which give an insight into Celeana's past. Let's just say these are going straight to the top of my Summer Reading List :)
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