Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Review: Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett

'Crivens!'

Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake...

And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you're thirteen, but also just a little bit...cool.

If Tiffany doesn't work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime...

Discworld Series:
The Colour of Magic (Rincewind book 1)
The Light Fantastic (Rincewind book 2)
Equal Rites (Witches book 1)
Mort (Death book 1)
Sourcery (Rincewind book 3)
Wyrd Sisters (Witches book 2)
Pyramids
Guards! Guards! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 1)
Eric (Rincewind book 4)
Moving Pictures (Industrial Revolution book 1)
Reaper Man (Death book 2)
Witches Abroad (Witches book 3)
Small Gods
Lords and Ladies (Witches book 4)
Men at Arms (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 2)
Soul Music (Death book 3)
Interesting Times (Rincewind book 5)
Maskerade (Witches book 5)
Feet of Clay (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 3)
Hogfather (Death book 4)
Jingo (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 4)
The Last Continent (Rincewind book 6)
Carpe Jugulum (Witches book 6)
The Fifth Elephant (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 5)
The Truth (Industrial Revolution book 2)
Thief of Time (Death book 5)
The Last Hero (Rincewind book 7)
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Night Watch (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 6)
The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching book 1)
Monstrous Regiment (Industrial Revolution book 3)
A Hat Full of Sky (Tiffany Aching book 2)
Going Postal (Moist von Lipwig book 1) (Industrial Revolution book 4)
Thud! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 7)
Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching book 3)
Making Money (Moist von Lipwig book 2) (Industrial Revolution book 5)
Unseen Academicals (Rincewind book 8)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching book 4)
Snuff (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 8)
The World of Poo
Raising Steam (Moist von Lipwig book 3) (Industrial Revolution book 6)
The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching book 5)

Discworld Related books:
The Discworld Mapp - Terry Pratchett & Stephen Briggs
Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book - Paul Kidby

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

Review:
Tiffany is now 13 years old and is living with witch Miss Treason to continue her training. The trouble starts when Miss Treason takes her to the winter dance (the opposite of a Morris dance). Despite the warnings she has been given Tiffany is caught up in the music and joins in with the dance - ending up with the spirit of winter (the Wintersmith) mistaking her for summer and falling in love with her. Now the Wintersmith has Tiffany in his sights it is up to her to find a way to stop him - and if she fails summer will never arrive.

Wintersmith is the 35th book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and the 3rd book featuring Tiffany Aching. Although I have read this book previously I am currently re-reading the Tiffany books in anticipation of book 4 (I Shall Wear Midnight) which is released on Thursday (2nd September). You don't need to have read the whole Discworld series in order to enjoy A Hat Full of Sky but I would recommend reading the Tiffany Aching series in order starting with The Wee Free Men. These books are a great introduction for young adults who have yet to discover the Discworld series but fans of the series will also love getting to see characters they already know and love.

Tiffany has been in training for 2 years now and already knows that being a witch is hard work - it isn't as simple as just casting spells and is much more to do with getting to know people and helping with the tasks that nobody else wants to do. Working alongside Miss Treason she realises she still has a lot to learn - including how to put on a good show. When she inadvertently catches the attention of the Wintersmith she finds herself in a situation that she has no idea how to deal with. She knows the Wintersmith's attention is a dangerous thing but she can't help being flattered by it. But how can she correct her mistake and make sure that summer returns when it's supposed to?

Both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg feature a lot more in this instalment than they have in previous books in the Tiffany Aching series. I love both of these characters and enjoy getting to see them through Tiffany's eyes. The Nac Mac Feegles stole the show again, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. It has been nice watching Tiffany's character grow throughout the series and you can see the changes in her as she gets closer to becoming an adult. Roland has also done a lot of growing up throughout the series changing from a spoilt and whiny boy to a likeable and brave young man. I didn't like him at all in the first book to but he has really grown on me. This is probably my favourite book in the Tiffany series and I can't wait to read the 4th and final book I Shall Wear Midnight.

If you're a fan of Terry Pratchett and Tiffany Aching then you'll love this instalment in the series. I'd recommend this series (and any of the Discworld books) to anyone who enjoys a good humorous fantasy story.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Review: Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs

Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe. And now the leader of the werewolf pack, who's maybe-more-than-just-a-friend, has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they're all about to find out how implacable - and dangerous - the fae can be.

Okay, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday...

Mercy Thompson Series:
Homecoming (Graphic Novel)
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked
Frost Burned
Hopcross Jilly (Graphic Novel)
Night Broken
Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
Fire Touched

Alpha and Omega Series:
(This is a spin off to the Mercy Thompson series)
Alpha and Omega (novella found in the On the Prowl anthology)
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

For more information visit Patricia Briggs' website

Review:
When Mercy gets a message asking her to look after a fae book that she had previously borrowed she is curious about what has happened to it's owner.  Then she finds herself being targeted by a mysterious fae who is not only after her but also targeting Adam and her pack but what does this have to do with the book?  To make matters worse Samuel, who's depression has been worsening over the months, has taken a turn for the worse.  For survival Samuel's wolf has taken control but that makes him dangerous - and marks him for death if Adam and the Marrock find out.  Can Mercy help Samuel regain control before the other werewolves find out what has happened and what does the powerful fae want with the book?

Although this review won't contain spoilers for Silver Borne as this is book 5 in the Mercy Thompson series it will be impossible to review without giving spoilers for previous books in the series.  If you haven't read the rest of the series then I wouldn't recommend reading any further but I would suggest you check out Moon Called as this is one of my favorite urban fantasy series and Mercy is definitely one of my favorite heroines!

Anyone who has read any of the books in this series will already know that Mercy has a knack for drawing attention of the supernatural races who are more powerful than she is.  She may be a Walker (a shifter who can turn into a Coyote) but her powers are limited - especially when compared to the werewolves or fae.  Having come up against the fae before she is understandably wary when she finds herself being targeted again but she is determined to protect her friends and find out what is going on.

My favorite part of this book has to be the interaction between Adam & Mercy, I just love them both as a couple & it is nice to watch their relationship develop since their mating in the last book.  There are some really sweet, emotional scenes between the two of them and if anything I now love Adam even more.  We get to see a more vulnerable side to him in this installment but he is still all alpha male.  Mercy is still trying to get used to the pack bonds and most of the pack still aren't happy that she is now one of them.  I enjoyed finding out more about the pack politics and seeing Mercy learn how to deal with this new bond and the werewolves who are against her.

Samuel has been one of my favorite characters ever since we first met him and although I didn't want him & Mercy to end up together, I do want to see him have his own happy ending.  I felt so sad for him in the last book as you could see how badly he was feeling but parts of this book had my heart breaking for him.  As an old wolf he has lived too long and has started to give up on life.  Mercy loves him and wants to protect him but when his wolf takes control she is very worried about what could happen.  Having a wolf in control is a very dangerous thing for both the wolf and for everyone surrounding him - if the Marrock finds out what has happened he will have no choice other than killing Samuel.  If I had one slight complaint about this story it would be that things with Samuel tied up a little too easily but I'm hoping we will get to explore more about what happens with him in the next book.

If you're a fan of this series then I'm sure Silver Borne won't disappoint, it is one of my favorite books in the series.  I enjoyed the action and mystery surrounding the fae artifact but for me it was the relationship development between the characters that made the story.  If you haven't read this series yet then I can't recommend it strongly enough.  It's going to be a long wait until River Marked but I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the Alpha and Omega series in the meantime.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
All Booked Up
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Review: A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett

'Crivens!'

A real witch never casually steps out of her body, leaving it empty. Eleven-year-old Tiffany does. And there's something just waiting for a handy body to take over. Something ancient and horrible, which can't die...

Wise, Witty and wonderful, A Hat Full of Sky is Terry Pratchett's second novel about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men - the rowdiest, toughest, smelliest bunch of fairies ever. They'll fight anything. And even they might not be enough to save Tiffany...

Discworld Series:
The Colour of Magic (Rincewind book 1)
The Light Fantastic (Rincewind book 2)
Equal Rites (Witches book 1)
Mort (Death book 1)
Sourcery (Rincewind book 3)
Wyrd Sisters (Witches book 2)
Pyramids
Guards! Guards! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 1)
Eric (Rincewind book 4)
Moving Pictures (Industrial Revolution book 1)
Reaper Man (Death book 2)
Witches Abroad (Witches book 3)
Small Gods
Lords and Ladies (Witches book 4)
Men at Arms (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 2)
Soul Music (Death book 3)
Interesting Times (Rincewind book 5)
Maskerade (Witches book 5)
Feet of Clay (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 3)
Hogfather (Death book 4)
Jingo (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 4)
The Last Continent (Rincewind book 6)
Carpe Jugulum (Witches book 6)
The Fifth Elephant (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 5)
The Truth (Industrial Revolution book 2)
Thief of Time (Death book 5)
The Last Hero (Rincewind book 7)
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Night Watch (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 6)
The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching book 1)
Monstrous Regiment (Industrial Revolution book 3)
A Hat Full of Sky (Tiffany Aching book 2)
Going Postal (Moist von Lipwig book 1) (Industrial Revolution book 4)
Thud! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 7)
Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching book 3)
Making Money (Moist von Lipwig book 2) (Industrial Revolution book 5)
Unseen Academicals (Rincewind book 8)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching book 4)
Snuff (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 8)
The World of Poo
Raising Steam (Moist von Lipwig book 3) (Industrial Revolution book 6)
The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching book 5)

Discworld Related books:
The Discworld Mapp - Terry Pratchett & Stephen Briggs
Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book - Paul Kidby

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

Review:
At just 11 years old Tiffany has the makings of a very powerful witch - but she still hasn't started her training. Working on instinct she has discovered how to step out of her body but she has no idea that she is leaving her body vulnerable to something that wants to get in. That something is called a Hiver and is drawn to power, it has no body of it's own and it has set it's sights on Tiffany. While Tiffany sets off to start her training she is being followed, but what will happen if the Hiver manages to steal her body? Even with the help of the Nac Mac Feegles can she escape from it's clutches?

A Hat Full of Sky is the 32nd book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and the 2nd book featuring Tiffany Aching. Although I have read this book previously I am currently re-reading the Tiffany books in anticipation of book 4 (I Shall Wear Midnight) which is released next week. You don't need to have read the whole Discworld series in order to enjoy A Hat Full of Sky but I would recommend reading the Tiffany Aching series in order. These books are a great introduction for young adults who have yet to discover the Discworld series but fans of the series will also love getting to see characters they already know and love.

In this instalment Tiffany is apprenticed to a witch called Miss Level - a very strange witch who just happens to have 2 bodies! Living with the 2 Miss Levels Tiffany starts to discover that there is a lot less magic involved in being a witch than she expected. A lot of the work the witches do is caring for the sick and elderly - not the glamorous life that Tiffany was hoping for. However, she is sensible enough to realise how important this is and is happy to take on her new role. Alongside Miss Level we also get to meet more of the young apprentice witches including bossy Annagramma who thinks she knows everything and the very sweet Petulia.

The Nac Mac Feegle are still among my favourite characters in the whole Discworld series - a group of pictsies who may be very small but have larger than life personalities. They love nothing more than fighting, drinking and stealing but would do anything to protect Tiffany. We get to see a bit more of Granny Weatherwax and there is also an appearance by one of my other favourite characters - Death. I love the way Terry manages to combine a mix of characters that we already know and love alongside fresh and new characters. His quirky sense of humour will appeal to all ages and contains something everyone.

This is a series I'd highly recommend to fantasy fans of all ages, it contains everything I would expect from one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels - laugh out loud humor and characters you will easily love along with witty insights into real life. If you're a fan of humorous fantasy but are new to the Discworld series (or already a fan) then I can't recommend the Tiffany Aching series enough.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Review: Dangerous Games - Keri Arthur

In Melbourne's urban underworld, there's a place for every fetish and fantasy. But for Riley Jenson, one such nightclub has become an obsession. Riley, a rare hybrid of werewolf and vampire and new agent for the Directorate of Other Races, hasn't come in pursuit of pleasure but of an unknown killer who's been using the club as his hunting ground.

Leave it to Riley to find the only ticket into the heavily guarded venue: Jin, a deliciously hot-bodied bartender who might just provide the key to unmasking a killer unlike any other in the Directorate's experience. Taunted by a former colleague gone rogue, Riley follows Jin into a realm of pleasure she could never have imagined but as danger and passion ignite, a shocking mystery begins to unravel - one where Riley herself becomes the ultimate object of desire...

Riley Jenson Guardian Series:
Full Moon Rising
Kissing Sin
Tempting Evil
Dangerous Games
Embraced by Darkness
The Darkest Kiss
Deadly Desire
Bound to Shadows
Moon Sworn

Dark Angel Series:
(This is a spin off from the Riley Jenson Guardian series)
Darkness Unbound
Darkness Rising
Darkness Devours
Darkness Hunts
Darkness Unmasked
Darkness Splintered
Darkness Falls

For more information visit Keri Arthur's website

Review:
Riley and her brother Rhoan are investigating the murder of several women who have been killed in what appears to be a ritualistic manor. She may have fought against becoming a Guardian but now she has been forced into the role she is determined to do her job well. As their investigations lead them to a fetish club it is up to Riley to infiltrate the club and track down the murderer.

Dangerous Games is the fourth book in the Riley Jenson series and although this probably could be read first as the main background plot has started a new storyline I would recommend reading the series in order so you know the history of the characters. I'm really enjoying this series though & would recommend it to any urban fantasy fan. To give a slight warning though - Riley is a werewolf with a strong sexual appetite who has several regular partners and also uses sex in her role as a Guardian to gain information about her enemies. If that is going to be something that bothers you then I'd suggest skipping this series but I would definitely recommend trying Keri Arthur's Nikki & Michael series or Spook Squad series instead.

I really love Riley Jenson - she is one of my favourite urban fantasy characters - she knows what & who she is and makes no apologies for her werewolf nature. She didn't ask to become a Guardian and parts of the job do bother her but since she was forced into her role she is determined to make the best of it. Her character has been through a lot since the beginning of the series with betrayals from people she trusted and physical changes after she was given experimental drugs. I'm finding it really interesting seeing how her psychic abilities are changing and am curious to see what abilities she will gain next.

I loved Quinn in the first book but since then he has been really irritating me with his refusal to accept Riley the way she is.  He says he loves her but the way he is constantly trying to change her has been getting on my nerves for a while now.  I think they could be a good couple if only he'd learn to accept her but I'd got to the point where I felt enough was enough - I was very pleased to see Riley coming to the same conclusion in this instalment. For once she refused to listen to her hormones (that will always draw her to Quinn) and put her foot down. I think we'll probably see more of Quinn in the future but I hope he has a change of attitude in the meantime!

I would have liked to have seen a bit more of her other regular partner, alpha werewolf Kellen, in this instalment but I can understand why that wasn't possible with the storyline. The mystery surrounding the murders moves along at a good pace and kept me interested. I'd say this is probably one of my favourite books in the series so far and it's left me looking forward to reading book five Embraced by Darkness.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
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Thursday, 26 August 2010

ARC Review: Almost True - Keren David

This isn't the first time that someone's tried to silence me forever. 
It's just the first time that someone else has died instead.

Ruthless killers are hunting Ty.  The police move him and his mum to a quiet seaside town.  But a horrific attack and a bullet meant for Ty prove that he's not safe yet.

On the road again, Ty's in hiding with complete strangers...who seem to know a lot about him.  Meanwhile he's desperate to see his girlfriend Claire, and terrified she may betray him.

Ty can't trust his own judgement and he's making dangerous decisions that could deliver him straight to the gangsters.

WIWJ Series:
When I Was Joe
Almost True
Another Life

Visit Keren David's blog for more information

Review:
Ty and his mother have been in witness protection since Ty saw a murder committed and gave a statement to the police.  After their safety was compromised they were moved again and are now living in a small seaside town far away from their home in London.  When the killers track them down yet again, a case of mistaken identity means that this time someone ends up dead and Ty is on the run again.  His family no longer feel that they can trust the police to keep them safe so they decide to take matters into their own hands.  Ty finds himself on his own and living with strangers but are they really strangers or are they people he should remember from his past?

If you've read my review of When I Was Joe you'll already know what a massive fan I was of that book and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this sequel.  Let me start by saying that Almost True didn't disappoint and if anything was even more gripping than the first book.  The story is fast paced and sweeps you back into Ty's world in a way that has you hooked from the very beginning.  It is one of those books that you just won't want to put down.  If you haven't yet read When I Was Joe I would recommend reading the stories in order but I would highly recommend both books.

Ty has been through a lot and it doesn't look like things will get easier for him any time soon.  He has to do a lot of growing up in this story and I found it really interesting watching him build relationships with the family members he has no memory of.  I don't want to give away any spoilers so let's just say that Ty gets to learn a lot of family secrets in this book which help him to understand things from his past.  I enjoyed going with him on his journey. 

Almost True gives a fascinating insight into Britain's knife culture and really makes you think about what it can be like for teenagers growing up in inner city areas with gangs.  The story has a fast paced and interesting plot but will also make you think.  I'd highly recommend this series to anyone from teen to adult and would think this story would make for a good talking point as part of the school curriculum.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Keren David comes up with next!

Source: Received for review from publisher Frances Lincoln

Other Reviews:
I Was A Teenage Book Geek
Fluttering Butterflies
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Review: Conspiracy Game - Christine Feehan

Jack Norton is a GhostWalker, a genetically enhanced sniper with a merciless sense of justice, a phantom welcomed by the anonymity of the night.  But a mission to rescue his brother in the jungle has left him vulnerable to rebel forces.  His only salvation is his power of telepathy.  Then he meets Briony, an unusual beauty on a mission of her own.  But they share more than the sweltering heat...

Briony also has GhostWalker powers.  Yet she's different.  She doesn't know what she is, or what she's capable of.  But her enemies do.  And Jack and Briony's flight will take them into a frightening conspiracy where the shocking truth is something neither of them could have foreseen - or can escape...

GhostWalkers Series:
Shadow Game
Mind Game
Night Game
Conspiracy Game
Deadly Game
Predatory Game
Murder Game
Street Game
Ruthless Game
Samurai Game (2012)

For more information visit Christine Feehan's website

Review:
When Jack goes on a mission with the GhostWalkers to rescue his brother he ends up captured by rebel forces.  He is going to need all of his enhanced psychic skills to escape from his enemies before he suffers even more torture at their hands.  When he first meets Briony he realises immediately that she is a GhostWalker with abilities very similar to his own but it soon becomes clear that she doesn't know much about her skills and how she obtained them.  With their enemies closing in on them - wanting to capture Briony for sinister purposes - Jack is the only one she can trust to keep her safe.  But the conspiracy goes deeper than either of them could have suspected and they are going to need all the help they can get to survive.

Conspiracy Game is the 4th book in the GhostWalker series and although it can be read as a stand alone story in terms of Jack and Briony as a couple I would strongly recommend reading the story in order to get the full enjoyment of the back story of the GhostWalkers.  This is a series that I'm really enjoying and I'd highly recommend it to all fans of supernatural romance.

Although I've loved all of the GhostWalker heroes Jack quickly became my favorite - he is one sexy alpha male!  He is a man who keeps himself to himself, someone that even the other GhostWalkers are wary of and the only person he is close to is his twin Ken.  There is a darkness inside him because of things he saw and did in his past but he is also has a soft centre and is very caring.  He is frightened of his feelings for Briony and doesn't feel that he is good enough for her but when she turns to him for help he will do anything to protect her and keep her safe.

Briony is the perfect heroine for him - she has grown up with 4 protective brothers and knows how to deal with a domineering alpha male.  While she lets him get away with a lot she is definitely able to stand up for herself when she needs to.  I really enjoyed the chemistry between her & Jack and also loved watching them both with Ken - I can't wait to read his story which is the next book in the series!  The ongoing story with the GhostWalkers and the evil genius Dr Whitney is getting really interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out in the rest of the series.  It is quite clear that Dr Whitney has been doing some major plotting and I'm not sure what the consequences will be for Lily and the others.

If you're new to this series then I'd highly recommend you give it a try but make sure you start with book 1 Shadow Game.  If you're already reading the series then I dare you not to fall for Jack when you read this installment - he really is irresistible!

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
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Saturday, 21 August 2010

UK ARC Review: Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura's in love with two boys - but one of them's a ghost...
Can true love conquer all - even death?

Like everyone born after the Shift, sixteen year-old Aura can see and talk to ghosts.  She's always found this mysterious ability pretty annoying, wishing only that she could reverse it and have some peace.  But when her boyfriend, Logan, dies unexpectedly, Aura is forced to reconsider her connections to the dead...

Devastated by Logan's sudden death, Aura realises that her ability to see ghosts might actually be a blessing.  Surely a violet-hued spirit Logan is better than no Logan at all?  But just when Aura is coming to terms with having a ghost for a boyfriend, she starts developing feelings for her new friend Zachary, who is understanding, supportive and, most of all, alive.  Each boy holds a piece of her heart - as well as vital clues to the secret of the Shift - and it's time for Aura to choose between loving the living, or embracing the dead...

Shade Series:
Shade (releasing in the UK on 2nd September 2010)
Shift (due to be published in 2011)

For more information visit Jeri Smith-Ready's website

Review:
Like everyone born after the Shift Aura can see ghosts - everywhere she goes there are ghosts trying to talk to her, asking her to do things for them.  All she has ever wanted is for them to leave her alone - that is until her boyfriend Logan dies.  She'd rather have Logan's ghost in her life than lose Logan completely but it isn't easy having a boyfriend who you can't touch - can't kiss.  Then Aura meets Zachary, a new student at her school who has been assigned to help her with her history project.  Aura is investigating the mystery of what caused the Shift and Zachary has information that could help her if she can get him to open up and tell her everything.  Logan's family want to help Logan move on but is Aura ready to let him go?  Can she move on with her life when Logan's ghost is still with her?

I've heard great things about Shade from US bloggers so I was really excited when I received a review copy from Simon & Schuster.  Jeri Smith-Ready has created an interesting world that had me hooked from the very beginning.  I read a lot of paranormal stories so I really enjoyed this refreshing twist on the genre - I loved the idea of the Shift and the fact that only people born afterwards have the ability to see ghosts.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to have that ability but Jeri did a great job of describing it to us.  There is a lot of mystery surrounding the cause of the Shift, it doesn't seem like anyone really knows what caused it - if the government has any ideas they are keeping them secret! - but this adds to the story and I like the fact that we are finding out information alongside Aura.

Logan was a great character - a fledgling rock star who is on the verge of signing a record deal with his band The Keely Brothers (who both his brother & sister also play for) when a stupid drunken mistake ends his life.  The scenes of his death were heartbreaking and you really feel not only his pain and anger over what happened but also Aura & his family's suffering.  The differences in the way the pre-shifters and the post-shifters (who can still see Logan) deal with their grief was well defined and interesting to read.  How hard must it be to move on with life if you can still talk to the person you lost?  Would it be worse to be one of the people who can't see them when others around you can and refuse to act as if they have gone?  I really can't decide if I'd want to be one of the people who could still see Logan or one of the ones that couldn't!

Aura and the other teenagers in the story were well written and realistic they aren't perfect, they drink underage and have sexual relationships but none of this is glorified and I think you'll find a lot teens of their age act in a similar way.  I found Aura very easy to relate to especially with her mixed feelings about Logan and Zachary - she was in a difficult situation and I really felt for her.  While we're on the subject of Zachary I have to say I loved him.  He is so supportive of Aura and understanding about how she feels but he also knows what he wants and is prepared to work hard to get it.  He is keeping secrets from Aura and although she finds out some of them throughout the book I have a feeling there will be more to come in the sequel.

Overall I found Shade a thoroughly enjoyable read and would highly recommend it to fans of young adult paranormal stories.  Be warned that there is quite a cliff hanger at the end - I definitely want to get my hands on book 2 (Shift) as soon as possible.  We still have a lot to learn about the cause of the Shift and I'm really looking forward to finding out more.  Don't let the cliff hanger put you off though - it is well worth reading Shade & I'd recommend adding it to your buy list and getting hold of a copy as soon as you can.

Source: Received for review from publisher Simon & Schuster

Other Reviews:
I Was A Teenage Book Geek
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Friday, 20 August 2010

Review: Texas Tangle - Leah Braemel

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an overdrawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued...and a little gun-shy.

Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki's life, but he's determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki's heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

Visit Leah Braemel's website for more information

Review:
Nikki has been through a lot at the hands of her ex-husband and her brother but she has always had her neighbour Dillon and his foster brother Brett to turn to.  When her truck breaks down one night and Dillon offers to drive her home they discover her house is empty and everything she owns has been stolen.  Moving in with Dillon the heat quickly builds between the two of them but Nikki also has feelings for Brett.  Brett and Dillon fought over Nikki years before and now that she is free again they both want to win her heart.  Will she be forced to choose between the two of them or can they find a way for them all to be together?

I have to confess that Texas Tangle is the first menage story I've read so I wasn't too sure if I'd like it but I was impressed.  Nikki was a likable character who has been through hell and made you want to protect her but for me it was Dillon & Brett who stole the show.  Usually when the heroine of a story has 2 men to choose from I find it pretty easy to pick a side but with Dillon & Brett I just couldn't choose between them.  Let's just say that if those two sexy men were in my life I think I'd be more than happy to try out a menage relationship!

I found the feelings between the 3 were believable and kept me wanting to read more, I really didn't want to put the book down.  The heat between them was incredible & scorched the pages leaving me in need of a cold shower!  I loved the fact that Dillon & Brett genuinely cared for each other as well as for Nikki - they were best friends as well as foster brothers and neither wanted to see the other one get hurt.   This story really did have a little of everything and I enjoyed the scenes with Dillon's family - his gramma made me laugh out loud and his mother gave Nikki some great advice.

Texas Tangle was an enjoyable erotic story and I could have happily carried on reading more about these characters.  It has left me wanting to try more menage stories and I will definitely be checking out more of Leah Braemel's work in the future.  I'd recommend this story to any erotic romance fans.

Source: Received for review from publisher via NetGalley

Other Reviews:
Ramblings of a Book Bitch
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Review: The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett

'Crivens! Whut aboot us, ye daftie!'

There's trouble on the Aching farm - nightmares spreading down from the hills. And Tiffany Aching's little brother has been stolen away. To get him back, Tiffany has a weapon (a frying pan), her granny's magic book (well, Diseases of the Sheep) - and the Nac Mac Feegle, the Wee Free Men, the fightin', thievin', tiny blue-skinned pictsies who were thrown out of Fairyland for being Drunk and Disorderly...

Discworld Series:
The Colour of Magic (Rincewind book 1)
The Light Fantastic (Rincewind book 2)
Equal Rites (Witches book 1)
Mort (Death book 1)
Sourcery (Rincewind book 3)
Wyrd Sisters (Witches book 2)
Pyramids
Guards! Guards! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 1)
Eric (Rincewind book 4)
Moving Pictures (Industrial Revolution book 1)
Reaper Man (Death book 2)
Witches Abroad (Witches book 3)
Small Gods
Lords and Ladies (Witches book 4)
Men at Arms (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 2)
Soul Music (Death book 3)
Interesting Times (Rincewind book 5)
Maskerade (Witches book 5)
Feet of Clay (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 3)
Hogfather (Death book 4)
Jingo (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 4)
The Last Continent (Rincewind book 6)
Carpe Jugulum (Witches book 6)
The Fifth Elephant (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 5)
The Truth (Industrial Revolution book 2)
Thief of Time (Death book 5)
The Last Hero (Rincewind book 7)
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Night Watch (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 6)
The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching book 1)
Monstrous Regiment (Industrial Revolution book 3)
A Hat Full of Sky (Tiffany Aching book 2)
Going Postal (Moist von Lipwig book 1) (Industrial Revolution book 4)
Thud! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 7)
Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching book 3)
Making Money (Moist von Lipwig book 2) (Industrial Revolution book 5)
Unseen Academicals (Rincewind book 8)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching book 4)
Snuff (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 8)
The World of Poo
Raising Steam (Moist von Lipwig book 3) (Industrial Revolution book 6)
The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching book 5)

Discworld Related books:
The Discworld Mapp - Terry Pratchett & Stephen Briggs
Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book - Paul Kidby

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

Review:
9 year old Tiffany has spent her life working on her family farm and as the youngest daughter she is often left to look after her younger brother Wentworth. When he disappears she knows it is up to her to get him back. Armed only with her wits and a frying pan - and with the Nac Mac Feegles and a toad to assist her - Tiffany must enter Fairyland and take on the Queen of the Elves. Entering a dark and dangerous world it is up to her to find Wentworth and bring him home.

I've mentioned before what a massive Terry Pratchett fan and I love the Discworld series. I originally read The Wee Free Men when it first came out but am re-reading the books featuring Tiffany Aching in anticipation of book 4 (I Shall Wear Midnight) which is releasing in September. Although this is book 30 in the Discworld series it is the first book in the young adult series featuring Tiffany and makes a great introduction to the Discworld universe if you have never read any of these books before.

I loved Tiffany from the beginning, she may only be 9 but she is already wise beyond her years. She is sensible, smart and not afraid to stand up for herself and her family. She has all the traits of someone who will be a great witch but as yet has had no training and has to rely on her wits to get her through. I'm looking forward to seeing how her character grows as the series progresses.

The Nac Mac Feegle (or the Wee Free Men) absolutely steal the show, I don't think I read a single page featuring them without laughing out loud. Terry has managed to write the characters perfectly making it impossible to read without hearing their Scottish accents. The Wee Free Men may only be 6 inches tall but they are larger than life, Rob Anybody and No'-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock (how can you not love a character with a name like that?) jumped out of the pages at me - so real that I could almost touch them. The clan's favourite pastimes may be drinking, fighting and stealing but they have big hearts and would do anything to protect Tiffany.

This is a book I'd highly recommend to fantasy fans of all ages, it contains everything I would expect from Terry Pratchett - some great insights into real life wrapped up in humour with characters that will have you itching to come back for more. If you're new to the Discworld series (or already a fan) then I can't recommend the Tiffany Aching series enough.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kiss Me If You Can - Carly Phillips

He’s New York’s Most Eligible Bachelor …
She’s just not interested!

Sam Cooper (“Coop”) has just become the most eligible bachelor in New York City. After foiling a jewelry store robbery, and being rewarded with the ring of his choice, single women all over the city are fawning over the crime reporter. But Coop isn’t interested in the admirers sending racy underwear his way. His attention is centered solely on Lexie Davis, the only woman in the city who claims not to be interested in his bachelor status.

Instead free-spirited Lexie is more interested in Coop’s antique ring, and its (potentially scandalous) history in her family. But Coop is quickly becoming more than just her route to the ring But when Coop’s investigation starts to uncover the truth, will she trust her heart – and her family secrets – to this most eligible bachelor?

Bachelor Blogs Series:
Kiss Me If You Can
Love Me If You Dare

Visit Carly Phillips' website for more information

Review:
When crime reporter Sam Cooper stops a jewelry store robbery he suddenly finds himself named New York's most eligible bachelor by the press.  With his new found status women are falling over themselves to catch him but Coop isn't interested.  The only woman who catches his eye is Lexie and the only thing she is interested in is the ring he was given as a reward - she wants to buy it as a gift for her grandmother who already owns the matching necklace.  The attraction between them is intense but when Coop discovers the ring was reported stolen and the pair decide to investigate what they discover will have major implications for their growing relationship.

Kiss Me If You Can was the first book I've read by Carly Phillips but it definitely won't be the last.  It was an enjoyable contemporary romance with realistic and likable characters who were easy to relate to.  Lexie and Coop are complete opposites in many ways but their characters really complimented each other and I loved the way they were able to talk about their problems and try to work out their issues together.  It quickly became clear who was responsible for stealing the ring but I liked the way the investigation helped to develop the relationship between them.

I absolutely loved Lexie's grandmother Charlotte and her best friend Sylvia - the pair were hilarious and their antics caused me to laugh out loud on several occasions.  Kiss Me If You Can is an enjoyable light read full of humor and passion.  A thoroughly enjoyable story and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series Love Me If You Dare.

Source: Received for review from publisher via NetGalley

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Comments & Sunshine Award

I just wanted to write a quick post apologising for getting so behind replying to all of your comments.  I think most of you already know that I split up with my fiance in July so the last month has been really difficult for me & I ended up getting way behind on blogging.  Things are still difficult but I'm surviving and I've finally managed to catch up with the comments you've all left.  I'm still behind on visiting blogs and have probably missed quite a few posts where people have reviewed the some of the same books as me.  I'm gradually working my way through & adding links to my reviews as I find them but if any of you have reviewed the same books as me please feel free to leave a comment on my review with your link & I'll get it added for you :o)

I've also removed word verification to make it easier for you all to post comments.  Since most of the spam comments I receive seem to be on older posts I have added moderation for comments on posts that are over 2 weeks old but I think this new system will be much easier for everyone & save you all time when you want to comment.  I'll see how it goes & may change things again later if there are any problems.

I just wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you who visit my blog & to everyone who has ever commented.  Although I hadn't been replying over the last month I did read every comment and they all helped to brighten my day.  I have now replied to everyone so if you'd asked a question & were waiting for a response then I apologise for the delay & promise I'll keep on top of things from now onwards :o)

As a thank you for your patience & support I'd like to share the Sunshine Award with all of my blog readers:


Thank you to Larissa from Welcome to Larissa's Life for sharing this award with me.  I'm not sure if there are any rules for this award but on this occasion I'd just like to share some love for all my lovely followers :o)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

ARC Review: Trash - Andy Mulligan

I've been picking up trash since I could crawl, and people always say 'maybe one day you'll find something special'.  Then one day I did.

Raphael Fernandez is fourteen years old and part of the slum that barely makes a living on the mountains of the dumpsite.  No education and no prospects: a lifetime of sifting through rubbish.

Then, out of the blue, he finds a key.

Keys open doors, and soon Raphael and his friends are just one step ahead of a desperate and dangerous police force.  The three boys hold the key to a deadly secret.  It leads to corruption, unimaginable wealth, and one man's mission to put right a terrible wrong.

Children can't be children if their lives are at stake...they have to be heros.

Trash releases in the UK on 2nd September 2010 and is a book I'd highly recommend you add to your wish list!

You can find out more about Andy Mulligan on the David Fickling Books website

Review:
Raphael and his friends have grown up in a slum town built amidst a rubbish dump, spending their days sorting through rubbish for anything that they can sell to get money for food.  They have all dreamed of finding something valuable but when Raphael finds a bag containing money, a key and a letter life nothing will ever be the same again.  With corrupt policemen looking for the bag they are now in great danger - it is very easy for street kids to disappear and there is no one who can stop it happening.  Can they solve the mystery before the police catch up with them?  And what could possibly be so important that the police are so desperate to find it?

The world we are taken into in Trash isn't a comfortable one - the descriptions of life at the rubbish dump was realistic and at times quite upsetting reading.  Especially when you think about the thousands of children throughout the world who do actually live like that.  However, Raphael and his friends Gardo & Jun-Jun (also known as Rat) aren't the kind of characters who sit around feeling sorry for themselves - life is tough but it's all they've ever known and they get on with things, finding the positive in things that many of us take for granted. 

I loved all three boys and thoroughly enjoyed the journey they took me on.  The mystery kept me interested and I found the descriptions fascinating.  I was so worried that they wouldn't all survive to tell their tale which just shows how invested I was in the book.  The narrative switches between multiple characters which I suppose could be confusing but I actually enjoyed the fact that you got to see so many sides to the story.  I though each of the voices were well written and it didn't take me long to work out who was speaking.

A great thriller with an ending that I absolutely loved and one I would recommend for boys and girls both young and old.  This is one of those stories that makes you question what is really important and will make you feel grateful for the things you have.  A thought provoking and fun read that will take you on an emotional roller coaster and I'm looking forward to reading more from Andy Mulligan.

Source: Thanks to RHCB for sending me this book to review

Other Reviews:
Chrissie's Corner
Wondrous Reads
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Review: Cape Storm - Rachel Caine

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin was supposed to be enjoying a romantic honeymoon with her new husband, the Djinn David - not running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying her.  Joined by an army of fellow Wardens and Djinn on board a hijacked luxury liner, Joanne has lured the storm into furious pursuit.  Only one problem: Even their combined magic may not be enough to stop it.

Now Joanne's being drawn into uncharted dark territory, both at sea and in a battle for her own soul... and if she doesn't change course, her fellow Wardens - and even David's Djinn - won't have any choice but to blow her away...

The Weather Warden Series:
Ill Wind
Heat Stroke
Chill Factor
Windfall
Firestorm
Thin Air
Gale Force
Cape Storm
Total Eclipse

Outcast Season Series:
(This is a spin off from The Weather Warden Series)
Undone
Unknown
Unseen
Unbroken

Visit Rachel Caine's Website for more information.

Review:
Cape Storm is book 8 in the Weather Warden series and I would strongly recommend reading the series in order.  I think if you tried to read this as a stand alone book you'd probably be missing too much of the back story to get the full enjoyment from the book.  I'm really enjoying this urban fantasy series though so I'd definitely recommend checking it out starting with Ill Wind.  Although this review won't contain spoilers for Cape Storm it is impossible to review without giving hints to previous events in the series so if you haven't started reading it yet I'd recommend you don't read this review.

Instead of enjoying her honeymoon with David this installment sees Jo running for her life from a hurricane that seems determined to destroy her.  In order to stop the hurricane devastating the coast of Florida the Wardens and New Djinn hijack a luxury cruise ship and take to the sea with the hurricane on their tail.  With Bad Bob feeding the storm with his new weapon and Jo fighting to stop his mark from taking over her completely they're in for a difficult journey - even the combined powers of the Wardens and the Djinn may not be enough to stop the force of this hurricane.

I've been a big fan of Jo and David since the first book and I still love the pair of them as a couple and as individuals.  Jo is finding it harder and harder to fight the darkness of Bad Bob's mark so we see quite a change in her personality as the story develops and I was left wondering if she would ever be able to escape from his clutches.  Lewis is forced to make some very difficult decisions in this installment - decisions that are going to have serious consequences for the already strained relationship between the Wardens and the Djinn.  Cherise also has her role to play despite being the only main character without any supernatural abilities, I'm liking her character more and more with every book.

Overall this was a fast paced story in the series, action packed from the beginning it will leave you on the edge of your seat.  Although I felt the ending was tied up a little too easily there are still major consequences for Jo and David that have left me itching to get my hands on Total Eclipse (the final book in the series).  I'm looking forward to seeing how Rachel Caine manages to tie up all the loose threads in the ending.  If you're a fan of the series then I'd definitely recommend Cape Storm and if you haven't started the series yet then I'd highly recommend it to urban fantasy fans looking for something a bit different but you really should start with book 1 Ill Wind.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Review: Shadow of the Vampire - Meagan Hatfield

Even vampires should never sleep with the enemy.

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

Although it doesn't state on Meagan's website that this is part of a series she does have 2 other books that feature characters who appeared in this book:
Dragon Warrior (available now)
Vampire in her Mysts (coming soon)

Visit Meagan Hatfield's website for more information

Review:
Alexia is a princess on the verge of taking over from her mother and becoming queen of the vampire horde.  She is aware that someone is plotting against her and her mother and wanting to take her place but she is struggling to stop them.  When she is ordered to torture and kill a prisoner she isn't expecting the instant attraction she feels when she sees Declan.  She feels even more confused when she discovers that Declan is a dragon lord - a mortal enemy of the vampires.  Declan was captured when he came to get revenge on the vampires who killed his parents.  He was determined to kill the vampire queen and her daughter but after meeting Alexia his feelings start to change.  Is there a way for the 2 enemies to work together?  Will they be able to resist each other or will the passion between them ignite?

I love dragons and I love vampires so when I saw Shadow of the Vampire on netgalley I couldn't wait to read it.  I'm a big fan of paranormal romance and it didn't disappoint me - I loved Declan from the very beginning, the heat between him and Alexia was instant and I wanted to see them find a way to be together.  Declan is so caring for Alexia even though his instincts tell him that she is his enemy but he soon realises that things are not as they first seemed and that she has suffered at the hands of someone within the vampire horde who is plotting against her. 

Alexia has been through hell and back, she never chose to be involved in Declan's torture but she is powerless against the orders she has been given.  She is a strong character though and when it comes down to it she is quite kick ass against her enemies.  I have to say that Meagan Hatfield did a great job with the evil vampire - without giving any spoilers I'll just say that I really did detest them which is obviously how I was meant to feel.

There was a lot of action along with some great smexing between Declan and Alexia - definitely my kind of story.  I did find myself getting a little confused about the dragon and vampire abilities, it felt a little like I was reading the second book in a series and had missed some information, but that was a minor thing and didn't really effect my enjoyment of the story.  Although the story did have a complete ending between the two main characters things are definitely left open for another book in the series which I will definitely be reading if it is released.  After looking at Meagan's website it looks like Dragon Warrior (which is available now) is set before Shadow of the Vampire and reading the description for Vampire in her Mysts (no release date available at this time but it says coming soon) this definitely features characters from this book but I'm not sure where it fits into the timeline.  Neither of these books are the one I was expecting after the ending of Shadow of the Vampire so I'm guessing that there is at least another book to come and I'm looking forward to reading them all.

If you're a fan of paranormal romance and like dragons and or vampires then I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try.  It was a great read & I'm looking forward to trying more of Meagan's work.

Source: Received for review from publisher via NetGalley

Other Reviews:
Chrissie's Corner
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Review: Destined for an Early Grave - Jeaniene Frost

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat wakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced... even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Night Huntress Series:
Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave
At Grave's End
Destined for an Early Grave
One for the Money (Short Story in the Magic Graves Anthology)
This Side of the Grave
One Grave at a Time
Home for the Holidays (Novella available as an ebook or as part of The Bite Before Christmas anthology)
Up from the Grave

Night Huntress World Series:
(This is a spin off from the Night Huntress Series that fits into the time line after Destined for an Early Grave)
First Drop Of Crimson
Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Night Prince Series:
(This is a spin off from the Night Huntress series that fits into the time line after One Grave at a Time)
Once Burned
Twice Tempted

For more information visit Jeaniene Frost's website

Review:
Cat and Bones are supposed to be on a romantic getaway enjoying their honeymoon and celebrating their blood bond. However, when Cat starts to have nightmares about a powerful vampire called Gregor their holiday rapidly takes a turn for the worse. Gregor believes that Cat belongs to him - even though she has no memory of meeting him before - and he is determined to reclaim her. Why does Cat have no memory of Gregor and what does all of this mean for her relationship with Bones?

If you've read any of my previous reviews of the Night Huntress series you'll already know what a big fan I am of both Cat and Bones so I couldn't wait to get stuck into Destined for an Early Grave. While it was still an enjoyable instalment to the series I have to say it was probably my least favourite book so far.; The relationship between Cat and Bones goes through a lot of ups and downs in this instalment and for me I would have liked to have seen more of them working together as a couple against Gregor. Bones was being very secretive and while I understand his actions with hindsight, as I was reading I thought he treated Cat appallingly in places which I just didn't find believable considering the way he usually behaves. Cat also behaved equally badly and there were times when I just wanted to shake the pair of them and get them to talk to each other!

I felt the storyline was a little far fetched with the appearance of Gregor who Cat had no memory of but I still enjoyed the mystery of what was happening and the action scenes were as well written as I've come to expect from Jeaniene Frost. I loved Vlad in this book, he was such a great friend to Cat when she really, really needed someone on her side. There were a few surprises - especially with Justina - that I really didn't see coming and I am looking forward to reading the next book even though the release date seems a long way off. I'm pleased that I've got 2 books in the spin off series (Night Huntress World) to keep me going in the meantime!

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
Ink and Paper
Story Wings
I'd So Rather Be Reading
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Review: Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma

"You've always been my best friend, my soul mate, and now I've fallen in love with you too.

Why is that such a crime?"

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed.

He is seventeen, gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future.

And now they have fallen in love.  But... They are brother and sister.

Visit Tabitha Suzuma's website for more information



Review:
When I was sent a copy of Forbidden for review I really didn't think it would be my kind of story.  I just really didn't see how I could relate to characters involved in incest as it is something that I feel so strongly against.  Whenever I've heard the word incest I've always considered it to be a form of abuse, the fact that it could be consensual had never really occurred to me.  I'm so pleased that I overcame my reluctance and actually read this book because I know it is one that will haunt me for a long time to come and I don't think I'll ever forget Maya and Lochan.  This story has taken everything I thought I knew about incest and turned it upside down.  Yes, I still feel that incest is wrong but I don't think I've ever wished so hard for a happy ending as I did when I was reading Forbidden, even though I knew before I started reading that the likelihood of that happening was practically zero.

Lochan is seventeen and his sister Maya is just sixteen, they should be out having fun with friends like any other teenagers but their reality is very different.  Their dad left 5 years ago to move to the other side of the world with his new family leaving Lochan and Maya with a useless alcoholic mother and 3 younger siblings to take care of.  Lochan and Maya have been caring for their brothers and sister ever since while their mother stays out with her boyfriend often not returning home for weeks at a time.  Since the ages of 11 & 12 they have been looking after 3 younger children - cooking, cleaning, taking them to school, helping with homework and even dealing with bedtimes.  Basically they became parents themselves at such a young age and have been working as a team to keep their family together ever since.  It's no wonder they have developed a close bond and think of each other as best friends and partners rather than brother and sister - would any of us feel any differently in the circumstances?

Maya has still managed to develop into a confident young woman with friends at school but you wonder how much of that is due to Lochan's influence - as the oldest he has taken on more of the responsibility.  Lochan on the other hand suffers from a serious social phobia, completely unable to speak to anyone outside of his family, suffering from panic attacks if he just has to speak in class.  Unable to make friends his own age the only person who truly understands him is Maya. 

Tabitha Suzuma has taken a difficult and taboo topic and handled it with sensitivity and tact.  The fact that she managed to make me empathise with both of the characters despite my built in abhorrence to incest just proves what a good job she did with this book.  She uses dual narrative with chapters alternating from Lochan & Maya's perspective which allows you to see what each of them are thinking.  This is what makes the story work so well as you can clearly see that this isn't a case of one of them abusing the other, it is a case of mutual caring and a love that has developed where it shouldn't.  I honestly think if they had been given a normal upbringing then they would never have fallen for each other the way that they did.  It was heartbreaking to see how hard life was for them both and it made you thankful that they at least had each other to lean on.  I really wanted to see them have a happy ending and find some way to be together despite the odds stacked against them.  That was something I really hadn't expected to feel when I first picked up the book.

All of the characters in the story are so real to me that I still can't stop thinking about them even now.  Lochan and Maya worked so hard to keep their family together and while I understand that they didn't want to be split up from their siblings I can't help thinking that things would have been so much better for them if social services had been involved and they had been taken into care.  Kit is a typical 13 year old, he resents his mother's disappearances and doesn't like the fact that his brother and sister are setting the rules for him.  Having fallen in with the wrong crowd at school he deliberately rebels against Lochan and pushes the boundaries in a way I think most teenagers do with their parents at some point.  Tiffin is a boisterous and hyperactive 8 year old and Willa is an adorable 5 year old who I desperately wanted to comfort. 

Forbidden is a heartbreaking story that I know I will never forget and one that I would highly recommend for older teens and adults even if you find the subject matter offensive.  It is a book that will leave you with many questions and feeling like you've been on an emotional journey, just be warned that you will need tissues by the end.  For a book that I didn't even think I wanted to read it has turned into my favorite book of the year so far and one that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.  I'm very much looking forward to trying more books by this author.

Source: Thanks to RHCB for sending me this book for review

Other reviews of this book:
Chrissie's Corner
Trisha's Book Blog
Story Wings
Fluttering Butterflies
Ramblings of a Book Bitch
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

July 2010 Recap


July has been a pretty tough month for me, but reading has been a good distraction so I've managed to get through quite a few books.  I've got a lot going on at the moment after splitting up with my fiance at the end of June & it's been hard being on my own after spending the last 9 years together.  I'm currently in the middle of trying to find a new place to live as I can't afford to stay where I am now he's moved out so I'm probably going to have some offline time sometime in the next couple of months while I'm moving but at the moment I have no idea when that is going to be.  I've ended up getting very behind replying to comments and returning blog visits but hopefully I'll get back on top of things when I start to feel better.  I'd like to say thanks to everyone for their comments though - they really do help brighten up my day when I read them :o)

Here is the list of books I read in July. (The links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs
  2. On The Prowl - Anthology
  3. I Married A Dragon - Beverly Rae
  4. Circle of Fire - Keri Arthur
  5. Ex Appeal - Cari Quinn (Novella)
  6. Fallen - Lauren Kate
  7. Speak of the Devil - Jenna Black
  8. Restoring Harmony - Joelle Anthony
  9. Circle of Death - Keri Arthur
  10. Dear Dylan - Siobhan Curham
  11. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  12. Best Friends Forever - Jennifer Weiner
  13. Night Game - Christine Feehan
  14. Chasing Brooklyn - Lisa Schroeder
  15. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night - Kresley Cole
  16. The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams
  17. Tempting Evil - Keri Arthur
  18. A Safe Harbor - Moira Rogers (Novella)
  19. Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs
  20. Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson
  21. Circle of Desire - Keri Arthur
  22. The Alchemyst - Michael Scott
I was lucky enough to attend the Random House Children's Books Blogger Brunch on 17th July.  It was a really fun day and we got to find out about all their new releases and have a snoop around their offices.  They were incredibly generous and I came home with far too many books but I'm really looking forward to reading them all.  You can read my event report here if you missed it earlier in the month.

With everything I've got going on at the moment I've not got time to organise a post for my Author's Animal Antics feature every week so I'm just going to try and post when I get a chance.  (You can find out more about the feature here).  I've still had a couple of lovely posts this month though (you can click on the link below to read any of this months posts):
  1. Lauren Kate
  2. Siobhan Curham
I'm doing well with all of my challenges this year apart from the Terry Pratchett & Vampire Diaries ones.  To be honest I'm probably going to skip the Vampire Diaries one for now but I might decide to pick it up again later in the year.  I'm going to start making progress on the Terry Pratchett challenge this month though as I was lucky enough to get copies of quite a few of his books at the RHCB event.

100+ Reading Challenge - Read 143/200
Paranormal Reading Challenge - Read 50/50 COMPLETE
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge - Read 24/24 COMPLETE
NAC April Mini-Challenge Battle Royale - Read 5/5 COMPLETE

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