Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cover Comparison: Blood Bound & Shadow Bound - Rachel Vincent

I don't think it's any secret that I'm a massive fan of Rachel Vincent. As much as I love her YA Soul Screamers series (click here to read my Soul Screamers reviews) I love her adult Shifters books even more! It is one of my favourite adult urban fantasy series (click the titles to read my reviews of Stray, Rogue, Pride, Prey, Shift & Alpha) so of course I couldn't wait to get my hands on the first book in her new adult Unbound series Blood Bound last year. I was one of the lucky people that Rachel sent an ARC copy to and it was just as fantastic as I hoped it would be (read my review of Blood Bound here). The second book in the series Shadow Bound will finally be released in the UK on the 1st of June (tomorrow *squeeeee*) and I've had my copy on pre-order since last year so Amazon had better hurry up and deliver it!

If you haven't already read Blood Bound check out the teaser trailer below:



Anyway to celebrate the release of Shadow Bound I thought it would be fun to have a look at the US covers of both books in the series and compare them to the UK ones. Especially since the UK covers have undergone a complete transformation for the second book and now look very different to the US ones.

So lets start with the covers for Blood Bound:

First we have the original UK cover:

Then the US cover:

and finally the new UK Cover

Which of the three covers do you prefer? The version I have is the US one because Rachel sent me a US ARC but I think my favourite would probably be the original UK one. Orange is one of my favourite colours (although I also love the purple of the US cover) and I love the way the main character Liv is staring into the distant skyline. When I first saw the new UK cover I really wasn't keen but I have to admit it has grown on me. I like the fact that it stands out compared to a lot of urban fantasy covers and I like the blue colour but I think it reminds me a little too much of the Soul Screamers covers with that cloudy feel to it.

Now lets have a look at the Shadow Bound covers:

First we have the UK cover:

and now the US cover:

It's easier to pick my favourite out of these two - definitely the US one. I like the way the UK cover matches the new Blood Bound one but I would be much more likely to pick up the US one if I saw it at random in a shop and had never heard of Rachel Vincent. I love the fact that the US cover has both Liv and Cam on the cover too and you can see the connection between them. I actually pre-ordered the US version (back before the UK version was available) so I'm hoping that will be the one that Amazon sends me. I have to admit I'll be a bit disappointed if the UK version arrives because it won't match my copy of Blood Bound! Don't you just hate it when your covers for a series don't match?

Anyway, I'd love to know which of the covers are your favourites! Have any of you read Blood Bound? If so what did you think of it? Are you as desperate for a copy of Shadow Bound as I am?

Book Trailer: Rapture - Lauren Kate

For all you Lauren Kate fans out there you don't have too much longer to wait for the release of the 4th book and final book in her Fallen series. Rapture will be published in the UK on the 21st of June! I have to admit I'm a bit behind with the series (I made the mistake of lending my copy of Passion to a friend before I'd read it and I'm still waiting for her to return it!) but I really must catch up soon.

The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Fallen Series:
Fallen
Torment
Passion
Fallen in Love
Rapture (June 2012)

Visit Lauren Kate's website for more information

While you're waiting for the release of Rapture I thought you might like to have a look at the UK book trailer:



What do you think? Are you excited to see how Luce and Daniel's story will end?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: The Pledge - Kimberly Derting

Seventeen-year-old Charlaina knows she has exceptional but perilous powers.

In the far future, in a land controlled by an aged and ruthless queen, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. Even acknowledging a member of the ruling class while they are speaking their native tongue is punishable by death. Charlie can understand all languages, a secret she must protect to stay alive.

When she meets the alluringly handsome Max, who speaks in a language she hasn't heard before, she is intensely attracted to him. Max believes that Charlie is the key to something bigger and he pledges to protect her. But as war descends, can she trust him?

The Pledge Series:
The Pledge
The Essence
There will be a third book in this series but the title and release date are currently unknown

Visit Kimberly Derting's website for more information

Review:
I'm a massive fan of Kimberly Derting's body finder series so I couldn't wait to pick up the first book in her new dystopian fantasy series The Pledge. I wasn't disappointed and I think if anything I'm going to like this series even more than the body finder books. My main disappointment was the fact that I'm going to have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next!!

Kimberly Darting has created a unique dystopian world where people of different classes all speak their own language. There is a universal language spoken by everyone but people of the lower serving classes are not allowed to even look at people from the higher classes when they are talking in their own language. In fact just glancing in their direction could be enough to earn you the death penalty! This is a matriarchal world but rather than being a kind and benevolent queen Sabara is more of a tyrannical dictator. Not everyone is happy with their current ruler and the resistance is gaining more backing but can they really make a difference?

At seventeen Charlie has a very big secret to keep, she can understand all of the different languages spoken in the realm - something that should be impossible as she should only be able to speak Parshon the language of the vendor class she was born into and Englaise which is the universal language. Her parents have always told her how important it is to keep her ability a secret - after all if anyone finds out about her it could lead to her death - but it isn't easy to listen to people insult you in a language you shouldn't understand and pretend you haven't heard them. I really liked Charlie as a main character, she is smart and brave but most of all I loved the way she looks out for her younger sister Angelina - the two of them have such a close bond and Charlie is like a second mother to her. Angelina is such an adorable character that you just want to pull her out of the book so you can adopt her!

When Charlie first meets Max she is drawn to him because he speaks a language that she has never even heard before. She is immediately curious about who he could be and where he has come from. Although attracted to him I like the fact that she doesn't trust him straight away, she is wary of his intentions and he has to earn her trust and respect as she gets to know him. I enjoyed the romance that develops between them and am looking forward to seeing more of them as the series continues. I really liked that we got to see parts of the story from Max's point of view too, in fact I would have liked more chapters from his perspective!

We have been introduced to a great selection of characters that I am looking forward to learning more about (particularly Xander, Angelina & Brooklyn). The story is fast paced and kept me hooked from beginning to end and this is a very promising start to the series. I would definitely recommend the story for anyone who enjoys either fantasy or dystopian books, The Pledge straddles the line between the two and contains unique world building, fun characters, hints of magic, romance and more than a little action.

Source: Received for review from Allison & Busby in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
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.

Paperback / Kindle

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Review: Faefever - Karen Marie Moning

He calls me his Queen of the Night.
I'd die for him. I'd kill for him, too.

When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

Fever Series:
Darkfever
Bloodfever
Faefever
Dreamfever
Shadowfever
Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha (Graphic Novel)
Iced
Burned
Feverborn

Visit Karen Marie Moning's website for more information

Review:
Faefever is the third book in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series starring Sidhe-Seer MacKayla Lane. The story picks up right after the ending of Bloodfever - Mac is still searching for the Sinsar Dubh (an ancient book that is supposed to contain Fae secrets) although that is proving difficult when getting anywhere near it causes her incredible pain. She is also determined to track down her sister's murderer and figure out who has Alina's missing journal and why they are sending random pages to her. As Samhain approaches and the walls between the Fae and human realms get ever weaker Mac must decide who she can trust to help her stop them falling completely.

This series seems to get more and more addictive with every book I read. The cliffhangers also seem to get worse and worse with every book though so I'm very glad I waited until all 5 books were already available before I started reading them - if I had to wait a whole year for the next book I might have started screaming when I reached the end of Faefever!

This series definitely falls on the darker side of urban fantasy, the things that Mac has been through (and continues to go through) don't always make for comfortable reading. She has grown up a lot since the first book though and you have to admire her for her determination to not just survive but also to protect innocents and to get vengeance for her sister. She has proved to be a lot tougher than I ever thought she would be considering how girlie she was at the start of the series. I do like the fact that she still has that softer side though, the side that likes to dress in pretty clothes and flirt with handsome men - Mac proves that women don't have to act like men all of the time to be kick ass.

I also like the fact that she no longer blindly trusts anyone, given her history with Barrons, V'lane and even her fellow Sidhe-Seers she has learnt to always look for hidden motives in people's actions. Talking of the other characters I still can't get enough of Barrons, yes he can be a bit of a bastard at times but there is still something about him that just leaves you begging for more. I love the intensity of the relationship between him and Mac and although they are keeping me waiting I know they will be an explosive combination when they finally give into their mutual lust! V'lane is another interesting character and one who I find myself liking a little more with each book, I still don't trust him (I don't actually trust Barrons either) but I do think that most of the time he is looking out for Mac's best interests. It was great to see more of Christian MacKeltar, we had met him briefly in the previous book but I'm even more intrigued now I know a bit more about him and his family. Fingers crossed they have a part in the next book too.

I know I had been warned that this series had killer cliffhangers but OMG that was worse than anything I could have expected! Karen Marie Moning managed to shock the heck out of me and has left me desperate to find out what happens next. Thankfully I already have the last two books sitting on my shelves so I'm off to start reading Dreamfever!

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Torn - Cat Clarke

Four girls. One dead body.
A whole lot of guilt.

Alice King isn't expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she's not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares . . .

Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there's Tara - queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.

Cass decides it's time to teach Tara a lesson she'll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever . . .

A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.

Visit Cat Clarke's website for more information

Review:
When Alice and her best friend Cass get stuck sharing a cabin with the school queen bee Tara and social outcasts Polly and Rae they know they're not going to enjoy their school trip to Scotland. But after a plan to get revenge on Tara goes horribly wrong things take a devastating turn for the worse and nothing will ever be the same again.

I loved Cat Clarke's debut novel Entangled when I read it last year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on her latest book Torn. I'm happy to say that this book was just as gripping as I expected it to be. Cat manages to write such realistic teenagers that it takes you straight back to your school days. I remember going on a similar school trip and having the same feelings of horror about the activities that Alice did which instantly helped me to connect with her. Luckily for me all of my classmates made it back to school in one piece which is more than can be said for Alice and her friends.

Alice is the kind of girl that most of us are able to relate to, she isn't one of the most popular crowd but she isn't quite at the bottom of the social pecking order either. Instead she hovers somewhere in the middle of the two groups and although she would desperately like to be more popular she isn't blind to the faults of the mean girls who run the school social scene. I love the way you slowly unravel more of Alice's past and as you do you discover some things about her previous friendship with the school queen of mean Tara that will surprise you. Torn really does show you just how far teenagers will go to change their social standing and just how brutal school politics and relationships can be.

Alongside Alice you really get to know some of the other main characters and although the accident was horrific and their actions afterwards are unforgivable you can't help but feel sorry for the way they ended up in that situation. The scariest thing was how believable it all was - I was left thinking that I wouldn't be shocked to find that this was based on a true story (although hopefully it wasn't lol).

Torn is a book about grief, about bullying and the long term effects it can have, it is also about guilt and how that emotion can completely change a person. At times it is a dark and difficult book to read and it is one that leaves you with plenty to think about. At the same time there are also funny moments, there is an adorable romance that captures the excitement of first love perfectly and there are lessons to be learnt about the importance of friendships and not betraying those who have always been there for you. Torn is an engrossing read and one that I couldn't put down - definitely a book I'd recommend to fans of YA thrillers and mysteries.

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Simon & Schuster Ghost Walk with Michelle Harrison - 2nd May 2012

On the steps of St. Paul's with Michelle Harrison

A few weeks ago I was invited by Simon & Schuster to go on a ghost walk with Michelle Harrison to celebrate the publication of her debut YA novel Unrest. Unrest is a fabulous creepy ghost story so although it isn't set in London this was a perfect way to celebrate and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it might have given Michelle some ideas for writing a sequel! If you haven't read Unrest yet it's a book I'd highly recommend, you can read my review here or read an extract of the first chapter here.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Sammee, Carly and I met up early before the ghost walk and spent the afternoon together chatting & eating cake. I think we'd got a little bit high on caffeine by the time we left to meet everyone at St. Paul's Cathedral as you can probably tell by the pictures!




We met up with everyone on the steps of St. Paul's and it was lovely to have a chance to catch up with Liz, Kat & Catherine. I had met Michelle Harrison before but it was a long time ago so it was great to talk to her about Unrest and what she has planned for the future. Of course typically for the British weather as soon as we met up for the walk the wind picked up and the rain started but thankfully it wasn't too heavy! We were introduced to our tour guide Adrian and it was time to get started. I took a lot of notes while we were walking around but any errors in the following are all mine!

Our first stop was Christ Church Greyfriars which was originally built in 1225, rebuilt in the 1300's and for a third time after being destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Only the tower survived the Blitz in WWII and remains today. A well connected monastery in it's early years several queens were said to have been buried there including Queen Isabella (also known as the She-wolf of France). Queen Isabella's ghost was said to haunt the site along with the ghost of Lady Agnes, both ghosts were regularly spotted by people until one night when a night guard said he saw them both together for the first time. Apparently the two ghosts got into quite a fight and neither of them have been seen since (we laughed a lot thinking of the ghosts having a bitch fight - can't you just picture them pulling each others hair and scratching at each other?).




Next we made our way to Amen Court where you can see the last remaining part of Newgate Prison (that is the wall that you can see in the background if you look through the archway in the pics of the above slide show). The prison was built in the 12th century and although it was rebuilt several times it was in use until it was finally demolished in 1902. Privately run the prison was well known for it's poor living conditions and for not providing proper food for the inmates. Although family usually brought food for the inmates during the Great Famine in the 1300's a lot of the prisoners starved to death. In desperation the prisoners killed a wealthy, overweight scholar who had been jailed with them and proceeded to cook and eat him! After his death a ferocious black dog appeared and savaged all of the cannibal prisoners. Some of them died of fright, others caused a riot and prison breakouts but the dog tracked them all down even after they had escaped and killed them. The dog continued to appear inside the prison the night before anyone in Newgate died and became known as a harbinger of death.

One of the famous prisoners executed at Newgate Prison was Amelia Dyer (the baby killer of Reading) who pleaded guilty to the murder of one baby but was suspected of killing anywhere between two and four hundred! She is still thought to be the most prolific murderers ever and if you look into her crimes it'll send a shiver down your spine. I recognised her name because Mary Hooper had mentioned her as the inspiration for the baby farms she touches on in her book Fallen Grace (a fantastic book that you need to pick up if you haven't already got it - you can read my review here).

The Old Bailey

Next was a quick stop at the Old Bailey which was built on part of the site that used to be Newgate Prison. Can you believe that the last trial for witchcraft in England was in 1944? Apparently Winston Churchill actually wrote a letter of complaint about the fact they were trying her under a law created in 1735 but the woman was still convicted and ended up spending 9 months in jail (better than being burnt at the stake I guess but still crazy to think that was less than 70 years ago!).The reason she was put on trial in the first place was because she could talk to ghosts - they were worried that the spirits would be able to tell her war secrets and she could be a secret spy for the enemy. Even funnier was the fact that her defence wanted to hold a seance so that the ghosts she talked to could testify on her behalf! The jury wouldn't allow it though. The picture below is a statue of the Lady Justice that is found on top of the Old Bailey. She holds the scales of truth and fairness in one hand and the double edged sword of reason and justice in the other.

Lady Justice

After the Old Bailey we walked across the road to the Church of St. Sepulchre-without-NewgateHospitaller. It is also the burial place for Captain John Smith, the founder of Virginia who was an associate of Pocahontas. It is probably most well known for being the home of the Execution Bell though. The bell was donated to the church by Robert Dowe along with a large sum of money back in 1605. In order to keep the money the vicar was asked to ring the Execution Bell outside Newgate  Prison the night before any of the prisoners were executed. The bell was to be rung 12 times as the following poem was read out:

All you that in the condemned hole do lie
Prepare you, for tomorrow you shall die
Watch all and pray, the hour is drawing near
That you before the Almighty must appear
Examine well yourselves, in time repent
That you may not to eternal flames be sent
And when St. Sepulchre's bell tomorrow tolls
The Lord above have mercy on your souls
Past twelve o'clock!

What a nice and cheery poem for the criminals waiting to die! If any of you have read Andrew Hammond's debut novel The Gallows Curse (the first book in his C.R.Y.P.T series) you'll recognise that the Execution Bell, Newgate Prison and the gallows there all have a quite major role in the story. If you haven't read it yet then it's a book I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for a super scary and gruesome read (you can read my review here).




Our next stop was Pye Corner and Cock Lane which was the last place that the Great Fire of London reached. The guide told us a story of how a family from Cock Lane made up a ghost story and accused a neighbour of murdering his wife. The story was picked up by national newspapers and hundreds of people visited the area and even paid to go into their house to investigate the ghost. Eventually it was proved that the young daughter was faking the noises that were supposed to be made by the ghost but she had been put up to it by her father. The father was found guilty and put in the stocks but instead of having things thrown at him by the locals they actually protected him because they'd earned so much money from the visitors the events had brought to the area!




We walked around the edge of St Bartholomew's Hospital, it is the oldest hospital in London and has London's only remaining statue of Henry VIII over the archway entrance. You can also see the shrapnel damage to the walls from WWII. St Bart's is supposed to have two ghosts haunting it. The first is a haunted elevator that staff call the coffin lift. It was built in the middle of an existing staircase in the 1920's and used to take bodies down to the hospital mortuary. Now at night the lift will only stop at the basement and when it arrives there the lights will go out and the door won't open. After a few minutes the lift will open but people will rarely get back in it to return to the upper floors. Apparently as you walk up the stairs the lift is supposed to follow you! I don't like lifts at the best of times so the idea of getting into that one freaks me out completely!! Rumour has it that a nurse was killed in the lift by a patient. The second ghost is a nurse who accidentally gave one of her patients an overdose and felt so guilty that she killed herself. She now haunts the ward that she used to work on watching over the doctors and nurses to make sure they don't do the same thing. She is also said to bring dying patients cups of tea and comforting them.

Just in front of the Hospital is the site where West Smithfield Market used to be held. This is also the site where William Wallace was executed (he was hung, drawn and quartered!). They held jousting and archery competitions there along with markets and fairs to celebrate St Bart's day for hundreds of years. The fair started as a 3 day event but ended up lasting for 2 weeks and was a celebration that people travelled from all over Europe to attend. Although the fair had been held for over 650 years it was closed down by the Victorians because they felt it got too rowdy.

Entrance to the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great

We also visited the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great but I have to admit that by that point the rain had started to get the better of me and I stopped taking notes so I can't tell you much about it.

The Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great

We had a really great evening and I found it really interesting hearing more about people and places I've come across before thanks to the books I've read! It was lovely to chat to Michelle Harrison and she very kindly signed our books for us in a nearby pub before it was time for us to make our way home.

I'd like to say a massive thank you to Simon & Schuster for organising the event and inviting me to it. I really enjoyed myself and would definitely recommend doing a ghost walk next time you're in London!

Who was there:
Kat & Catherine - Simon & Schuster
Michelle Harrison - Website

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Review: The 13 Curses - Michelle Harrison

When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back.

Trapped in the fairy realm, Red must beg an audience with the fairy court. There, she strikes a bargain. Her brother will be returned - but only if she can find the charms of Tanya's bracelet scattered in the human world.

Returning to Elvesden Manor, Red is assisted by Tanya and Fabian, and a desperate hunt begins. Soon they make a shocking discovery. The charms are now cursed with the twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent . . . and the longer they are missing, the worse the consequences will be.

Can Red, Tanya and Fabian find all the charms? And even if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

Thirteen Treasures Trilogy:
One Wish
The 13 Treasures
The 13 Curses
The 13 Secrets

Visit Michelle Harrison's website for more information

Review:
After Red sacrificed herself to save Tanya at the end of The 13 Treasures she is now trapped in the fairy realm. She is determined to use the opportunity to continue the search for her missing brother so she can finally bring him home. When Warwick ends up caught in a fairy ring and taken to the fairy realm himself they both find themselves trapped by the Hedgewitch. Working together to escape they eventually make it to the court where Red agrees to accept a task in order to have her brother returned to her. She must find the 13 charms from Tanya's bracelet and Warwick will be held captive by the fairies until she returns. After enlisting the help of Tanya and Fabian Red begins her search but can they track down the charms before they cause damage in the human realm thanks to the curses the fairies have put on them?

I have to admit that I'm not usually a big fan of books about fairies, they tend to be my least favourite paranormal creature so I'm wary about picking up books about them. Having said that I really enjoyed the first book in Michelle Harrison's Thirteen Treasures series so I was looking forward to finding out what happened next. I don't read a lot of children's literature but this is a fun series and one that I think will be extremely popular with younger children.

I enjoyed the chance to find out more about Warwick's past and what happened to Fabian's mother and it was great to get to see a bit of the Seelie and Unseelie courts when Red goes to them to make her appeal. The fairies in this series are devious and darker than you find in some other books and I actually prefer them that way. You definitely wouldn't want to cross paths with these fairies! It is interesting to see the ways that Tanya, Red and the others have of avoiding notice from the fairies - for example by wearing their clothes inside out or dressing in red to name a couple of them.

I hate to say it but I found that this story dragged a little which is something that surprised me compared to the first book. Although there is some action in the first half of the book as they are captured by the Hedgewitch I felt it was quite slow moving. The main part of the quest doesn't start until around page 300 and then I felt they were able to track down the charms a little too easily, I thought it would have been a much harder task. In spite of those minor problems this was still an enjoyable read and the ending has left me very curious to see how the trilogy ends in The 13 Secrets. I would recommend this series to younger readers who enjoy fantasy and fairy stories.

Source: I was given this book by Kirsty from The Overflowing 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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Friday, 25 May 2012

Review: The Last Echo - Kimberly Derting

IN THE BEGINNING
Violet's morbid ability to sense echoes from the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets. The only people she told were her supportive parents and boyfriend Jay.

NOW SHE CAN FINALLY BE HONEST
Violet hopes that working with a special investigative team will give her the chance to actually save lives - or at least catch more killers. But the instant connection she feels with mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling, and their unique bond creates tension with Jay.

IN THE END, ALL THAT'S LEFT IS AN ECHO
When she discovers the body of a student murdered by 'the collector', Violet is determined to solve the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realise that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection, and that she may have caught his eye.

Will the next life Violet has to save be her own?

The Body Finder Series:
The Body Finder
Desires of the Dead
The Last Echo
There will be a fourth book in this series but the title and release date are currently unknown

Visit Kimberly Derting's website for more information

Review:
The Body Finder was one of my favourite books of 2010 and I have been a fan of Kimberly Derting and this series ever since I read it. It shouldn't come as any surprise to hear that I have been eagerly waiting for this book since I read Desires of the Dead last year. Considering the lengthy wait and my high expectations it would have been easy to end up disappointed but I'm happy to say that The Last Echo completely blew me away and was by far my favourite instalment to the series so far! Kimberly Derting hit the ball right out of the park with this one and I have no idea how I'll survive the wait until the final book of the series next year!

As The Last Echo is the third book in the body finder series I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review will already have read the first two books. Therefore this will include spoilers for the previous books but will remain spoiler free for The Last Echo - don't say I didn't warn you if you choose to carry on reading!

Violet has been through a lot since we first met her, she has helped track down several murderers and almost been killed in the process. She has seen more dead bodies than anyone would ever want to see - especially considering she is only 17 years old - and she has been recruited by an FBI agent to work on a special psychic task force. Yes, it has definitely been an interesting year for Vi! Luckily she has a supportive boyfriend Jay who has always known about her abilities and her family are there to stand by her. On the downside she is about to face her toughest adversary yet and things will never be the same again.

Violet has always kept her abilities a secret so it is strange for her to be working with her new team and she finds it hard to trust them at first. I really enjoyed getting to find out more about Sara and Rafe along with meeting other team members Krystal, Sam and Gemma. They all have slightly different abilities and I'm enjoying discovering just what they are capable of. Violet feels guilty that her powers are only useful after a murder has been committed, her ability to sense the echo left behind on both the killer and the body doesn't offer much help trying to stop a crime from being committed in the first place. Some of the others are able to sense things before they happen and Violet wants to find a way to use her gift to stop future murders. Their latest case against a serial killer dubbed as "the collector" isn't going to be easy though and he has his sights set on collecting one of their own.

I found myself slightly frustrated that we don't get to see more of Jay in this book, I absolutely love him and think he and Violet are made for each other. He has always been such a good friend to her and he is incredibly romantic, the kind of boyfriend any girl would want to have! I was pleased to see that most of the time they are together things are going better between them than they were in the last book though. While I like Rafe as a character and desperately want to know more about his abilities I am frustrated that Violet seems so drawn to him and I really hope that she doesn't end up ditching Jay. I can see why Violet feels able to share things with Rafe that she is wary of talking to Jay about but considering how Jay has been there for her for so many years I think he understands her better than she understands herself! I think I'm just a little bit fed up with the whole love triangle thing as it seems to be occurring in almost every YA series I read. At least it isn't done too heavy handedly in these books though.

What I love most about this series is the mystery. Kimberly Derting always includes short chapters from the killer's perspective and while they are always creepy I think she outdid herself this time around. Scenes in The Last Echo

Source: Received for review from Headline in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Book Trailer & Cover Comparison: Dark Inside - Jeyn Roberts

Last year I read Jeyn Roberts' debut novel Dark Inside and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a dark and disturbing dystopian novel that made for gripping reading! If you haven't read this one yet you can read my full review here but I'd highly recommend the book for anyone who likes a good zombie story.

Have a look at the trailer if you still can't make up your mind:



Dark Inside was first published as a hardback last year and today Macmillan release the paperback version with a brand new cover so I thought it would be fun to compare the different versions.

Hardback Cover:

Paperback Cover:

What do you think? Do you have a favourite? I actually find it really hard to choose between them because I like them both in different ways. I think the black and white cover stands out really well, I love the crack down the middle which symbolises the earthquakes that play such a major part in the story. I also love the way the faces have been added and the way they are almost an optical illusion so you don't quite spot them when you just glance at the cover. The bright red number four stands for the way the story is told from four different perspectives.

Then we have the new paperback cover. The deep red would really jump out at me from the shelves when I'm looking around a book store. I actually think this cover looks a lot like a movie poster and considering I'd love to see this book made into a film that is a great bonus. The hand is really creepy (but not quite as creepy as the actual zombies in the book!) and I like the fact that you still have the faces of the four main characters.

I still can't make up my mind which I like best but I think they are both fantastic covers and I'd definitely be drawn to either of them in the book shop. I can't wait to see what the cover for the sequel Rage Within looks like when it comes out this August. That is a book I can't wait to get my hands on!

Have you read Dark Inside? What did you think of it? Has it been added to your wish list? Which cover do you like best? Who else is dying to get their hands on a copy of Rage Within?

Hardback / Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Review: Lord of Rage - Jill Monroe

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out…

Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage…in a dark bear of a man.

The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.

Royal House of Shadows Series:
Lord of the Vampires - Gena Showalter
Lord of Rage - Jill Monroe
Lord of the Wolfyn - Jessica Anderson
Lord of the Abyss - Nalini Singh

Visit Jill Monroe's website for more information

Review:
I was really curious about the Royal House of Shadows series, 4 books written by 4 different authors and all based on a different fairytale - whats not to like about that? Especially when one of the authors is Nalini Singh and another is Gena Showalter - both authors who have written books I have enjoyed in the past. I hadn't read anything by Jill Monroe or Jessica Anderson before so I thought this would be a great way to try their work too. Lord of Rage is the second book and Jill Monroe's contribution to the series.

Lord of Rage is based on the tale of Goldilocks and is the tale of Nicolai's younger sister Breena. Raised as a princess Breena always knew it would be her duty to marry a man chosen by her father to make an alliance between kingdoms. Everything changes when Elden comes under attack and her parents are killed by the blood sorcerer. On their death beds the king and queen used the last of their magic to send their 4 children to safety. Breena finds herself alone in the forest - lost, terrified and grieving for her family she is tired and hungry when she stumbles across the isolated cottage that Osborn shares with his brothers Bernt and Torben. Osborn is the last of the Ursan beserkers, his village was destroyed in a vampire attack that only his 2 young brothers survived. After years working as a mercenary to provide for them all Osborn wants now is a quiet life and to eventually get revenge on the vampires that took everything from them. The last thing he needs is a beautiful stranger invading his space, particularly one who has been invading his dreams to share passionate kisses. Breena is determined to trace her brothers and discover what happened to their kingdom and she will do whatever it takes to get Osborn to help her achieve her goals.

I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of the first book in this series which surprised me because I'm a fan of Gena Showalter. This is the first book that I've read by Jill Monroe so I wasn't too sure what to expect when I picked up Lord of Rage but I found I enjoyed it more than the first book. There seemed to be more humour to the story and I laughed several times while I was reading it. I liked the fact that the comparison to Goldilocks was more obvious and I did find it amusing when Breena steals the beserker's porridge, breaks their chair and falls asleep in his bed!

I wasn't the biggest fan of Breena to begin with though, she comes across as pretty useless and there were several times when she listed her top skill as being good at brushing her hair. Now I know she was a princess who'd led a very sheltered life but I like my heroines to have a bit more spunk to them than that and I was worried she was going to be a complete doormat. She did change quite a bit as Osborn started training her though and I was pleased to see her start to gain confidence and grow up a bit. Osborn was a tortured hero with a difficult past who has spent years focused on getting revenge. I actually loved his brothers more than I loved him but he did grow on me as I got to know him better. I was annoyed by the way he kept pawing at Breena every chance he got but would then push her away and be incredible rude to her though. He seemed to change his mind about what he wanted so often that I was almost left with whiplash! Considering how young and innocent she was supposed to be I also felt that she accepted his attitude and attentions a bit too eagerly.

Overall I enjoyed this more than the first book in the series and I will read on to find out what happened to Breena's other brothers and to see if Nicolai can manage to regain his kingdom but unfortunately I don't think this is a series I'll want to re-read in the future.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Review: Fated - Alyson Noel

Strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear from nowhere. Worried that Daire's having a breakdown, her mother sends her to stay with the grandmother she's never met, who lives on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico. There Daire crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes.

Her grandmother recognises Daire's episodes for what they are - a call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, a person who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire must be quick to learn how to harness her powers, because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter out to steal them.

Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and discover whether Dace is the guy she's meant to be with . . . or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

The Soul-Seekers Series:
Fated
Echo (November 2012)
Mystic (2013)
Horizon (2013)

Visit Alyson Noel's website for more information

Review:
Daire has spent her life travelling the world with her mother who works as a make-up artist on various movie sets. She has never had somewhere to call home and has to start all over again every time they head off to a new destination. As she approaches her sixteenth birthday she starts suffering with strange visions and worries that she is losing her mind. When the doctors want to institutionalise her Daire's mother sends her to live with Paloma, the grandmother she has never met, as a last resort. Paloma may not have been in Daire's life as she was growing up but she claims to know why she is having these visions and promises to help her control them.

I have to confess that I've only read the first book in Alyson Noel's Immortals series, it is a series I want to continue but I just haven't had time to finish it yet. I couldn't resist Fated though - it sounded completely different to anything else I've been reading recently and I was intrigued by the idea of finding out more about Native American culture, shamans and spirit animals. I wasn't disappointed and Fated is a great start to this new series and it is one I'm looking forward to continuing.

When we are introduced to Daire she is living the high life in Morocco out on a date with the popular young heart throb from the movie her mother is working on. She seems just like any other sixteen year old until the terrifying visions start and she becomes hysterical. She has no explanation for the things that are happening to her which just makes it all the more frightening and she genuinely fears she is losing her mind. She never met her father's family, he died before she was born and her grandmother disappeared shortly after his death and hadn't been heard from since. When Paloma contacts her mother out of the blue Daire is horrified at the idea of going to live with a complete stranger in some small town in the middle of the desert. She resents her mother for sending her there but deep down she knows there is no other alternative unless she wants to be admitted to hospital.

As Daire gradually gets to know Paloma she finally realises what it is like to have a place that she can consider her home. She even starts to make some friends and gets to attend a proper school for the first time which is something she only ever dreamed of before. At first her grandmother's talk of spirit guides, magic and Soul Seekers just makes Daire raise her eyebrows and wonder if crazy runs in the family but she soon starts to realise that there is truth to what Paloma is saying. Daire starts to learn to control her abilities and as a reader you are taken on a fascinating journey with her into the spirit realm.

Fated moves at a good pace, the story is full of magic and mythology and there is the beginning of a promising romance that I'm looking forward to seeing more of. This is definitely a series I'm keen to continue and one I'd recommend to anyone looking for something a bit different in the YA paranormal genre. I can't wait to see what happens to Daire next!

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Book Trailer: Fated - Alyson Noel

I have been looking forward to reading Fated, the first book in Alyson Noel's new Soul Seekers series ever since I was lucky enough to meet her at a Macmillan event last year. Fated is a fabulous start to the series (I'll be posting my review later today) and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

Strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear from nowhere. Worried that Daire's having a breakdown, her mother sends her to stay with the grandmother she's never met, who lives on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico. There Daire crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes.

Her grandmother recognises Daire's episodes for what they are - a call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, a person who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire must be quick to learn how to harness her powers, because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter out to steal them.

Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and discover whether Dace is the guy she's meant to be with . . . or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

The Soul-Seekers Series:
Fated
Echo (November 2012)
Mystic (2013)
Horizon (2013)

Visit Alyson Noel's website for more information

Now have a look at the UK book trailer:



You can also watch this video of Alyson Noel talking about her inspiration for the Soul Seekers series and some of the research she did before she started writing it:

Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: Night Pleasures - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Amanda Devereaux has a unique family. Her mother and older siblings are witches and psychics, and her twin sister is a vampire hunter. All Amanda wants is a quiet, normal life, but when she finds herself the target of an attack meant for her twin, she wakes to find herself handcuffed to a sexy, blond stranger.

Kyrian of Thrace is a Dark-Hunter: an immortal warrior who has traded his soul for one moment of vengeance upon his enemies. He spends his eternal days hunting the vampires and Daimons that prey upon mankind, and he is currently on the hunt for a very old and deadly Daimon named Desiderius who has deemed it sport to handcuff Kyrian to a human while he hunts him. Now Kyrian and Amanda must find a way to break their bond before they give in to their dangerous attraction to one another. Or before Desiderius kills them both.

The Dark-Hunters Series:
The Beginning (Short Story)
Fantasy Lover
Dragonswan (Novella) (Were-Hunter 0.5)
Night Pleasures
Night Embrace
Dance with the Devil
Kiss of the Night
Night Play (Were-Hunter 1)
Seize the Night
Sins of the Night
Unleash the Night (Were-Hunter 2)
Dark Side of the Moon (Were-Hunter 3)
The Dream-Hunter (Dream-Hunter 1)
Fear the Darkness (Short Story)
Devil May Cry
Upon the Midnight Clear (Dream-Hunter 2)
Dream Chaser (Dream-Hunter 3)
Acheron
One Silent Night
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter 4)
Bad Moon Rising (Hellchaser 1)
Dark-Hunter: An Insider's Guide (Hellchaser 2)
No Mercy (Were-Hunter 5)
Retribution
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter 5, Were-Hunter 6, Hellchaser 3)
Time Untime (Were-Hunter 7, Hellchaser 4)
Styxx
Dark Bites (Short Story Anthology)
Son of No One (Were-Hunter 8, Hellchaser 5)
Dragonbane (Were-Hunter 9, Hellchaser 6)
Dragonmark (2016)

Chronicles of Nick Series:
(This is a YA spin off from Sherrilyn Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunters series)
Infinity
Invincible
Infamous
Inferno
Illusion
Instinct
Invasion (2016)
Intensity (2017)

Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's website for more information

Review:
Kyrian, warrior prince of Thrace, gave up his soul to become a Dark-Hunter after suffering the ultimate betrayal by the love of his life - his wife Theone. He has spent the last 2,000 years protecting humans from the vampires that prey on them but has never fully recovered from his broken heart. Amanda has eight older sisters including a psychic, a vampire hunter and a voodoo priestess but has never really felt like she fits in with her flamboyant, paranormal loving family. All she wants is to settle down with a normal man and have a quiet family life. When she wakes up handcuffed to Kyrian she gets a lot more than she bargained for and starts to realise that perhaps all things paranormal aren't quite as bad as she thought they were.

The Dark-Hunter series is another one that I started ages ago but never got around to continuing. I loved the first book Fantasy Lover so it was about time I picked up Night Pleasures and luckily it didn't disappoint. I have a feeling that Sherrilyn Kenyon is going to be quickly added to my favourite authors list and this is already shaping up to become a favourite series! The story has everything I look for in a paranormal romance - interesting mythology, a good selection of believable characters, an engaging plot with a nice amount of action but most of all a hot romance with a likeable heroine and a hero you can fall for.

I liked Kyrian when I "met" him in Infinity (the first book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's spin off YA series) so it was nice to actually get the chance to find out more about him. Learning about his past you can see he was a brave and proud warrior who worked hard to protect his people from the Romans. It was heartbreaking to find out about the way his wife betrayed him, he gave up everything for her and she threw it all back in his face. It's no wonder he is wary of trusting anyone again! Considering everything he has been through he could have turned into a bitter and uncaring man but he hasn't - he acts as a father figure to Nick, cares for his housekeeper and fellow Dark-Hunters and immediately puts himself in danger to protect Amanda and her family.

Amanda always thought she was the normal one amongst her crazy family, her mother and sisters are all involved in the supernatural community while she is a plain old accountant. We'd actually already met one of her sisters in Fantasy Lover (Selena) so it was nice to catch up with a familiar face and I enjoyed the interactions between all of the sisters. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we'll see more of them as the series continues. All Amanda ever wanted was a quiet life that didn't involve anything paranormal but after meeting Kyrian she starts to wonder if a normal life would be quite what it's cracked up to be. I loved the romance between these two, there is fab banter between and they have great chemistry. The love scenes are sensual, romantic and hot which is just what I'd expect after reading the first book. It was great to catch up with Julian and Grace too and find out how they are getting on a year or so on from the ending of their book.

If you're one of the few people who is yet to discover this series then I'd definitely recommend it to paranormal romance fans. I love the Greek mythology, the unusual take on vampires and daimons, and Sherrilyn Kenyon has a writing style that sucks you in and makes you not want to leave. I can't wait to get started on Night Embrace!

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Quick Review: Dragonswan - Sherrilyn Kenyon

New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon delivers a special collector's-edition tale of unexpected passion woven from the mysteries of a celebrated ancient tapestry.

Beautiful scholar Channon MacRea has spent years studying the legendary Dragon Tapestry, devoting days and nights to deciphering the impenetrable Old English symbolism. Then one evening the unnaturally handsome Sebastian appears. He claims to hold the key to solving the tapestry's mysteries. Bearing magnificently taut and tanned flesh marked by intriguing scars of battle, he also claims to be a dragon slayer trapped between two worlds.

For Channon there's only one way to finally uncover the secrets of the intricate embroidery-by following the seductive stranger into a fantastic alternate world of magic, danger, and erotic adventure.

The Dark-Hunters Series:
The Beginning (Short Story)
Fantasy Lover
Dragonswan (Novella) (Were-Hunter 0.5)
Night Pleasures
Night Embrace
Dance with the Devil
Kiss of the Night
Night Play (Were-Hunter 1)
Seize the Night
Sins of the Night
Unleash the Night (Were-Hunter 2)
Dark Side of the Moon (Were-Hunter 3)
The Dream-Hunter (Dream-Hunter 1)
Fear the Darkness (Short Story)
Devil May Cry
Upon the Midnight Clear (Dream-Hunter 2)
Dream Chaser (Dream-Hunter 3)
Acheron
One Silent Night
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter 4)
Bad Moon Rising (Hellchaser 1)
Dark-Hunter: An Insider's Guide (Hellchaser 2)
No Mercy (Were-Hunter 5)
Retribution
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter 5, Were-Hunter 6, Hellchaser 3)
Time Untime (Were-Hunter 7, Hellchaser 4)
Styxx
Dark Bites (Short Story Anthology)
Son of No One (Were-Hunter 8, Hellchaser 5)
Dragonbane (Were-Hunter 9, Hellchaser 6)
Dragonmark (2016)

Chronicles of Nick Series:
(This is a YA spin off from Sherrilyn Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunters series)
Infinity
Invincible
Infamous
Inferno
Illusion
Instinct
Invasion (2016)
Intensity (2017)

Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's website for more information

Review:
The Dragonswan novella was originally published in the Tapestry anthology that also features stories from Karen Marie Moning, Lynn Kurland and Madeline Hunter but has since been published on it's own in both paperback and ebook formats. This is a novella so don't expect a full length book, I believe it is about 80 pages long (I read the kindle version so can't be 100% sure on that) and if you're looking for a quick but fun read then this is perfect. This fits into the Dark-Hunters series between the prequel Fantasy Lover and the first book Night Pleasures but as it is our first introduction to the Were-Hunters and there is no crossover of characters it can easily be read as a stand alone story.

I don't want to go into detail about the story because it would be too easy to give spoilers but this was a fun, fast, paranormal romance that is perfect when you've not got much time to spare but want to read a full story. There isn't much time for the author to built the romance between Channon and Sebastian so it is definitely a case of instant lust that very quickly turns to more but there is an intense chemistry between them that was enjoyable to read and both characters are very easy to like - Sebastian is particularly delicious.

I enjoyed finding out more about the Were-Hunters and how they came about and am glad we get to see more of them in the Dark-Hunters series. Sebastian is a dragon shifter and I have to confess I have a bit of a thing for dragons so I'm hoping we get his brother's story at some point in the future!

This story also has one of the best opening lines ever:
"Be Kind to dragons, for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup."

Recommended for fans of the Dark-Hunters series or for people looking to get a taste of Sherrilyn Kenyon's writing style.

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Publisher Spotlight: Hodder & Orchard - July - November 2012


I thought it would be fun to start spotlighting new releases that different publishers have coming up over the next few months for us to look forward to.  I'm constantly looking for new books to add to my wish list and thought it would be a nice way of spreading the bookish love with other bloggers.  It's been a little while since my last Publisher Spotlight post so I thought it was about time for another one!  So in the spotlight today we have . . .

 & 

Today I'm going to talk about the YA titles that Hodder Children's Books and Orchard Books are publishing in the second half of 2012. They all look fab & I can't wait to read them!  Check out the Hodder Children's Books website and the Orchard Books website for more information. All book descriptions have been taken from Amazon UK unless otherwise stated.

July the 5th:

First up we have A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton, this is the second book in her Winter trilogy and one I'm really looking forward to. You can read my review of the first book A Witch in Winter here. Can I just say how much I love this cover - don't you think it's gorgeous? Visit Ruth Warburton's website for more information.

Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what. But magic - like love - is uncontrollable and soon, Anna is being hunted. Abe wants Anna to embrace her power, while Seth is pushing Anna to accept that his feelings are real. She finally does ... a moment too late. Suddenly, it's like the Salem witch trials all over again: burnings, torture and faceless judgements. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, who will save her?

The second novel in the Winter trilogy, this follows the critically acclaimed debut A WITCH IN WINTER.

Next we have the first book in a new series by David Gatward called Doom Rider. I don't read a lot of YA horror because I'm a big wimp but I think this may be more of an action story and I'm very curious about it. Visit David Gatward's website for more information.

Seth Crow has lived a thousand lives, and in each one he's been murdered before he turns thirteen.

And now he's being hunted again. But this time it's different.

Enter Lily, who tells him of his fate: Seth is CONQUEST. The first of the four riders of the Apocalypse. And people want him dead, before he can fulfil his destiny.

Seth's only hope lies in finding the other riders - Strife, Famine and Death.

Together, the fate of the world lies in their hands ...

Next we have Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. Now I don't read many contemporary books but I absolutely love the sound of this one and am looking forward to picking it up soon. Visit Cath Crowley's website for more information.

'We've got at least seven hours to get what we want before the sun comes up.'

School is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. Somewhere in the glassy darkness, he's out there, spraying colour, birds and blue sky on the night. And Lucy knows that a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for - really fall for.

The last person Lucy wants to spend this night with is Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since punching him in the nose on the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells Lucy he knows where to find Shadow, the two of them are suddenly on an all-night search to places where Shadow's pieces of heartbreak and escape echo off the city walls. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

Also published in July is the second book in Ally Cater's Heist Society series Uncommon Criminals. I've heard really good things about this series and it sounds like a lot of fun but it is one I haven't started yet. Perhaps I'll get around to trying it soon! Visit Ally Carter's website for more information.

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she's simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That's why Kat isn't surprised when she's asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn't been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long - and in Kat's world, history almost always repeats itself. But it's the third problem that makes Kat's crew the most nervous, and that is...the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she's not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend -- the gorgeous Hale - and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless for this heist.

This time, Kat's going to have to make up her own rules...

The final July release is one of the ones that I'm looking forward to the most and that is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. It's not often we get to read books written from the boy's point of view and this one sounds fabulous. I also adore the cover - so eye catching! Visit Kendare Blake's website for more information.

Cas Lowood is no ordinary guy - he hunts dead people.

People like Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. A beautiful, murderous ghost entangled in curses and rage. Cas knows he must destroy her, but as her tragic past is revealed, he starts to understand why Anna has killed everyone who's ever dared to enter her spooky home.

Everyone, that is, except Cas...







August the 2nd:

If you enjoyed Sam Hawksmoor's debut novel The Repossession then I'm sure you're already looking forward to the sequel The Hunting with is being published in August. I guess I need to hurry up and read the first book so I'm ready for this one! Visit Sam Hawksmoor's website for more information.

Genie and Rian thought they'd beaten The Fortress and stopped the dreadful experiments. But now someone even more ruthless has taken over, and wants to investigate why the experiments didn't kill Genie Magee. She is Fortress property, he claims - along with the other survivors.

Now there's $10,000 reward on their heads, armed roadblocks on the highway, and the dreaded threat of 'Mosquito' that can shut down their brainwaves by using their genetic information against them. There's only one possible escape from the bounty hunters with shotguns, and that's down the wild unforgiving river to a bleak future forever on the run.

Or they must turn and face The Fortress, find out its secrets, and use them against it. Seize their lives back, and fight for their very right to exist!

Have you read Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series? Guardian Angel is the second book in his spin off Aramov series that started with People's Republic. Visit Robert Muchamore's website for more information.

Guardian Angel is the second book in a brand-new CHERUB series from Robert Muchamore. Ryan has saved Ethan's life more than once. Ethan thinks he must be a guardian angel. But Ryan works for CHERUB, a secret organisation with one key advantage: even experienced criminals never suspect that children are spying on them. Ethan's family runs a billion-dollar criminal empire and Ryan's job is to destroy it. Can Ryan complete his mission without destroying Ethan as well?

For official purposes, these children do not exist.


Next up we have Lisa Stasse's debut novel The Forsaken which sounds amazing. It's been described as a cross between Lost and The Hunger Games which immediately caught my attention and I love how kick ass the main character looks on the cover. Yup, I definitely can't wait for this one! Visit Lisa Stasse's website for more information.

Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.

But when she unexpectedly fails 'the test' - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.

Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Luis, a boy who will become her love...and her lifeline.

Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there's more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?

The first of a planned trilogy, this incredible novel will leave you gasping for the sequel...

Another August release I'm really excited about is The Blessed by Tonya Hurley. I love the idea of a contemporary retelling of three famous female martyrs, it's so different from anything else I've read and I can't wait to try it. I also adore the UK cover for this book - let me just say if I didn't already have a tattoo between my shoulder blades I think I'd be getting one done that looked very similar to this cover! Visit Tonya Hurley's website for more information.

Brooklyn teens Lucy, Cecilia and Agnes find themselves in the emergency room at Perpetual Help Hospital at the lowest point in their lives. Lucy, the superficial party girl; Cecilia, a drop out rock chick; and Agnes, a hopeless romantic. All rebels running from their lives and themselves, plagued by broken hearts and broken dreams.

Enter Sebastian: mysterious, compelling, seductive.

He brings the girls together and seems to provide each of them with what they long for ... and they begin to heal.

But Sebastian is on the run - and soon the girls are hunted too ...

A dark, contemporary rock 'n' roll retelling of three famous female martyrs - Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy - and their transformation from street delinquents to soul models.

September the 6th:

If you're a fan of The Secret Circle series created by L.J. Smith then keep an eye out for the fourth book in the series The Divide written by Aubrey Clark. I have to admit that even though I bought the first 3 books way back before I started blogging I've never got around to reading them!

The bonds of the Secret Circle are weakening. Cassie's evil half-sister has surfaced and won't rest until she has taken Cassie's place in the Secret Circle. And a band of powerful witch-hunters are targeting the group, determined to destroy them.

Will the circle remain intact despite the powerfully evil magic that has infiltrated their ring?

And will Cassie survive this ultimate battle between good and evil?




Shut Out by Kody Keplinger sounds like a fun read for contemporary fans. I've heard great things about Kody's debut The DUFF so must add this one to my wish list! Visit Kody Keplinger's website for more information.

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all. She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.
(Description taken from Kody Keplinger's website)

October the 4th:

Now I'm a massive fantasy fan so I'm really excited about Catherine Fisher's new book Obsidian Mirror. Time travel, mystery & adventure with a male main character - what more can you ask for? Visit Catherine Fisher's website for more information.

Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ...

The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans.

But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

November the 1st:

For those of you who read R.J. Anderson's Ultraviolet you'll be pleased to know you don't have much longer to wait for the sequel Quicksilver. This is another one of those series that I've heard good things about and want to read at some point but haven't got around to adding to my mountainous to read pile yet! Visit R.J. Anderson's website for more information.

Once I was a girl who was special.
Now I am extraordinary.
And they will never stop hunting me.

The compelling follow-up to the bestselling ULTRAVIOLET, this psychological thriller will take your breath away...

I'm sure Vampire Diaries fans will be excited about the third book in The Hunters series created by L.J. Smith - Destiny Rising. I read the original series back before I started blogging & have always meant to re-read them so I can review them but never seem to find the time. One day I'll get around to it so I can read the two new spin off series too!

Elena Gilbert has never been an ordinary teenager. After falling in love with the irresistible vampires Stefan and Damon Salvatore, she became a vampire, died, returned from the dead, and journeyed to hell and back to save Stefan. Now in college, Elena faces a terrifying new danger and discovers her destiny.

I read the first book in Gabriella Poole's Darke Academy series Secret Lives not long after I started blogging (you can read my review here) and although I enjoyed the book it seems to have been one of those series I completely forgot about. With the fourth book Lost Spirits being released in November it really is about time I get caught up! Gabriella Poole is the pseudonym of Gillian Philip and you can find out more about the series by visiting her website here.

A new term, a new location for the Darke Academy - and everything is different for Cassie Bell. The beauty of the turquoise Kenyan sea can't make up for the loss of her soulmate, Ranjit. He's on the run, and Cassie will do anything to find him.

But when the evil Katerina and her mother appear, more powerful than ever, Cassie has to make a crucial decision.

And her love for Ranjit might just be her ultimate weakness ...




Last but not least is another one for Robert Muchamore fans. If you love the CHERUB books and always wanted to know about the history of the organisation then you need to look out for One Shot Kill in November.

Spring, 1943. The war is turning against Germany, but Hitler isn't giving up. In a secret bunker deep in occupied France, scientists are hard at work on Hitler's latest deadly weapon: code name FZG-76.

Back in England Henderson's boys will need to undergo advanced sniper training if they've any chance of infiltrating the bunker. Parachuting into occupied France, they track down a secret dossier filled with invaluable material - and uncover the meaning of the enigmatic code.

For official purposes, these children do not exist.

So what do you think of the Hodder & Orchard upcoming releases? Which ones are you most excited about? Personally I can't wait for A Witch in Love, Anna Dressed in Blood, The Forsaken, The Blessed & Obsidian Mirror!

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