Sunday 31 March 2013

Book Review - The Maleficent Seven

Title: The Maleficent Seven
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant (book 7.5 -novella)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 28 Mar 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0007500925

A brilliant, hilarious one-off novella in the Skulduggery Pleasant universe, from number-one-bestselling author Derek Landy
This time, the bad guys take the stage.
Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mister Ghastly Bespoke.
When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she's got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…

My Review
It's here!!! It's finally here, another book from the masterful Derek Landy. I got this as an Easter present today and got stuck right in. Of course I finished it in a mere few hours. Derek Landy is one of those authors who I will drop EVERYTHING for! My reading pile may be 200 or so books long, but his books will jump to the top everytime. They are just kick butt awesome.
This book is a spin off novella, told a couple of months after the events in Kingdom of the Wicked, but this time the story is told from Tanith's side of things and she's a bad guy now.
At 280 pages this is quite short but still packed with so much awesomeness. I always loved Tanith - she's one of my favourite characters, I still wish she would come back to the good side, but I will admit she makes quite a cool villain. This book also reveals some of her past which I found fascinating and it was good to see that history.
Tanith is trying to track down, steal and destroy four weapons that can kill with a single nick, they are called 'God Killer's' as nothing can stop them, she recruits a band of villains to help her, some are known favourites from earlier books such as Billy-Ray, Springheeled Jack and Dusk, whilst others are new additions. all with very different talents, and some more disgusting than others.
I got so excited whist reading this as one of the new characters has the same surname as me, I am being delusional and telling myself that Derek Landy did that deliberately, just for me. The character is male and I am of course female, but Derek can't be too obvious can he? :P  I know it's a tribute to one of his most dedicated fans!!! :D
There is a distinct lack of Skulduggery and Valkyrie in this book, but in a strange way it works, Tanith is such a strong character that she commands the page and captures the story.
I don't want to write too much about it as I don't want to give away any spoilers, just know that this book is just as incredible as all the others and yes I did laugh out loud in many places.

My Rating

Book Review - Worm Winds of Zanzibar

Title: Worm Winds of Zanzibar
Author: Martin Dukes
Series: (book 2)
Publisher: Martin Dukes
Release Date: 8th February 2013
ISBN13: 9780957567900

Alex Trueman is a boy in danger. His adventures in the strange world of Intersticia have brought him to the attention of dark powers amongst the angels. Malcolm, Alex's protector in the angelic realm of Elysium, snatches Alex and his friends away, just in time to prevent him from falling into the clutches of those whose intentions are of the most sinister kind.
Alex finds himself stranded in a different world, a world that resembles nineteenth century East Africa but one that is threatened by a terrible fate. Alex has been told that he has a special power, a power that makes him unique. Caught between the perils of crazed despots and the servants of malevolent angels, menaced by the threat of a cataclysmic natural disaster, Alex must discover the nature of his power before it is too late.  

 My Review
After reviewing book 1 last year, Martin Dukes sent me book 2 to read, I knew it was coming so was anticipating it. I wanted to know what happened to Alex and Kelly after their stint in Intersicia and if they would get back there.
Again, I'm not really keen on the cover but it matches book 1 and does fit with the story. 
Anyway, I set out with high hopes for this book, I think the world set up in book 1 was well detailed and imaginative and felt they had more to do there, I hoped this book would take us back there. I even wanted to know what became of Ganymede and the other people trapped there. I was slightly shocked when they don't go back there at all but was prepared to go with it.
This time Alex, Kelly and Henry (Alex's friend) end up transported to Zanzibar in the 19th Century, they must try to adapt to life there and learn customs to help them survive. Whilst there they meet up with some friends from Intersticia. 
I liked the world building in this book, the details and reality of 19th Century Zanzibar was impressive and it really came to life off the page, for me that made the book, everything was just so rich and detailed. I could picture the setting clearly, but I did miss the magic and wonder of  Intersticia. For me it lacked some of the charm and wonder of book 1.
There is a love triangle set up in this story, but to be honest I didn't totally believe the chemistry between Alex and Kelly in the first place, she was very moody and distant and quite fickle and Alex was very often too busy or preoccupied to even think about her - Kelly became a sort of after thought for him which meant for me, they just lacked the chemistry for it to be anything more than a mutual appreciation. But I did like the relationship between Kelly and Jamil. 
Henry started out as the average friend, but soon became rather annoying. He has a big mouth and tends to get himself and his friends in trouble. He seems to have a lack of tact and thoughtfulness for others, he is very abrupt and tends to say what he is thinking. This sometimes has funny results and sometimes dangerous. I'm not sure I liked him and was sure on more than one occassion that he would get everyone killed or betray them - he just had that vibe to me.
I liked the apocalyptic threat in the book and the fact that it was sort of an underlying threat, something that would tip everyone over the edge after they had suffered through every other problem thrown thier way. If they all survived. 
There was a host of interesting new characters and the new world was great but I did miss some of the spark of book 1. It just didn't have the same feel to me. I did still enjoy the story but it wasn't what I had expected. The writing itself was well done and Dukes does have a way with words, it just didn't capture my heart. I do want to know how it all wraps up as the ending was quite abrupt, so I will look out for book 3. 

My Rating

Friday 29 March 2013

FF (115)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question feature is
Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?

My Answer: There have certainly been a few, I know that. I get attached to characters quite easily so things become emotional quite easily. But i think the most emotional that comes to mind is from 'Before I Die' by Jenny Downham - this is overall a sad book, but when Tess comes to actually say goodbye and her family are around  her as she drifts away, makes me tear up just thinking about it. Needless to say I cried like a baby whilst reading it and when I had finished I just sat hugging the book for a good few minutes. I was an emotional wreck - but it's such a beautiful book.



Happy Hopping & Blogging. :D


Don't forget to enter the 'Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop' Ends 5th April and is International!!!

Book Review - The Eternity Cure

Title: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden (book 2)
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: 3 May 2013
ISBN13: 9780373210695

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

My Review
Thanks to Netgalley for sending me an e-copy of this book, and then to Mira Ink for sending me a physical copy. I was obviously meant to read this book and I couldn't have been more excited, I enjoyed book 1 and was really looking forward to continuing Allison's journey with her. 
This book continues on from book 1, Kanin is being held by Sarren and Allison is determined to find him. Kanin has become more to Allison than she ever imagined, and now that he has, she has to get him back. But nothing is ever that simple, with enemies and friends from the past showing up and the deadly Red Lung virus back and worse than ever Allison has her work cut out for her. Her journey leads her to places she never thought she would see, or go back to. 
I found this book quite addictive, it was one of those books that you tell yourself you will sit down with for ten minutes, or just one chapter and then end up being there for an hour and finished half the book. 
I will say it's not ideal to read this whilst eating. I started it in my lunch break at work, merrily eating chips covered in ketchup when I read a particularly gross scene of someone going mad and clawing their face off, blood spurting out with screams of hysteria - suddenly my ketchup didn't look quite so appealing. 
Saying that this book really isn't for younger readers, there is a lot of blood and violence, some mild swearing and some more blood. This is not for the faint hearted. However, I have always confessed in the past that I am a total wimp and I did manage this book, I cringed a couple of times but not enough to put me off, so really, just be warned.
The plot itself is exciting and full of surprises, I was never sure exactly where it would go and I enjoyed finding out. Allison really develops as a character and you can see her growing and making difficult decisions that will shape who she is.
I always liked Kanin and it was good to see another side of him in this book and of course Zeke, sweet, courageous, kick-butt Zeke. So glad he is back in this one, and it's good to see how much he has grown and changed too.
I'm not going to give anything else away as I don't want to spoil it, but I will say the ending!!! The ending? How can she do that to me, have to wait for ages until the next book. It's gonna be a long wait.

My Rating
P.S I will be buying a finished copy of the book as the cover matches book 1 and is awesome, here's a picture:
Isn't that awesome, and so much better fitting than the blue. <3 br=""> 

Thursday 28 March 2013

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
March 29th to April 5th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later
I hope you are eating delicious treats, whether that is chocolate eggs or hot cross buns. Whatever it is enjoy it!
And what's better than a tasty treat combined with a good book to read!
I couldn't really think of any books to fit the theme of easter so I'm just going to offer some of my favourite books. Guaranteed great reads!!!
The chosen winner can pick from one (1) of the following books:
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. 
Awesome, Kick-ass books written by a truly amazing writer. 
(If you've read book 1, this can be changed for any of the others in the series, but paperback only!)

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, 
a great Vampire series!
(Again if you have read this one, i can change it to a pre-order for book 2)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 
I hope you've all read this by now, but if not, now is your chance.
(Again, this can be swapped for any of the trilogy)

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, 
book 1 in the truly awesome Morganville Vampires series.
(once more, this can be changed for any of the books in this series)

And final option is:
Geek Girl by Holly Smale. 
An amazing new book kicking off what is bound to be a fab series.
For all those self-confessed geeks out there!

Here are the rules: 
1) Competition opens Friday 29th March
2) Competition closes on Friday 5th April Midnight GMT
3) Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
4) You Must be a Follower to enter!
5) One Name will be selected at random as the winner.
6) Contest open Internationally!
8) Winners will have 3 days to reply or another winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs taking part for more chances to win:

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Spring Cleaning Hop Winner

There were 13 total entries into this giveaway.
The winner was picked using Random.Org number generator.
The lucky number picked was: 5
This means the Winner is;
Debbie has been emailed and has 3 days to respond. Big Congrats and Thanks go to her. 
She has won: 
A copy of 'The Iron King' by Julie Kagawa and 'New Girl' by Paige Harbison 
Congrats to Debbie, thanks to all who entered.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Book Promo - The Devils Triangle

When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.

While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.

While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.

Author Bio: 

Who am I? Well, let's start with who I am NOT. I am Not tall. I am Not a genius. And though a lot of people have assumed I was, I was never, ever a cheerleader in high school. Actually, I was a klutz, a nerd and kind of quiet when I was in high school. I am still a klutz, a much better listener than I am a talker (though my husband would probably disagree with that) and still a nerd (and very proud of that thank you!)

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and when I was a kid I loved to wander the streets with my best friend John. We'd disappear for the whole day, returning conveniently when it was time for dinner. During the summer, I'd dance in the spray of the johnny pump (the fire hydrant). Some summers I'd spend in Ischia, the Italian island where my dad was from. 

I have always loved to travel and wander. My most valued possession is my passport. I love to write stories that take me and my readers places and of course I love traveling places to do the research for my books (can you say write offs!). I write YA both contemporary and paranormal romance but I like to read everything and discover new and unusual books. 


Sunday 24 March 2013

Book Review - The Unseen Guest

Title: The Unseen Guest
Author: Maryrose Wood
Series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 11 April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0061791192

"Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves." The Incorrigible children actually were.

Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences--yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.

But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her.

The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?

My Review
I really got into this series, it's fun and exciting and sort of like the Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket. At the end of book 2 I was still left with a lot of unanswered questions and I was desperate for this one so I could get some answers.
I requested this book at the library and they were very good and ordered it for me, it actually came in quite quickly. So I settled down to find out what was behind the mysteries.
In that respect I was slightly disappointed, nothing is really answered in this book. More mysteries and questions are created but nothing is really solved. We still don't know where the children came from, why Lord Frederick has illness of a werewolf, who Judge Quinzy really is or why Penelope has to disguise her real hair coulour. All of these questions are driving me mad!
The plot thickens in this book, we find a bit more about the children's earlier years in the wood and get closer to some of the other characters but I'm still left wondering!!! Whilst I am frustrated, I did still enjoy the book. The children are growing up and learning new skills and developing individual personalities, they captivate you and make you want to know more about them. You also see Penelope really mature in this book and it was refreshing. She still maintains a certain about of childhood innocence but she is definitely becoming more mature. 
Filled with charming illustrations to go with the story, this book is delightful to read, it holds your attention and the plot flows well so you are never bored or waiting for something to happen. Some bits are very silly and unbelievable, but it's all part of the books charm.
I hope there will be another one out soon because I really want to solve this whole mystery and these books are strangely addictive. 

My Rating

Saturday 23 March 2013

Guest Post - T. Rae Mitchell

How Fate’s Fables Came To Be

            For some reason all my best ideas come to me in the shower. And that’s exactly where I was––hogging all the hot water––when the idea for Fate’s Fables poured in. But before I get to that, you need to know I was pouting. My favorite bookstore had closed. A charming little place full of eye-catching book displays, hardwood floors patched with copper plates and book ladders that rolled along the brick walls of the century-old building, which had originally been a granary. So as I thought about the emptiness left behind in that hollowed-out store, I wondered what I might see if I peeked through the windows. Had anything been left behind? Strangely enough, my crazy imagination offered up a giant ten-foot tall book, a magic Book of Fables to be exact.
            Hmm, interesting.
            My frown turned upside down as a girl named Fate stepped into the deserted bookstore. I’d never had a character just pop in fully named before. I usually spend a lot of time choosing names, looking up the meanings and really making sure it fits the character. But that was her name and I knew Fate was destined to plunge inside the Book of Fables.
            Okay, this is fun.
            As the water streamed over me, so did the story. An innocent girl is unwittingly sucked into a grim Wonderland, where she must journey through eight dark fables and somehow rewrite them into happily-ever-afters.
            With my story downloaded, I stepped out of the shower, a little on the pruney side, but floating on that eureka moment every writer hopes for. I finally had an A to Z story I could sink my teeth into. And that’s pretty much how I wrote the entire novel, hanging out in the shower.

Seventeen-year-old Fate Floyd loves adventure –– as long as it’s enjoyed from the comfort of her couch. So it’s probably best she has no idea the future of the universe rests squarely on her shoulders.
Summoned by a desperate stranger’s spell in a last ditch effort to fix a colossal screw-up, Fate’s cast into a secret world bound by the ancient Book of Fables to retrieve a magical object powerful enough to set everything right. The only problem is, once she’s inside this savage wonderland, her only way out is to change the endings of the book’s eight dark fables into their mirror opposites. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to run this gauntlet alone because she meets the mysteriously familiar Finn, who’s as inexplicably drawn to her as she is to him.
As they endure horrors beyond imagining, Fate awakens to powers she never knew she possessed and Finn questions his very existence, while an insidious darkness changes him in frightening ways. Ultimately, Fate must confront the faceless evil concealing itself behind the eyes of her one true love or remain trapped within the Book of Fables forever.

T. Rae Mitchell is an incurable fantasy junkie who spent much of her youth mesmerizing her younger sisters with stories sprung from her crazy imagination. Over the years, her craving for the rush of being transported to fantastical realms became more acute. So it was only a matter of time before her habit got the best of her. Grief stricken one day upon discovering that her supply had dried up (her favorite bookstore had closed), she decided she’d had enough. Abandoning her career as an award-winning graphic designer, she entered a fantasy world of her own making called Fate’s Fables. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and son who are helping her cope with her addiction. Fate’s Fables is her debut novel.

Check out the Trailer: 

T.Rae would love to know: How do you come up with your best ideas? Answer in the comments below!!!