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Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Buy or Borrow: BUY! ALL OF THEM
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
The final showdown between Gwen and Loki is coming. Things have been pretty quiet lately at Mythos so obviously, something bad is going to happen very soon. And when Linus Quinn shows up at the Academy, Gwen's thoughts are confirmed. The Protectorate are at the Academy to pick up and guard an incoming shipment of artifacts rescued by Logan and his father (back in Spartan Frost), the Reapers are gunning for these artifacts, or atleast, one specifically, and they need Gwen to use her tough magic to work out which one it is.
When the Protectorate go to move the artifacts to the Academy, the Reapers launch an attack to get them. They've become more daring, and more lethal. When their attempts to get the artifact are thwarted one of Gwen's loved ones is put in more danger than ever before when they're kidnapped in the Reapers bid to gain control of the artifact they need. A pretty harmless looking artifact, but looks are deceiving.
Feeling betrayed by everyone she knows and loves when they refuse to make the trade, Gwen goes rogue. She may have gotten away from Loki and his Reapers with the artifact and her loved one thanks to her daring plan, but Gwen knows it's not over.
The final battle is coming, and everyone at the Academy knows it. As the Reapers prepare to storm the gates of the Academy, everyone must make a choice...whether to stand and fight. Loyalties are tested, secrets are revealed, but can Gwen work out Nike's riddles? Can she Loki for good? And will Logan and Gwen FINALLY get their happy ending with nothing getting in the way?
Well. I 'm so sad this series is over, but I'm sure I'm not the only one to appreciate the finality of Killer Frost, even if I am sad we won't be reading about Gwen again, although there's been a door left open for Rory, so we might get to visit the world again. I've loved these books, and I've loved watching Rory grow as a character from a regular girl..well as regular as you can be with touch magic, with slight anti-social tendencies, to a fierce warrior, with friends she loves, and the fully deserving of her status as Champion.
I freely admit, there's a bit of repetition in the book with the Reapers attacking, and Vivienne always flying away on her roc, and I will admit to nearly screeching in frustration as Logan and Gwen had yet another thing come between them, although it was finally solved in this book!
I love these books because they're funny, they're relevant, they're full of action and romance. But my favourite part is the mythology. There is pretty much every type of mythology and God you can think of present in this book, and they're all blended together to create this fantastic world with rich legends and history.
Killer Frost starts roughly 2 weeks after the events in Midnight Frost, the Valentines Day Dance is coming up, and Logan and Gwen are back together but still dealing with Logan's fear of her hurting her. I love how what happened in Book 5 wasn't swept under the rug, and Logan is very realistically dealing with nearly killing Gwen, and still being wary around her. So many times something like that would be swept under the rug or fixed in the space of a page.
Relationships and loyalties are tested in Killer Frost. Logan's dad won't make the trade Viv proposes to save Gwen's Grandma, and she feels betrayed by her friends as well as Metis and co when they seem to just be about to let her Grandma die. This already puts a strain on Gwen and Logan's relationship but Gwen being Gwen she decides to go rogue to steal the candle, even though it's going to hurt her friends. We see Gwen become the strong girl we've always known her to be, independent and willing to do what she has to do to save the person she loves most. Well...slightly more than Logan. To add to the sense of hurt flying around, everyone finds out Gwen's mission from Nike is to kill Loki and she's the only one who can. So it's safe to say, the drama is not held back!
I love the friendships Gwen has with Daphne, Oliver and so on, and it really is satisfying to see friendships you've watched grow and develop in to this amazing friendship we have now between Daphne and Gwen.
I love all the characters, they've all grown and changed and dealt with their fair share of crap. Each character is full of depth and can stand alone. We have Daphne, the former mean girl, who knows Gwen well enough to know it's time to crack out the catsuit and grease paint, and enlist the other's in their friendship group to help out with Daphne's plan to help Gwen's plan. We have Oliver, full of jokes, but loyal to Gwen until the end, their friendship was truly beautiful to watch come to fruition in this book. We have warrior bard Carson, far more badass than any supposed Geek has any right to be. We have Alexei, boyfriend to Oliver, and the newest addition to Gwen's group, and as graceful as a dancer when fighting. And finally Logan, Gwen's boyfriend, the resident badass who can kill you with a paperclip, but is protective and gentle to Gwen.
This book is as much about friendship as it is about Gods and Goddesses, myths and legends and battles, and each friendship has been written and developed beautifully, and I choked up really badly when Gwen finds out they all knew she had a plan and where ready to help her with it.
I feel I should also mention that Nickamedes and Gwen FINALLY HUGGED. It totally happened. Cue more choking up from me. I loved how Nickamedes get's some love, and he and Metis get together, in my opinion it should have happened forever ago but it just added to the perfect ending.
In Killer Frost all the clues come together, every riddle and comment Nike has made all makes sense. Self-sacrifice. That's the theme of Killer Frost. It's what defeats Loki, along with free will, and it's what saves Gwen when Nickamedes makes his own sacrifice.
All the questions you've ever had about the book are answered, and I was especially eager to find out what the deal was with Raven. Directly after finding out who Raven really is, I am left with the feeling of truly wanting to slap myself for not working it out sooner! It's not like there weren't enough clues! Not to mention we find out about the Guardians!
Killer Frost is fast paced, and very action-centric, which is obvious with the whole warriors and final battle thing, and the writing flowed smoothly. There where plenty of twists and turns to the plot, ones that I personally didn't see coming, even though I really should have, because as I've said before, there are clues everywhere in the other books. Viv and Gwen's smack talk could use some work, it was a tad cliche and samey to the other books, but it didn't really take away from the story for me.
Everything is wrapped up nicely, there's nothing left unanswered and the ending is quite final. I was sad there wasn't more romance in this book between Gwen and Logan, but their relationship came together rather nicely!
Killer Frost is an explosive and emotional end to a series that is one of my favourites. I really didn't want it to be over and I really didn't want to leave the world or the character's behind, but the ending is just so satisfying. Fans will not be disappointed.
Killer Frost is full of action, and like me, you will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat frantically turning pages, constantly being caught off guard as you gasp and swear at the bombs constantly being dropped. Statues come alive. Gryphon's fight Rocs. Artifacts and their powers are finally revealed. Gwen and Viv showdown. And there's one final heart stopping battle that will take your breath away. You really don't want to miss it!
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Buy or Borrow: BUY!
Source: Proof courtesy of Headline
For Fans Of: Game of Thrones
When Tam and Corin meet by chance in the library, sparks fly. Corin begins to court her, even though he can never marry her, as a Prince, he's forbidden to marry a commoner, but war is coming to Caithen. As they fall in love, Corin's memories are returned, he knows what he must do, the Dragon's have given him their power, but no-one, not even the Dragon Rider's know how the Dragon's where enslaved. When Tam finds out she's a Seer, gifted with visions, she realises she's the only one who might be able to find out. But as the war comes to fruition, the two are seperated. Torn apart, and torn between love and duty, they must work together to uncover what happened in the past, and save their country from destruction.
I was very kindly sent a copy of this by Frances at Headline, and I must say, I'm incredibly glad she was kind enough to do so. This book is incredible.
I was really shocked to read that this is the authors first book, it was written with a skill that most author's acquire after years and many books. The prose was incredible, it was so descriptive, the words chosen created sentences and chapters that where beautiful to read, and the images where beautiful to imagine. The images painted where so clear, so vivid, I could see it all in my minds eye. The world building was simply astounding. There was so much detail put in to the world we're entered in to, and so much detail in the descriptions, that the world consumes you, and it's liked you've stepped straight in to the story and are a bystander watching it all happen right in front of you.
The characters where wonderfully written, and very fleshed out. Each character was vibrant, and even the secondary characters had a lot of depth and detail to them. I loved Tam. She was strong, very funny and witty, independent, strong willed and headstrong. She doesn't let it show if she's overwhelmed by the situations she's in, she's level headed and calm at all times, unlike other girls of her time which I imagine to be quite vapid. Corin was so incredible in how he handled the burden that's been put on him, and how he dealt with Tam, loving her even though he couldn't marry her, he was protective, but Tam was having none of it, and they where such a good pairing.
I will say that the book isn't a light read, it requires concentration. There's so many threads to the story that you don't realize connect, and the plot is quite complex. The details of the world and the plot where very rich and you can really sink your teeth in to the book. We get chapters from Tam and Corin's point of view. While Corin's point of view in one chapter may be of what happened after the events of Tam's chapter, some of them where showing the same situation from both points of view, but you weren't being told the same things just from a different person. You got the perspective of both, but a different angle on it, and it was done very well.
I loved the book, but I'm not going to lie, I did find it slow going at first, until Tam and Corin met for the first time it was hard to get in to for me personally, but once I got comfortable in the world, and in the story, I was gripped until the last page. The pace picks up from the two meeting, and from there it's fast paced, and full of action, with a very slick flow, from the different point of views and from chapter to chapter.
Moth and Spark is a soaring adventure, it's like reading two books, and I mean that in a good way! We start off with an intriguing prologue, swiftly moving in to getting to grips with life at court and the build up. Next up is the electric romance, with fierce attraction developing to love, but ultimately forbidden. We have hints of intrigue and mystery while the romance is developing, all with the war looming on the horizon. We then switch swiftly to war raining down on our heroes, the two are seperated, we see a country at war, and Corin must take up his mission as directed by the dragons, while Tam is learning more of her power, with plenty of action. It's like a song reaching the crescendo.
We switch smoothly from a romance book with a bit of intrigue and backstabbing politics, to a story of war and sacrifice, it was very well done, and engaged you the whole way through. I also liked how we learned about Tam and Corin as they learned about each other.
Moth and Spark is kind of like what would happen if a Jane Austen novel was set in the world of Game of Thrones with the intense forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet without the death and sorrow. Moth and Spark is classical fantasy, and I think it will become a well known classic, much like Game of Thrones.
Moth and Spark is atmospheric, you can see the looming castle, the stone hallways, the flickering candles to read by. It's beautifully written, with a beautiful romance and a rich plot with engaging characters. And it's got Dragons. I mean c'mon. Who doesn't love a Dragon?! Moth and Spark is truly a hidden gem of a book, and I'm besotted with the book and it's characters! I cannot wait to see Leonard's next work!
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Lindsay Sterling's niece has gone missing in the New York underground. The cops will do nothing about it, except pass along a name. Jack Cole. Back in High School they where best friends, but the death of Lindsay's entire family, and her subsequent guardianship of her Niece, not to mention the two years Jack spent held captive in New York's underbelly by sub-humans, more animal than human, has changed them both. Jack's experience was soul destroying and life changing, he's been left a shell of a man.
Jack refuses to descend in to that hell again, especially for a girl who's most likely dead already after being down there a week so far. But Lindsay will go down there with, or without him. When she attempts the latter, she's nearly killed, luckily Jack's friend Reggie showed up to help her out. Jack feels compelled by years of feelings to help her, and so he agrees to go down there and find her Niece. Jack navigates Lindsay through the strange territory, an entire underground civilization. It's populated by the eccentric, the insane and the desperate. Each encounter gets them closer to Lindsay's niece, but it also gets them closer to the insane creatures, determined to have their pet back, but Jack's found a reason to live again.
This book was insane! And I mean that in the good way, it was incredible! Right from the first page you're hooked by the plot and the prose. Then, when we first go into the UnderCity, Stelmack starts to weave an incredible world.
The world building is so incredible, that you can practically smell the rank air, hear the Moles scuttling about. The atmosphere created with words, glides off the page and surrounds you, your vision is fixed on the book, unable to put it down, and you're instantly transported straight in to the world, tagging along behind our characters, observing. I was oblivious to anything else, and that's a hard feat to accomplish with me these days.
The prose is incredible, it creates this incredible story, that's so unique, so different from anything else, it's a breath of fresh air and makes you sit up and pay attention, reluctant to put the book down. The flow is smooth, the past as fast as someone running from the Moles. There's never a dull moment, each word is carefully chosen to create the world, and keep you engaged, there's no pointless filler scenes at all.
Stelmack manages to create an entire world, believable, and incredibly detailed, with the different communities, and the names of the areas and passageways, not to mention the creatures living there, the myths and legends of the UnderCity and the intrigue surrounding the Gallery. I will never, in my life, be able to go on the tube again without wondering....what's really under London? What's down those "disused" passageways? What's through those secret doors? The story and the world sticks with you when you're finished reading, truly unforgettable.
Lindsay is an amazing character. I'm going to admit right off the bat that I would never have the lady balls to go down in to the UnderCity with Jack, let alone by myself. I'd be too terrified. Lindsay has so much drive, determination, and she is fearless. Yeah she has a fear of heights, but she overcomes it in the tunnels, doing what she has to do to get Seline back. What can I say about Jack? He's resilient. He's brave. He goes back to the place he barely escaped, the place that broke him, to help Lindsay. He's an incredible character.
All of the characters where so full of life, from our main characters, right down to the Moles themselves. Each unique. Each community in the UnderCity had their own beliefs, their own story. Each character had varying personalities, varying issues to deal with. They all jumped off the page and grabbed your heart, and your imagination. Even the tiny baby Mole who played with Jack.
The plot was fantastical. The idea of an underground City beneath New York, populated by different people, is unique. As I've said, I've never read anything like it, and I doubt I ever will. The plot was quite complex, we had different parts to it. Some of it was laid out straight away, providing the original engaging factor. Other parts where hinted at, Jack's past, what's down in the underground, and so on. You where kept intrigued the entire way through, and honestly, I don't even know how anyone would be able to guess the plot twists. Every twist totally blind sided me, and it's so so rare for me to find a book that can genuinely surprise me the whole way through!
Undertow is probably the most unique book you will ever read. Fast paced, intriguing plot, incredible world building, intense mythology and legends. I'm half convinced there's a portal in the book that sucked me in to the book, that's how great the world building is. The atmosphere, this sense of a dark, dank place overwhelms you. The romance was perfect. Absolutely perfect. We have an old relationship, that both wanted to be more at the time, and blossoms back. A damaged character needing that love to heal him.
Undertow is a smooth blend of romance, intrigue, pulse racing action and imagination. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. It was truly mind blowing for me.
Friday, 7 February 2014
The Lost Boys
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
17 year old Joey Gray has just moved to a new a town, when she's asked my her new neighbor to help carry some flowers to her husbands grave at the cemetery. As she goes to leave the cemetery she gets a little lost, and that's when she see's him. Tristan, a very cute, very mysterious boy she only ever meets at the graveyard. Looking back, she realises that should have clued her in, but when new years eve rolls around and an accident happens, Joey finds out that not only is he a ghost, but she's just managed to bring him back to life. The catch? He only has a year until a strange cloaked guy Joey calls Vigil, will come to "fix" him aka kill him.
As Joey enrolls at the local boarding school, her mother and herself pretend Tristan is her half brother in order for him to attend too. Due to her boyish name, Joey ends up rooming in the boys block with Tristan, and Seth. Seth fast becomes Joey's friend in the week before Tristan arrives and she knows no-one, and she fast becomes friends with his fellow band mates Sam, Josh and Harry. When Tristan arrives, the two are invited in to the band, The Lost Boys, to avoid music class, and soon an unbreakable friendship forms between the band members. For the first time, Joey has true friends, and she's not the only one.
When Joey first meets Tiffany, she's the classic mean girl, and Joey begins to believe she's already made a nemesis at school when she won't bow down to Tiffany. But Tiffany has always led a life where people only want to be friends with her for her money and who her parents are, and Joey is the lucky person to pass her test, and become her BFF. Joey has friends, she loves her school, she's in an awesome band, and she kinda sorta thinks she might have very strong feelings for Tristan....love type feelings.
But as the true extent of Tristan's situation becomes apparent, Tristan does everything he can to push her away. When it doesn't work, they can no longer fight their feelings for each other, and they have to clue in their friends. As bonds are forged, relationships cemented, and with a deadline looming....can they all work together to keep Tristan alive? Or will heartbreak ensue.
Okay, so, when I read the blurb I kind of figured the whole story would be just these two and she'd eventually find out he's a ghost and then it's all forbidden love, I had no idea what it was really about but I was intrigued. My worry is that the blurb I've seen here on Amazon and Goodreads might put people off reading, because they think it's one thing and they won't find out how awesome it is. SO I've expanded on the original blurb for my review as best as I can to give you more of an idea of what you're in for, because seriously, you will not regret anything more than passing over this book!
I absolutely frikkin loved this book! It wasn't what I was expecting and I was so incredibly surprised and delighted, I think I've found another favourite that I'll re-read again and again.
The whole book was so incredibly unique. I loved that instead of Tristan being a ghost the whole time like I was expecting, he became alive again, and there was more going on in the story than the love angle. I also loved how the mean girl turned out to be the BFF.
The world building was vivid, I could picture everything clearly and lose myself in the words and the images that where being painted for me with them. Never thought I'd say this, but I kinda wanna go to the school, if there's that many hot guys strolling about! The prose was fantastic, The Lost Boys was very beautifully written and each page spilled magic and beauty everywhere. I was hooked from the first page, and engaged the whole way through, nothing could distract me. The flow and the pace where fantastic, there where never any slow or dull moments, and there was just the right amount of drama sprinkled in.
As I've said, the plot is very unique, girl meets ghost, ghost isn't so ghosty, angst, romance, and a story you just can't predict. There was a certain character who's identity I never twigged, and when it was revealed I was incredibly shocked. I was in two minds with the ending, thinking it was going to be heartbreaking and we'd see something happen with her and another character, but then the happy ending came. I loved the mythology of Vigil and his, shall we say, species, not to mention Sky's mythology. Pretty awesome. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this book before. The plot had lots of twists and turns, and covered a lot of ground, and was literally packed with everything you could want, action, angst, romance, and humour.
I loved every single one of the characters. I loved Joey, I felt connected to her, I felt what she felt. All of the characters where so unique, I loved Tiff, just pure loved her. I really thought she was going to be the books resident mean girl, and was loving the fact she turned out to be Joey's best friend, and her reasoning for why she did what she did to Joey just made me feel for her more. I loved Tristan, as Joey said, he's like her very own Back to the Future boy, although he bungled a bit with the trying to do what's best thing. The Lost Boys. Seth, Josh, Sam and Harry. Man I loved them all. I wished I had them as my friends, watching my back. Each was unique and had their own personality, and you come to love all of them.
The characters where all so well written, had so much depth they could each stand on their own whether a main character or a secondary character. There was so much detail to them, and they all came to life and jumped off the page. The relationships where so real, so human, and they kind you can only hope to encounter. They all trusted each other, and when the truth was revealed, they rolled with it.
After reading The Lost Boys, I'm still kind of in a little bubble and slightly still stuck in their world. The Lost Boys is one of the most enjoyable reads of my year so far, and I was incredibly sad when it was over. I didn't want to leave the world, and I didn't want to leave the characters. It's one of those times when you see you're reaching the end of the book and wish for more pages to suddenly appear.
I can honestly tell you, that if you pick up The Lost Boys, you will not regret it. Yeah it's about this huge, epic love, but it's about so much more that the blurb doesn't do justice to. The Lost Boys, to me, is also about friendship, you see so many different friendships in this book, each having something to show you, and teach you. The Lost Boys shows you that true friends are hard to find, but when you do, they'll be your rock, they'll be there for you no matter what, and help you through anything, forgive you anything, and it was truly heartwarming to read.
The Lost Boys is an un-putdownable, fast paced, incredibly unique book that you will never want to end. There's friendship, music, romance, action, and even some mystery along with the magic. Not only is the book enchanting but it will make you laugh as well as make you kind of want to cry.
Do yourself a favour, take a chance, even if it's not in your regular genre, just read the book. It will be hours of fun and entertainment, and you really won't regret it!
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Alice Through the Zombie Glass
Rating: 5 out of 5 is not enough!
Buy or Borrow: BUY. You WILL want to read it again.
File Under: Book Hangover material.
"Ali Bell doesn't play hide-and-seek. She plays hide-and-pray-I-don't-find-you"
Alice Bell has lost so much since we first met her in Zombieland. Family, friends, and her home. She thought she had nothing else to give, but she was wrong. She has her soul, and her very self. Not to mention Cole her boyfriend. After a strange new zombie attack, weird things begin to happen to her. Mirrors begin to come to life, she has strange urges, she's not acting quite like herself when her emotions are heightened, and the whispers of the dead begin to assault her ears. But the worst thing is the terrible darkness blooming inside her, urging her to do bad things, trying to take over her. She's never needed her team of slayers, her friends, and her boyfriend Cole, the slayers badass leader and ultimate bad boy, more. But there's two new slayers in town to help out after the losses the slayers endured in the battle. Veronica, Cole's ex girlfriend, who's determined to get her back and he's been getting closer to, and Gavin, a certified he-slut and unashamed of it. When Gavin and Ali lock eyes for the first time, they share a vision, something that's only ever happened with Cole, and what they see, causes Cole to withdraw from her, then dump her entirely because of a future that may never happen. He doesn't trust her or her feelings for him, and instead trusts the visions, and jumping back in to Veronica's arms. That doesn't stop his jealously from rearing it's head, and both of them from being entirely miserable, but Cole has ulterior motives in his closeness to Veronica, linked to a secret he's not told anyone.
Now Ali only has her best friend Kat at her side, and her other friend Reeve, who cannot be anywhere near Zombies or know anything about them, and her new boyfriend is certainly strange. Ali must kill the zombies, uncover what's going on with Cole, win back the trust of her slayer friends after an incident, and learn to fight the darkness. It turns out she has an unlikely friend in Gavin, and Cole isn't going to give up easily when he realizes he's been wrong. When Anima's new president steps up a plan Ali also has to keep her friends safe. The clock is ticking, and not in a metaphorical way, if she fails any one of her tasks...they're all doomed, but no-one more than Ali herself.
Zombie Glass picks up mere weeks after the events at the end of Zombieland, with her healing from her wounds. I would recommend doing what I did, and re-reading Zombieland so everything's fresh in your mind as there's an important event in the previous book that's relevant to Zombie Glass.
Zombie Glass is everything you simultaneously love and hate in a book. It's a legit throw-at-the-wall-while-screaming book. Then, ya know, running to pick it up and lovingly cradling it to your chest while murmuring apologies right before you get stuck in to it and read it all over again because you loved it so much.
In Zombie Glass relationships are tested, broken and made, and you want to punch a couple of characters in the face, and bang a few heads together. Truths will come out, some shocking, some you knew all along and you're elated at the confirmation.
All of the characters we came to know and love in Zombieland are just as strong and loveable in Zombie Glass. The fantastic characters created, did what I thought was impossible, and got even better. In Zombie Glass I came to love them more, as much as a certain one frustrated me, and we learn that each of the characters has hidden depths to the depth we saw in them originally. More than one character has more sides that come out in this book, and another one is a lot stronger than anyone was giving her credit for. I love these books because all of the characters are strong, intelligent and someone to look up to, and Ali proves that again in this book.
The plot was strong, and even more complex than Zombieland. We all get that anxiety when we really love a book, and then the sequel comes out and it's either going to be kind of a crappy let down, or mind blowingly good. Zombie Glass is the latter, and the series continues to be going strong. There's plenty of threads to the plot in Zombie Glass, and they're all woven together expertly, with plenty of plot twists that I promise you, you will never see coming. And I'm the girl that's had many a book ruined because I'm either too pessimistic or i'm just that good at guessing. I tried, believe me I tried, to guess what was going to happen next, or what a character was doing and why, but I fast realized it was fruitless and just rolled with it, being hand-over-the-mouth, gasping out loud shocked at every turn.
Although, I must admit, I called Ethan out right away. Not in a "I know exactly who you are what you're up to" way, but in a "you are incredibly dodgy, and I know there's something wrong with you" way. My brain started referring to him by his very own title....Shady Ethan.
A large chunk of the book is a huge angst fest, but it's done so that you don't get bored or annoyed at it, you just really want to punch Cole in the face (but it's okay because Ali does it for us), and bang Cole and Ali's heads together. The added bonus of the angst is that you keep reading, glued to the page, waiting for the moment to come when all is right again, and Cole stops being a raging idiot.
I think Gavin may be my new favourite character and I loved Ali's descriptive words of him, and the fact he freely embraces the fact he's a he-slut, but is kind of sweet and adorable at the same time.
"Wait. The he-slut of the great South knew how to cook?"
Now so far, a few of you may be panicking about the romance we know and love between Ali and Cole, but don't worry, there's plenty of the cute romancey bits that melt your heart, and manage to make you fall slightly in love with a fictional character and ruin real life boys for you. There where so many points where I wanted to throw the book and then jump on it, the plot, the writing and the characters are THAT good. You get THAT invested in the characters and that connected to them that you feel a huge intense emotional connection to them. You get so many emotions when reading the book, it's a bit of a roller coaster, your heart soars for Ali and then drops for her the next moment. I cannot crow about how well the characters are created enough!
Zombie Glass is truly hilarious, however, so despite the angst and book throwing, you find yourself laughing until tears are streaming down your face and filing away one liners to use when the situation arises. Ali and Gavin really do have the best one liners, and I found myself re-reading the same sentence and laughing my ass off. You will rage at Cole, not going to lie, and you will feel sad at a few parts. Zombie Glass makes you want to scream at one point, and then gives you the warm and fuzzies the next. The characters become your best friends, and the world created becomes the world you inhabit entirely while reading.
Zombie Glass is fast paced with a fantastic flow, incredibly cinematic (still rooting for a movie!) and atmospheric prose from cute to incredibly creepy in 0.6 seconds flat; and world building that is expanded on from Zombieland, and continues to suck you in from the first page for hours on end. There's plenty of intrigue to keep you engaged, tonnes of action and zombie slaying, and an incredible amount happens in this book. Showalter has this way of having millions of things happen in one book, having characters go through tonnes and loads of events, and it feels like you've been in this world forever, totally absorbed, but in reality it's been no time at all. You never get bored, once you start reading you're hooked until the last page when you want to start reading it all over again because you don't want to leave the world or the characters. That and when you're done you're faced with a book hangover nothing can cure, a sense that no book will be able to match up, and the incredibly long wait for the next book that you know is going to destroy you.
A new development occurred that I was kind of rooting for in Zombieland, and totally loved in Zombie Glass. Kenzie became friends with Ali. No seriously. She did. It happened. And it was awesome. You see a totally different side to her when she's being there for Ali and offering to be her friend. You really see the real Kenzie in the scene after everything goes down at Anima. The scene with Kenzie, Lucas and Trina coming to see Ali, not only do you see Kenzie in a new light which i'm excited to be explored in the next book, but that scene will seriously have you wetting yourself with laughter and struggling to breathe. When reading that scene it was like 1 in the morning (I already told you...once you start you can't stop) and I learned the skill of the silent laugh. I seriously had the book practically glued to my hand and finished it at 4am, wrote the bare bones of this review (aka essayed this) on my phone then promptly fell in to a deep sleep peppered with Zombies.
Zombie Glass has fantastically built the grounds for the next book (I figure if I keep mentioning a next book it will definitely happen!), with Veronica's "ace up her sleeve". I just know she's not done, and she's gonna be devious. Gavin sticking around should be very interesting, and I love Ali's friendship with him. Then we have Kat's condition and her illness, and seeing where that goes in the next book, not to mention the threat of Anima becoming bigger, badder, and an all round pain in the ass.
There's plenty of new things to be explored that I'm really excited about. The whole slayers curing themselves with fire thing, why it works or doesn't, Ali's friendship with her former enemies Jaclyn and Kenzie. The journal and it's many many secrets, and the link we discovered, and the secrets about Ali's family. With each book we are given more questions, more to look forward to, and more to sink our teeth in to in the next book as the plot really does thicken.
I mean, I'm sure you can tell from my rambling, and probable repeating of myself, that I cannot praise this book nor it's previous one enough, let alone the author. I get truly excited at the prospect of reading a new book in the series, and I get over-excited about sharing my love for the books with you all, because I want you all to love it. Zombie Glass and Zombieland are books you truly want to read again and again. There's so many awesome things about it.
All I've got left to say is...Gena. Please please please, for the love of my heart and my feels, leave Ali and Cole alone! And ya know...congrats on ruining real life blokes for me forever more!
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Buy or Borrow: As always with Adam Christopher...Buy!
Source: Copy courtesy of Angry Robot!
It all started with a fortune cookie. Ted Hall was just minding his own business, out for dinner with his friends for his birthday, when his fortune cookie literally exploded. Next thing he knows, he's flat on his back in the restaurant with fortunes drifting around him like snow.....all saying the same thing; "You are the master of every situation". That's when things started to get freaky. Ted's been blacking out, sleep walking and not remembering anything. Not only do his somnambulant wanderings appear to coincide with murders by the now notorious Hang Wire Killer, but the night he wakes up covered in blood seems to confirm that something is very, perhaps murderously, wrong.
Meanwhile the circus has come to town, including a centuries old man being kept alive by a strange entity. Joel Duvall, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair, and the creator of it, has started to talk to his machines....and they're talking back. He's not the only one acting strange. The Celtic dancers are starting to take their pagan act way too seriously, with bonfires and strange rituals among other things. Then there's Highwire, the new acrobat drawing in all the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension among the other performers, tension that's spilling out in to brawls among performers. Let's not forget the missing roll of cable.
Out in the city, an ancient Hawaiian God is living in a hut on the beach teaching tourists how to ballroom dance. He thought he was the only left on our planet. He was wrong. He's joined by an Ancient Korean King, Tangun and the Chinese trickster Nezha (sort of), together they are all searching for an ancient menace, lurking beneath the streets of San Francisco, but it soon becomes clear this menace beneath has a friend, something not from this world. Together they create a primal evil that if left unchecked and unopposed, will destroy the world. Can our ragtag band of heroes prevent that from happening?
I love, love, love Adam Christopher's books ever since I discovered Empire State, so when I was emailed about being on the Blog Tour for Hang Wire, I jumped at the chance, and can happily inform you I've passed my day lost in another world entirely, and I'm sad for it to be over!
We open the book with some newspaper clippings from 1811, 1812 and 1871...pay attention, these are setting the scene and all will become clear later. The story then turns to San Francisco 1906, where the city is gripped by an earthquake, where Robert (remember him, he's important later) is using his superhuman strength to lift rubble of citizens, he can sense a darkness stirring in the earth. Then we catch up with Joel Duvall, in Indian Territory where Oklahoma is now, in 1889 (might want to remember him too), our hapless cowboy is on his way to claim some land, but the coin his father gave him is tugging him to a strange cave...and his destiny. Then of course we come to modern day San Fran, and meet Ted having a fight with a fortune cookie, and two circus performers having a fight with each other, and from there...a story blossoms in to an adventure.
We can consider the scene very atmospherically set, and by this stage you're overcome with excitement and intrigue, and you have to know more about these two and what's going on, you know they're important, but you don't yet know why. And that Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you are hooked in to the story in mere minutes. I love how Christopher does this, he has a true knack for setting the scene quickly, but with maximum impact, from the first line you're transported to the world he's created, and it's there you remain until the end.
Adam Christopher has a true knack for world building, and the world built in Hang Wire was truly all encompassing and astounding. You feel like you're right there with the characters, wherever they may be. Everything can be imagined clearly, and you're totally oblivious to the rest of the world, unable to put the book down until the very end, when all the mystery is solved. The prose can only be described as atmospheric, complete with creepy circus scenes, and cinematic, it's truly fantastically written.
As well as drawing you in straight away, Hang Wire keeps you in it's thrall, unable to put the book down even when you realize you've just managed to burn pasta for the first time in history. Christopher has a way of keeping you engaged, keeping you intrigued and keeping you reading very subtly, as an undertone to the main action, he's a sneaky one! Hang Wire is fast paced from the outset, and the flow is never broken. Christopher has truly mastered the art of jumping from point of view's and from time zones.
Once the main story starts, we're in the present time, broken up with interludes where we follow Joel through the years, as we discover what happened to him, and how he got to the point he's at in the present day, as well as finding out a bit about what's going on. Having the flashes back to Joel's past written as interludes, not only keeps the flow of the book in tact, but it's an interesting way to take a break from the action in the present day, and find out things you need to know without being boring. There is nothing in the book that doesn't belong, doesn't fit the flow, and there are no pages of useless words that bear no relevance to the story, or do bear a relevance but take forever to get to the point. Christopher is a master at presenting everything fluidly, and concisely.
Now the characters....I don't want to go in to too much depth with them, as I don't want to spoil a surprise. All of the characters in Hang Wire are very well written, they jump off the page. You can relate to them, and they're very real and very human (as human as fictional characters can be that is). There's real depth to them, and you find out more about them as the book goes on, and lets just say some of them have quite a few sides, and leave it at that. The characters Christopher creates are so vibrant, so unique, and all have their own personalities, even the secondary characters can stand alone, and they stay with you long after you've finished reading.
Hang Wire's plot is truly phenomenal, and really, I expected nothing less. The plot of Hang Wire is a very, very intricate web, made up of multiple threads. Threads from the past, threads from the present, threads of mystery and threads of murder. The books murder storyline turns out to not be as simple as you think it is, rarely is anything that mundane in an Adam Christopher novel. When reading Hang Wire, you need to keep in mind that not all is as it seems, and things you read but think are irrelevant, never are. It all loops round to the big reveal, when everything clicks in to place. Hang Wire is a truly rich plot with so much going on, you just don't want to put the book down.
Leading up to the big reveal, and throughout the course of the book, I have to admit, I believed whatever the author wanted me to believe. It took a while for a few identities to click in to place, which led to the inevitable forehead smack, and it took a while for me to piece together certain things already mentioned with things in the present. Never, at any point, did I suspect Ted's true identity, shamefully, I was thinking he was the killer, how foolish of me, I really should know better! I also never guessed at the identity of the real killer, or what the grand plan was, not to mention that I never fully managed to piece everything together before it was all revealed to me.
And that is the joy in an Adam Christopher novel, not only do you get more than you bargained for, but you get a story with so many threads you can't even begin to guess the reveals, so you get to be surprised throughout and kept in a state of intrigue that keeps you reading, all set to the backdrop of fantastical worlds filled with fantastical characters, and a plot and world of an incredibly huge scale. Never will you be disappointed with a Christopher Adam's book, and Hang Wire may in fact be his best yet. I fear I may be haunted in my dreams by the incredibly creepy carnival!
Monday, 3 February 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Mercy Taylor is the youngest member of Savanna's biggest Witch family's...they're the most powerful family in Savannah and they're kinda in charge. Mercy however was born without magic. Because of this, she is hated by Aunt Ginny the family's matriarch, and she's labelled as The Disappointment by her Uncle. Mercy's used to being second best to her minutes older twin Maisie in everything, including the looks department. Maisie is the apple of the whole family's eye. Despite that, Mercy loves her sister, but she's also in love with Mercy's boyfriend Jackson, and goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a spell to make her love her BFF Peter who's in love with her.
Aunt Ginny, who's also the family's anchor/defence to the bewitched Line which separates humankind from the demon's who once ruled our realm, the wouldn't approve, there's history between Ginny and the root doctor but that's all irrelevant when Mercy walks in on her aunt's brutally murdered body. Now the Line has been compromised a Demon invasion looms, but someone stands to gain from that.
Mercy must fight for her sisters trust while being entangled in a love spell that brings about a happy/bad consequence depending on how you look at it, and even though magicless she must tap in to the strength from being born as an outcast to protect a line she doesn't feel part of. As she becomes closer to the root doctor, the only person she trusts, some shocking family secrets are revealed. Who is Mercy and Maisie's father? Why did Ginny hate her? What sinister plot was Ginny up to? And who murdered her?
I have no idea what I was expecting but it wasn't this. It was amazing! I was intrigued from the first page, and happily settled down to immerse myself in the world that has been created, I do love the beginning and all of the stories told!
Right from the start The Line hooks you straight in, and the prose is so atmospheric you feel like you're there, you can picture exactly what everything looks like and what's going on. The world building was fantastic, the world created was so unique with the powers and the law of the Witche's powers as it where. I loved how the Hoodoo magic was included as well, and that our protagonist was an outcast.
Speaking of Mercy, the characters in the book where very well written, they had a lot of depth and a lot of hidden sides that where hidden so cleverly you never see half of the stuff coming. I loved Mercy so much, I connected with her straight away. I loved that she was an outcast, and she felt in the shadow of her sister, and didn't feel good enough sometimes. It was so real to how a lot of girls feel, she was so relate-able. Quite honestly I wanted to strangle certain family members for giving her such a miserable life, but Mercy doesn't let that make her a bitter person, she's so strong and truly a fantastic role model. Even the supporting characters where all full of depth and you learn more about them as you go along.
The introductions to each of the family members weren't mad a big deal of, and there wasn't pages of information about them, it was done in a laid back and casual way, with concise information that was added to as the book went on and seamlessly thrown in. Each family member was very different from the other, and each had different powers, there was no dump of information, you learn about them through interactions between the members. There was no overuse of Southern phrases and terms and the opportunity to go on and on about landmarks in the area was rejected, it could have been a travel brochure for it, especially at the beginning....but it wasn't. There was no useless information, no pages of descriptions about things unrelated to the story.
The story was a lot of different threads, and events all woven together to create a really complex, rich web of a plot. As I was reading I kept going "oh my God no way...NO" and being totally shocked. There's plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and as each twist/shocking secret is revealed about the past I never saw it coming. It was such an unpredictable book, I never knew what was going to happen or come out next. I loved how the puzzle pieces from the past where eked out slowly and not all given at once, it added a great quality to the book. I kind of suspected the thing with Mercy's magic but no way to that extent, the ending was just explosive, and I feel I need the next book like right now, because seriously, I can't cope with the wait for the next one!
The Line is fast paced, full of twists and turns, magic, romance and betrayal. You'll never see any of it coming. You'll feel strangely protective of Mercy because you can relate to her entirely. And you will be sucked right in to a world so atmospherically described you can feel the heat and the sun on your face. Full of intrigue and shocking family secrets, and a little bit of Hoodoo, it's a wondrous addition to the genre!