Saturday, 31 January 2015

Talon


Talon
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

We all know the tales of dragons, from fairytales mostly, how long ago they burned villages, ate people and hoarded their treasure like giant reptilian magpies. But what if dragons weren't something from a fairytale? What if they really did exist long ago, and they where nearly made extinct after being hunted down and killed by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers, fanatical about their cause. What if dragons now had to hide in human form, learning to assimilate with us and blend in just to survive. What if the dragons had their own organisation, dedicated to protecting their race, making the race grow stronger, and what if they wanted to take over the world?

Well take away the what if's, because it's all true, and the organisation is called Talon, and Talon have just planted their new sleepers in a nice beachside location to learn to assimilate before they start their training. Ember and Dante Hill are incredibly rare to dragonkind, you see, they're the only brother and sister, twins, known to their kind. They'll both be very important to Talon but first they have to be trained.

Slight snag though, Ember wants to live her life, have freedom and enjoy this new experience, making friends, learning to surf and so on, before taking the place Talon has assigned her in their society. But Ember soon starts to feel stifled by rules, and a sadistic trainer, and a rogue dragon, a dragon that's escaped Talon, shows up just in time to help her challenge everything Talon has ever told her, to answer her questions and to tell her the truth about the organisation she's grown up in. But unbeknownst to Ember and Dante, they're being hunted by St. George.

Enter Garett Sebastian, a soldier of St. George ever since his entire family was wiped out by a dragon, he follows orders and enjoys it, and finding the new sleeper planted by Talon is his new mission. But while St. George may be utterly fanatical about carrying out their mission to protect the world, he can't kill a human unless he's sure it's the prey they're looking for, and he just can't be certain about Ember. Ember shows him how to live, and he gets far closer to her than he should, but when the truth comes out...it's her reaction, her bravery, her compassion, that shake his belief in the Order to it's core. It's not long before he's questioning everything the Order tells him and everything they do.

But they can't all live in a  small area in close quarters without the truth coming out, and when everything comes to a head, what will Ember choose...her brother and the organisation she's known her whole life? The soldier who's sworn to kill her? Or the rogue who she's drawn to? 



"One did not just wander about in full reptile form unless one had a death wish"

Motherfudger, I knew this book was going to be awesome for so many reasons, you know...dragons...romance...action.....and ya know..it's by Julie Kagawa, and I was SO not wrong nor was I disappointed. If you've read my blog before, and my review of the Iron Fey spin off series books, you'll know I'm a bit of a fangirl. I utterly loved Iron Fey and read them in like 3 days, and got very little sleep, and it's one of my favourite series and I re-read it regularly so like ya know...how could I resist this? Especially as it's about freaking dragons! 

I haven't read many YA books regarding dragons, I think I've only read Sophie Jordan's trilogy, and this is very different from it, Talon is unique in it's dragon mythology, history and background, and it's original. The YA genre is saturated with Vampires and Werewolves right now so it's nice to find a book with a different...mythological creature shall we say? Talon is a breath of fresh air in to the genre! Plus ya know... I love unique things that are a little bit different from the crowd, always have! 


I thought this was a really interesting take on dragons, with the whole human form and shifting and draconic and the St. George's soldiers, I loved that whole thing because ya know...George and the Dragon....St. George's Day.....google it if you have no idea what I'm rambling on about! But yes, I thought it was very clever and very original!


That and the fact that this wasn't all about the romance. This was more than a romance, the romance and the triangle (more on that later) are in the background, slowly developing and coming along, without taking away from the main plot. Which not only makes a nice change, but is utterly fantastic because we have a shady dragon organisation with shady bitchy dragons, and then a shady rogue who's kind of a badass and kind of awesome, so the romance being subtle doesn't take away from us exploring all of this, as well as Ember's doubts and learning about the world and politics and so on. The romance is slow burning, natural, organic, and makes you smile and go all squirmy and "awww" at times, but then the triangle bit makes you pause and go "oooooohh" haha! This all takes a backseat to the plot and the awesome action scenes, man Julie can write an action scene! and Ember figuring out Talon and so on and so forth. 



“Can't anyone ever start a fight without all the posturing and cheesy Bond-villain threats? It's not that hard. Here, let me demonstrate." And he smashed a fist into Colin's nose.” 
Talon draws you in from the beginning, grabbing your attention and then you slowly slip deeper and deeper until you're fully immersed in the world and the action. The book was SO hard to put down, I struggled to find a good place to stop reading, but whenever I did have to, to you know, actually sleep so I could go to work (I'd love to be fuelled purely by the written word, YA and the feels, but sadly I'm not), I was immediately taken straight back in to the world, picking up where I left off and smoothly disappearing back in to the story. 

The world sucks you in because the setting is so vivid, you can picture it clearly, feel the atmosphere of each situation, of each setting, and you feel like you're actually in the world with the characters. It's utterly engrossing all because the world building is so expertly done, you gain an understanding of the politics of both the dragons and the soldiers without the plot being slowed down with an info overload. The rich background and history to the world, the rich mythology, all comes across easily slotted in to the narrative, giving you maximum information and maximum effect, without sacrificing pace and the readers interest. 


Ember's point of view is what draws you in with that first chapter, the second chapter switches to Garret's point of view and that's what cements your attention. So vastly different, both the characters, the setting, the world and the life of the character, you immediately see the obstacles to be overcome by these two characters and you just know that whatever happens after this is going to be nail biting, emotional and damn near, what the hell is the word!? Feelery? It's one of those books where you're sitting there talking to it and shouting at is as you read like a total loon. 


Kagawa gives us more characters that come alive as you read, each character, from main to secondary, is incredibly well written with depth and rich personalities, it's a truly colourful cast, and they made it so hard to leave the world when the book ended! I loved Ember, I connected to her nearly immediately, she's a badass and she certainly can stand up for herself, she's no damsel in distress, you can believe that this strong, lively girl really is a dragon.

I enjoyed the contrast of Garret, order following soldier who's never really had fun and lived before, learning to let go and have fun, and Riley the mysterious bad boy dragon who knows more than he's letting on, and while he screams trouble, he's determined to protect Ember. Both where fantastic counterparts to Ember, both affect her differently and with the whole triangle thing...I really can't call it to be honest.

I also feel I should mention Wes because I totally loved him, and not just because he's also British, but he totally cracked me up every time he was in a scene! I applaud the author for going for it with the British slang without overdoing it as well! So many times I cringe when reading British characters by US authors, but Kagawa pitches him perfectly making him believable. I would have liked to see more of Lexi as well! I liked her and I was sad I didn't get to see more of her and more of her with Ember! I'm excited to see more of Riley and Remy and Nettle in the next book though. Not sure about Dante, I thought he was a total douche. He made me feel so disappointed and heartbroken for Ember and he's not looking to be much better in the next book!

“Rnesh karr slithis," I hissed back, which was Draconic for eat your own tail, the dragon version of go screw yourself. No extra translation needed.” 
I've already mentioned the multi POV, but I seriously thought it was a nice touch, it totally added to the plot, a lot of the time different POV's show the same scene but from both POV's, whereas the different POV's in this one show you what the other is thinking about the other character, some of the scenes overlap, showing you what was happening with one character before they came on a scene they entered in another...if that makes sense? It was incredibly well done. The multi POV's let you see Ember's investigations in to Talon in depth, as well as Garret's investigations and the process of finding suspects for the sleeper with equal depth. These POV's actually add insight to the characters, how they tick, why they act like they do in certain situations, and it genuinely adds to the plot and I can't imagine this being single POV!

Then when you hit part two of the book, you get three POV's because you get Riley's as well! I started off unsure of him, we're told what Talon thinks of Rogues (nothing good) and so when he approaches Ember, I was wary of him, unsure if he genuinely is trying to help her or lead her in to something worse or what. But his POV gives you insight in to a character that would have remained mysterious until the end, perhaps frustratingly so if this was just Ember's POV. You see his intentions, and his deal is, and it's a nice addition to the story that adds another side to it, especially as he's part of the love triangle.

Each character of the three narrating, has a strong voice, different from the others, you can feel the difference in the characters, and if the names weren't at the top of the chapter, you'd still be able to tell it was a different character. Each POV change is smooth and seamless and comes at just the right time to add to the plot and build up the intrigue and the suspense and the danger until you can feel it. Each narrative is utterly engaging, and the story is packed full of action and suspense as well as humour and "awwws".

Like I said, the book was hard to put down, I seriously had to put it down, but I was pretty much tearing myself away because I wanted to keep reading, and it was so hard to find a lull in the story to close it and leave it. I was thinking about it all day before I could pick it up again! I should take this time to warn you all that you will probably stay up until a ridiculous time to read it in one go unless you set aside a day to do it!

So I've mentioned the love triangle multiple times now, and I can practically hear you all shouting at me to start talking about it because I know we're all a little bit wary of love triangles, but trust me, you know you can trust me, Julie Kagawa writes fantastic love triangles. She writes them incredibly and Talon is no exception. Talon's love triangle, that just starts to develop, is well written. It's slow to come to fruition, you can see all three sides of the triangle, and who's feeling what, so you know where each character stands. It's certainly going to be an intriguing one, Garett the hunter would be the whole true love despite the odds and differences option, Riley, the fellow dragon is the older, more cooler (I was gonna say badass, but then Garett is pretty badass too), option but Ember's dragon wants Riley, badly, they have a connection or a bond of some sort. Ember herself, wants Garett, wants to be human for him, so it's going to be an interesting triangle, one that's hard to guess at the outcome of and I don't know whose time I'm on yet, and trust me when I say that's unusual for me, I mean usually I call my team near enough straight away but both bring different elements out of Ember, and both have a different spark with her. I'm excited to see this play out! Kagawa does fantastic romances and triangles, and she meshes them seamlessly and subtly with the plot.

“Observe and blend in," he stated in his cool, unruffled voice. "Learn how to engage with humans, how to be human. Assimilate into their social structure and make them believe we are one of them.” 
Talon is a fast paced, captivating and utterly original start to what's looking to be a promising new series/trilogy (not sure which yet), that is sure to become another of my favourites, that I re-read quite regularly! There's always plenty going on in the book, action, romance, mystery, intrigue, suspense, danger it's all there not to mention laugh out loud moments, and it all, along with the lively characters, rich history and mythology and vivid and engrossing world, combine to keep your attention firmly rooted on the book until the very end.

And what an end it is. The ending leaves you not only wanting more, but desperate for more, to know what's going to happen next, to continue the adventure and see where it takes our characters, and I for one, would quite like to know more of the rich history of the Order as well as the dragons and the rogues!

I should also mention the UK version, which is the one I have (guys it's so beaut, the scales are all shiny and bumpy and it's so pretty), has an excerpt from Rogue in it. It's Garett's POV. It picks up pretty much soon after Talon, and man.....if the ending itself didn't make you desperate for the next book, that little excerpt will! Well played guys!

I can honestly promise you this is a gem of a read, if Smaug collected books like he collected gems this would be the stone everyone is losing their sh*t over in Battle Of Five Armies. For realsies.



Friday, 30 January 2015

The Fire Sermon


The Fire Sermon
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has been greatly damaged by a nuclear fire, now, humanity lives in a world that's reminiscent of the middle ages, and is very primitive. All technology from the Before, like Electricity, is taboo, not to be used or touched. Most of the animals and the humans died at the time of the fire, and for generations after, babies where born not quite right thanks to the radiation. While it's been many years and the radiation is gone, every person is born with a twin. Each pair of twins is one boy and one girl, one Omega and one Alpha. Alpha's are perfect in every way, whereas Omega's are all born with a deformity of some sort, missing limbs, and so on. Omega's are branded and sent away to live in Omega settlements when they're very young, they're not welcome in Alpha society and are thought of as lesser, as if they're contagious.

The Council are in charge, and they rule over all the Alpha's and Omega's. The Alpha's get everything, the best land, the best resources and so on, and the Omega's get nothing, barely enough to survive on. Alpha's may think they're superior, but there is one catch, one minor detail that means the Alpha's are never quite as free as they'd like to be....if one twin dies....so does the other. Without fail. One feels the pain of the other, the sickness of the other, and there is no way around it. Some high up Alpha's even keep their Omega's in a prison of sorts called the Keeping Rooms. Omega's live in ever worsening conditions, but there is one hope, an Island, an Island for Omega's where they can escape and live in peace, any talk of said Island results in a harsh punishment. Unfortunately it's not real. Or is it?

Things are about to change....

Cass is a very rare Omega, she has no deformity that can be seen, hers is hidden, you see, she's a Seer. As a child she learnt not to cry out when woken in the night by her terrible visions of the past and predictions of the future, a skill that allowed her to start with her parents much longer than usual, but causing a fair bit of resentment from her twin, as their parents tried to work out which was Alpha and which wasn't worth their time. Now her twin, Zach, has gained an awful lot of power on the council, including the new name The Reformer, and when Cass is dragged from her settlement to be locked in the Keeping Rooms, she stumbles across something terrifying in her bid for freedom.

On the run from her brother and the Council, she still wants to believe in equality between the two, and envisioning a world where Alpha's live side by side with Omega's is one reason they're after her. The other? Like I said...Cass is a Seer, not only would she be useful to the Council, but she's started to have some rather interesting visions....visions of an Island of Omega's, an Island that isn't supposed to exist, that's supposed to be a myth, and the Council will do anything to find it and shut it down. But they're not quite expecting the resistance they will meet. Omega's have more power than they realize.

So this book was totally incredible! I'm not really getting the "it's like the Hunger Games" vibe going on, because it's nothing like the Hunger Games, it's in fact, totally different, and that's why I loved it! Because of filming and other commitments, this took me a few days to read, rather than the few hours it should have if I'd been able to sit and read it in one go. Now I'm slightly glad about that because I got to enjoy the book for longer, but at the same time it was SO hard to put down and there was a definite lack of sleep because every time I was like "okay, this is the last chapter" something would happen and I'd be like "....one more! It's only.......2am...uuumm...." but who cares?! I was incredibly bereft when this was over, and I seriously didn't know what to do with myself.

I've been incredibly lucky lately, and I feel so incredibly grateful because a few publishers have sent me some truly incredible books that have everything I love in them and I have found myself with a whole host of new series to love and agonizingly await the next books of, and Fire Sermon is one of them!

I have such a thing about unique books, and you all know it because I always mention it, I should probably start a tag to be honest! But this is another for my list. It's so incredibly unique, it's a breath of fresh air to the genre that's full of wannabe's right now, and books trying to be something else. Fire Sermon has a thought out and complex background, history and politics to it, and it's all explained, and told to you with so much detail so you fully understand everything that's going on, why it's going on and so on, but without dragging the pace and narrative down. Cass's background in particular was inserted incredibly well in to the narrative, so you know time is passing as she's in the Keeping Rooms, but she's flooding you with memories as to how she got to this place, and each time in between the memories you're waiting for the next installment!

The Fire Sermon gripped me from the beginning, I was fascinated and immediately wanted to know more about the world, and Cass and just what was going on. From then on, it was a real struggle to put down so to be honest I'd recommend clearing your schedule so you don't have to! The world building in particular was so vivid, and I loved it because it sucked you straight in to the world, and you feel like you've visited the world and you have such a clear image, not to mention the atmosphere created, it's intense at times, to say the least, but you can feel the atmosphere, and practically see it oozing off the page, and it totally engulfs you. You really do feel a range of emotions, not only from the atmosphere, but from the events and the characters and so on.

I connected with Cass so easily. So, so easily. I really came to hate Zach, and I seriously wanted to smack him one, but then like Cass, I also felt for him at times as well, and I found myself being conflicted once or twice, but still usually hating him. It's so tricky. He's a villain, he's doing all the horrible things to the Omega's and he does have his reasons, and he seems quite evil at times, but then you can see his point of view, and then he does something like he did at the end and you're like....okay...maybe you're not THAT bad. But then it's like no actually you are. And it's reaaaally hard! You can get why he's like he is, and you can even get why the Confessor is like she is, although I'm still curious as to how and why they ended up working together, I'd have thought Zach would have nothing to do with another Seer, I think it's more than the ambition they both have to be honest. But maybe I'm reading too much in to it!

The plot is complex, there's all the political things going on with Zach and what he's doing and why, and what his ultimate plan is and the electricity and what's really going on under the surface, and then there's Cass on the run and her journey to get to the Island and everything that entails, and then coming back and everything after. It's all woven together perfectly to create a complex, engaging plot, that makes the book hold your attention no matter what, to be honest the nuclear fire from the book could have happened and I wouldn't have noticed until I'd finished reading the book and looked up like "......oh". As the plot  is complex, the solution is also complex it's not as simple as killing Zach off and getting rid of him, because then Cass will die, and it's the same with every Alpha bad guy mentioned in the book, because as Cass reminds us, you're actually killing two people.

The story and plot and narrative and so on, flowed easily, everything happened organically, everything that happened was the next logical step for the story, there was nothing added just for some drama or just there for no reason other than to move the plot along. Everything that happened had a root in the plot and what was truly going on, not just what was happening on the surface.

It's really quite an epic journey, you go from the beginning with the background to the keeping rooms to on the run to New Hobart and so on. You don't see just one small section of the world, you see a vast expanse of it, and can see it very vividly. So much happens, and there's always something going on, like I said, a chapter always ends leaving you wanting more. There are plenty of twists and turns that you don't see coming, some that you maybe have an inkling of but haven't worked it out, but there's none that you can flat out guess in all their detail. Some of them are incredibly sad and heartbreaking, and I wasn't expecting it so I just sat there all shocked, mouth hanging open, totally gobsmacked. I should have guessed about Kip, but I didn't, and it's because it was totally unexpected, but also because you're so engrossed in the story, you don't really have much time to theorize, cos you're turning pages too fast!

There's a smidge of romance, juuuust a smidge. But don't worry, it's not the main focus of the plot, it's woven in very subtly and develops naturally, it's not there for the sake of it. I loved how when you where reading, you felt like you where in the middle ages or a similar time when everything was very basic, but then they'll mention the Before or electricity and machines and you're suddenly jolted in to remembering that, no, this is the future after we've all destroyed the Earth.

I seriously loved this book, and everytime I picked up the book, I was totally absorbed in to the world, and what was going on and was totally obsessed with the book, like when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it and thinking about getting home and reading it some more!

Fire Sermon ends, not on a proper cliffhanger really, but the next book has been subtly set up, and you have a slight idea of what's going to happen, but judging from this book, that will only be a small part of it, or the goal of the characters, there will be so much more going on, and there's a couple of threads left to be picked up in the next book. You're left desperate for the next book, you don't want to leave the world and the characters, and you so badly want to know what happens next, it's going to be torture waiting for the next book!

The Fire Sermon is unique, full of action, and incredibly well thought out and complex, while still being engaging and fast paced. You're thrown in to two times, the future, that is incredibly like the past in moments. I for one am incredibly excited about this book, and the series, it's firmly lodged itself in to my list of favourites, and it's one of those books you read and re-read and keep re-reading until pages are falling out of the binding! And each time you read it, it's going to be like you're reading it for the first time, I  guarantee! Go on....give it a whirl!



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Golden Son



Rating: 5/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher 

Time has passed since the ending of Red Rising, two years to be precise, and Darrow is now fully embedded in to the society of the Golds. But when Pliny conspires to get him released from Augustus's service, Darrow is reminded of what he's fighting for, and he kicks back harder than ever. Darrow ignites a civil war among the Golds, one that could bring down the Sovereign and put Augustus on the throne, but first there's a war to fight, and not everyone will survive, truths will come out, and sides will change. 

Dammit. I am 50 shades of hell no right now. I can't even. Like, I KNEW he was going to betray Darrow, I knew it, I saw it coming a mile off with him being all pissy all the time, but then at the end I still couldn't believe it, I'm SO over all the betrayals, I can't take it anymore! Poor Darrow! Waaa! I am so heartbroken and emotionally fragile right now from this book. 

It's safe to say with that ending, the next book is needed right now, and it's been set up perfectly. I'm most intrigued to see what Mustang is going to do, especially after these events. This book is like crack, I'm not even joking, it's impossible to put it down once you've started reading, and when it's over you need the next one ASAP. I'm still thinking about the book now....and I'll probably be thinking about it for weeks.

I loved the little "Previously on Red Rising.." page at the beginning that refreshed your memory concisely, while getting you pumped for the next instalment and then you turn the page and it's straight in at the action, and it's pretty much non stop from there, there's always something going on to keep you hooked, keep you engaged, keep you reading. I love that about these books, and I love how you don't know what's going to happen next, and even when you do, you're still shocked when it happens because you here hoping you where wrong! The twists and turns are always shocking, and always add to the story.

The thing I love about this series, is that it's set in the future, and there's loads of cool tech, but there's this balance achieved by the author so that while there's tech, it's still pretty archaic at times, and there's still plenty of savagery. It's a perfect blend and balance so you don't get too much of one or the other, and  you really get taken out of time. 

Like in Red Rising, in Golden Son we cover a lot of ground, we see a lot of new locations, we go on another epic quest of sorts, friends are made and broken, and I feel so bad for Darrow that he keeps losing friends, it's not his fault he's kind of useless and keeps pushing them away! Okay it is but still. We find out who Ares is and I honestly did not see that coming, I hadn't even guessed to be honest, I didn't want to touch that aspect because I knew I'd be wrong whoever I said! 

I continue to totally, 100% love Sevro and his Howlers, is it reaaally wrong for me to say they make the book for me? I mean, Sevro makes me chuckle all the time, especially his quips and the little ditties he comes up with! I like to thing he's the humour and the badassness all in one. I just love how he's pretty much like "I am who I am" and doesn't really give a shit or apologise for it. Love it. 

I also mentioned in my Red Rising review, I believe, that I loved Pax, and I really was going to miss him reading this book, at least I thought, but it turned out to be okay because we get Pax's brother and his Dad, and I can't wait to see more of them. I mean Papa Pax has a pet fox that he feeds jelly beans....LOVE. 

Victra turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me, I was wary of her at first, but I think like Darrow and the others, I came to trust her more as the book went on, she was a total badass, and ridiculously loyal and I didn't expect that. She came to be a favourite of mine and it near broke my heart at the end when she's all "I didn't know" because she wanted Darrow to know she didn't betray him and omg. Damn you Brown. 

As for Darrow? Right now, I think he's a bit of a mug, because he didn't really listen to a word Mustang said about who to trust, and who to mend things with, and I thought he'd learned a lesson about pushing people away, or keeping them in the dark, but he did it again this book and look where it got him, silly sod. At the same time, while I want to smack him one, I also feel for him, and the connection to him is still there, especially when he remembered what he was fighting for and when he got to go back home, and how upset he gets whenever he loses people, because it's what sets him apart from the other Golds. I'm interested to see who he becomes in the next book and what the conclusion will be to everything going on.

It's safe to say shit hits the fan in this book, it's truly the climax, whatever happens in the next book is going to be awesome. We have a world in uproar, everyone's running about, and there's power up for grabs and it's going to be interesting to see who it goes to and how the trilogy continues. I love how the plot for the book is one thing, but then there's bits woven in to keep the overarching plot of the series going in the right direction, and there is always more going on than what appears. It's an expertly written, complex plot made up of many components, without being incredibly confusing or you having to take notes. 

The world continued to be engrossing and vivid, with a fantastic atmosphere. I loved getting a glimpse at different parts of the world, and having a trip back to Darrows home. I'm loving how the world building hasn't been forgotten in favour of the plot or so on. There's an equal spread to make sure everything gets the right amount of attention, and it's a world I love and found so easy to slip back in to thanks to Browns world building! 

I'd also like to note that the jump in time was done incredibly well. Sometimes I've seen it done, and it's been confusing and characters haven't quite caught up with the time, but the characters were all where you  would have expected them to be mentally and so on, for the time that's passed, and you knew what had gone on in the two years thanks to the concise little tidbits thrown out here and there.

Romance continues to be subtle and secondary to the plot, not overshadowing it, and it continues to be an interesting one. I can't really say what happens without spoiling it but i'm SO dying to know what Mustang is going to do, I don't think she's going to be horrible to him, but I don't know. We'll see. I'm really hoping certain characters get what's coming to them, which is unusual for me to say, this trilogy is bringing out the side of me that usually only shows itself during Game of Thrones! 

Golden Son truly takes you out of the world for the hours it takes to read it, fully immersing you in to the world of the book, so you're right there with the characters. Characters, old and new, primary and secondary, who jump off the page and come alive. With a plot that always has more going on than meets the eye and twists and turns everywhere, you won't be able to put the book down, nor will you actually want to, you'll be kept guessing, because even if you do have an inkling, you will second guess yourself, and who to trust, like the characters sometimes. 

Golden Son is the sequel us fans where hoping for! It's just as good as, if not better than Red Rising, there's no formula from the first book, used for the second but with different circumstances, kinda like Hunger Games did (don't get me wrong, I love that trilogy but that did make me go uhh). This is one hell of an explosive trilogy, and one that has fast become a favourite of mine, and hopefully loads of other people. This series is going to be big, and I'm waiting patiently for a movie to be made, because this book series deserves movie adaptions! 

Thank you Pierce for writing such an awesome first two books, that have made me delve back in to a genre I was falling out of love with! But at the same tine DAMN YOU FOR THAT ENDING, YOU CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS TO MEEEEE! YOU'VE BROKEN MY FEELS. I have a book hangover that can't be healed. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wishing For Wednesday #24th

This week my lovelies, I have for you a couple of February books early! I'm very excited for one because I love the author, and I may be 21 but that doesn't mean I haven't read her entire other series, because they are full of awesome, and I'm fully anticipating the start of this new series being absolutely fabulous! If you'e in the US then this should have been out yesterday! The other is another "I spotted this and only know the synopsis, no other information, but it looks good so check it ouuutt".

Beastkeeper


Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.
 


Beastkeeper is out February 3rd, pre-order your copy here.

Add it to your GoodReads here


All Fall Down


This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay -- in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.


All Fall Down is out February 5th, pre-order your copy here

Add it to your GoodReads here


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Empire


Empire
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

Syl has been made to live in the Marque with the rest of the Sisters, but nothing is as it seems, something is going on, and when a Sister disappears and a hand looking surprisingly like hers is found in a creature, she starts to investigate in earnest, but what she finds is shocking. Not to mention the fact that the Sisters are being trained to hurt rather than to help, and Ani is pulling away from her.

Paul has risen to a high position of command thanks to his exile, when he and his crew rescue an important Illyri, they are not only thrust in to danger, but they're on the path to discovering another secret about the Empire, and when it's dealt with, there's no going back. Syl and Paul are once again brought together, and they can't forget what they've learned.

Join Syl and Paul as they continue their fight against the strange creatures destroying the Illyri.

Sooooo, I loved this book, and it surpassed the first book in my opinion, as you can see from my rating! I was drawn in from the beginning, I loved the pages at the beginning that where taken from the Chronicles, and detailed what had happened before, sort of like a "previously on..." thing, but then there's one line at the end that makes you so excited to read on, and you know somethings going to happen! I also loved the "property of the Marque library" stamp, and the other touches that made it look like it was from this ancient, separate book! There was always something going on, if it wasn't action, it was something that was adding intrigue, as I tried to work out what was going on, what Syl was going to discover and so on. I couldn't put this installment down, and I never found my attention wandering or being bored.

I loved all the unique things in this book, the aliens, the history and so on, so I was excited to learn more about it in this installment, we got more history about the Sisterhood, we learned more about the world, and the other planets, and the Civil War and everything. I loved seeing more of the unique creatures, even as terrifying as they where, I loved trying to picture them, and with the authors words, it wasn't that hard!

I continue to love the setting, while we didn't see Edinburgh this time, we got to see space. And it was awesome, and so well described, you could picture everything clearly, you felt like you where just hanging out with the characters, wherever they where. The atmosphere was very well done as well, the Marque had a different atmosphere to wherever Paul was, but both could be felt, and both surrounded you, the mystery, the danger, the tension, and so on. I loved seeing more locations in the world the author has created, Marque, other planets and so on, each was well described without so much detail that the pace and flow where disrupted.

I was sad to leave the Resistance behind a bit, there was an entire part that was all about Meia, and she was meeting with the Resistance, because a power change was happening which is going to be interesting to see seeing as Ani has now changed, and her Dad knows the truth you know? But anyway, you saw a little bit of it for that part, and the Green Man again, but I'm sad we didn't see as much of it before, because I thought it was so awesome and WW2 like, and I'm hoping to see more of it in the third book. I think, while I was sad there wasn't much of it, it still fit in it's part, and the absence wasn't at all odd, because this was more about the aliens than the first book was, and the aliens upcoming war.

I'm still loving the characters, particularly Meia, I'd missed her and when it got to her part I was so excited, and there was a nice twist that I didn't see coming and I was like "AAAAAHH" and yeah. The characters are all well written with depth, and in this book you see them develop more, particularly Paul and his brother, considering their training and the situations they know find themselves in. I felt like Paul's brother came in to his own more, he was the pilot, he was more sure of himself and everything. Paul was less "eeeh" for me this time. He was less bland, he was more interesting, there was more to him, he developed for the best I think.

Syl I wasn't too sure of in the first book, but ultimately I'd enjoyed her development over the book and I was excited to see what would happen next for her. She continued to be underestimated by everyone, and I loved Syl even more in this book, I connected to her better in this one, and I loved how badass she was. Her powers have developed a lot more, and she's a force to be reckoned with, along with Paul and the others, the third book is going to be interesting.

I actually really liked Ani in the first book, but in this one I was disappointed with how easily she allowed herself to be manipulated and how immature she was, I mean she had no loyalty to her supposed best friend, she dumped Syl every single time and went off with the others, didn't believe a word she said, and when she saw with her own eyes, what the others had been up to, she went off on Syl for killing them, even though they'd just murdered loads of people. Ani's gone off not wanting to see her again and blah blah, and I think she went from a potential interesting character, that paired with Syl, could have been an incredible duo in the upcoming fight, to a kind of incredibly pathetic and petty character. Do not like at all. Hopefully in the third book she'll get her act together because I was getting so annoyed on Syl's behalf.

So, I think this installment was better because there was stuff going on from the go, stuff to be worked out, action and so on, and there was none of this misleading information, and the romance wasn't in your face with all it's oddness and just not really working. Paul was back to being true to himself and his character, as was Syl, and the romance was still there a little bit, they're thinking about each other, but I think after the odd romance blooming from nowhere, them being apart with the little mentions of it, worked to re-establish the characters on their own, and helped you get to know them both separately and come to love them, so when the romance kicks back up in the third book, I think it's going to work better than in the first book!

The narrative was engaging, I loved the ominous comments, and the fact it wasn't from any of the characters perspectives. I liked how it gave you little tidbits, and how more information about the history wasn't just stated, it was give to you by conversations, or characters researching and so on. I liked seeing more of the political struggle going on with the weird alien things that where attached to the Illyri. The third book was set up subtly, and it's set to be an explosive installment, I'm really excited for it because there's going to be so much going on it, and so much coming together and kicking off and eee!

The plot is complex, there's two plot lines going on, three actually, Paul, Syl and Meia, and all three are woven together perfectly. You're kept guessing, you don't know what's going to happen next, there's plenty of plot twists that you don't see coming, and it's always nice to be surprised when reading, and I couldn't put the book down at all, I was totally engrossed and sucked in to the world by the plot and the characters and everything. There where so many threads going on with the Marque and the thing going on with Paul and the stuff happening with Syl's dad and back home, there was mystery and intrigue and action everywhere.

Empire has surpassed the first book, it's everything I hoped it would be and more, and the lack of romance barely had time to be noticed as there was so much going on, and so much for you to try to piece together and work out, but you end up being surprised anyway! I'm so excited for the third installment!

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Hourglass Factory


The Hourglass Factory
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

1912.....a Suffragette stunt is all set to make big news, starring notorious trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, but it doesn't. Why? Titanic. Fast forward 6 months and we meet reporter Frankie George, she's determined to make a name in the newspaper business as a reporter, but it's hard to do that when she's given all the assignments for the Ladies Pages. She's sent to interview Ebony, but things don't really go according to plan. Frankie becomes fascinated with her and sets out to find her again....and she does....at the scene of a murder, a murder of someone mistakenly identified as Ebony. Not long after....Ebony disappears mid trapeze performance.

Frankie sets out to find her and who she's afraid of, and the investigation leads her in to the heart of the Suffragettes....their enemies...and the Hourglass Factory. What's really going on? Who is the hidden villain?

Wow. What a debut. I'm still trying to process because this book was truly astounding and I'm actually sad to leave the world. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find that while we learned about it at school, I actually learned a lot more about the movement from this book, and I think, at least to me, Suffragettes aren't really mentioned much unless it's how the war finally got them the vote. So yeah. I'm glad to see a debut novel bring them back in to the limelight, and quite frankly, this book deserves all the hype I've seen and more!

I was so excited to read this and I wasn't disappointed, I was drawn straight in to the world the author created, I got a real feel for the time, which at times made me want to punch certain...male...characters in the face. The world building is so vivid, you feel you've time travelled back to the period and you're tagging along after the characters!

The world is a vivid and atmospheric one, the characters....well they're a hell of a colourful cast, and I  loved all of them. Particularly Millie and Frankie! It was so easy to connect to Frankie and I loved how she was wandering round London wearing trousers and giving no fucks and I thought the POV changes between her and other characters was flawless and perfectly timed, and the element added to the story. The perspective of a policeman was an intriguing one, particularly as he went about his investigation one way, and Frankie the other!

Back to the colourful cast though. I think Reynolds was a surprise for me, shamefully, I only know what I've picked up from school, books and the odd TV show I've watched on the history channel and so on, so while I knew that there was the mens movement going on, I didn't know there where men who went to prison and where force fed as well, that was an eyeopener. Like I said, I learned a hell of a lot from this book, and all of it was subtle, not pages of information written out to bog down the narrative.

Each character, secondary or not, jumped off the page and became real right in front of your eyes. Like the synopsis says, we get society columnists (Twinkle), corset fetishists (unknown persons of a male persuasion), and circus freaks, I wouldn't really call them freaks though, but I'm assuming this means Milly and co. There was also an abundance of Suffragettes, obviously, and all of them where so well written and in some cases, portrayed.

All of the settings where fantastically described, and helped to suck you in to the world of the book, along with the characters that kept you engaged the entire way through. As the synopsis says, we see the newsrooms of Fleet Street, the Suffragette HQ and the goings on there, Pentonville, a rather...lovely...asylum, and some other fantastic locations. It's a whirlwind journey through old London, and you can't help but be totally fascinated and engrossed in it.

The plot kept you guessing, I gave up trying to work out who the villain was and what was really going on after like the third time I was horrifically wrong! I had no idea what was going to happen next, I had no idea of certain characters connections and most importantly I had no idea who the rather unexpected villain was, and boy was the villains identity unexpected! Total cray cray villain as well. I loved the twists and turns, and the shocks and surprises and it was a fantastically thought out and complex plot.

I'm not going to lie to you all....I am 100% in love with this book. I will sing it's praises all day and all night, and I could talk about it for hours, it's a fantastic angle on Suffragettes and it has it's unique little bits. It's definite re-read and cherish forever territory. A rich and vivid world, colourful characters, intriguing mystery, fantastic prose, with the odd chuckle here and there, it's a fantastic trip to Victorian London. Read it. It's made of awesome. I can't wait to see what the author publishes next!

Friday, 23 January 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Mime Order Review AND Scion Guide!

The time is upon us, The Mime Order looms, and I have for you my review aaaannddd a cool little guide Samantha knocked up for me to post on here. Coolest blog tour ever riiight!? First up.....review times! 

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy it NOW
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

In The Bone Season Paige escaped the brutal penal colony known as Sheol I, taking as many  Voyants with her as she could but having to leave behind Warden. In Mime Order, we join her on the second leg of the escape, and her problems are only just beginning, what with the train letting out at the Tower...full of guards. After that, most of the fugitives are dead or missing and Paige has no idea where they are. Thanks to Nashira, she is also the most wanted person in London with her face plastered everywhere.

Scion has it's Sauron like eye on Paige, but while she's still Jaxons Mollisher, she's untouchable, no-one will risk his wrath to turn her in. But Paige is chafing under Jax, she didn't leave one slave position for another, and Jax has no intention on acting on what they know, he'll do everything in his power to make sure she doesn't breathe a word about the colony and the Rephaim to the Unnatural Assembly. Not that they'd do anything, considering the corruption festering under the surface, encouraged by the Under-Lord, the only one who can call them to do something. Warden is still MIA and when said Under-Lord and his entire group are killed, including his mollisher and heir, the Unnatural Assembly need new leadership, and to get it, all eligible parties will have to participate in a scrimmage.

Jaxon and his Seven Seals are prepared to fight and win, but Paige can't allow that to happen. Secrets are everywhere, nothing is as it seems, and the Seven Seals are about to be torn apart, but who will fall on whose side? Paige is determined to do something about the imposing threat and destroy the corruption in the Unnatural Assembly, and she won't allow Jaxon to control her anymore.

Paige is going to have to make a stand, the question is....who will be her allies? Everything Paige thought she knew, is wrong. Who can she really trust, when she's being hunted?

Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! How can you leave it like that!? Waaaaa! Dammit give me the next book noow! This is going to be a horrible wait, I can tell, because right now I can't think about anything other than this book, and the series, and what's possibly going to happen next, and every bad thing that could happen is going through my head, and I need to know what happens! But I will calm myself to write this review! Expect some gushing though! Although I'll try and keep it as spoiler free as possible!

Mime Order seriously starts off right from where Bone Season ended, so we're on the train heading towards Scion, and Paige is trying to figure out what to do next, so as you can imagine there is some intense emotion and atmosphere from the beginning as well as action that starts from the beginning and carries on throughout, making the book impossible to put down. Every chapter leaves you needing to know what happens next, there is no appropriate place to stop, because there's never a lull, if it's not an awesome fight scene, then it's clues dropping in to your lap, or you being shocked at a plot twist, and so on. Something is always going on, and urging you to keep reading.

This series is incredibly unique, it's incredibly detailed and intricate with the politics and the time line and the explanations for things like Jack the Ripper, and the different levels of Voyants, and the world and everything. Everything is explained so well and so concisely that you immediately get the world, and slipping back in to it for Mime Order is so easy. I love the uniqueness of the book, I really do, there's so much about it I could mention, but I'd be here all day and no-one wants to read a review that's longer than the book! I suspect fans of the books will know what I mean anyway!

Mime Order also shows just how clever the book is, I mean at the Tower of London, the guards are called Ravens. You know....the Ravens at the Tower....get it?! There's little nuggets like that throughout the whole book and I'm not sure about other readers, but native Londoners like myself will be reading it and chuckling at all the little nuggets like the Tower, that show our London exists in this future, alternate London, but has been subtly changed, and fits in to the world and so on. It's incredibly well done.

This installment is just as intense and emotional as Bone Season, if not more than, the atmosphere is just....all over you as soon as you start reading it. You can feel the danger, unrest, terror, oppression, slight stirrings of rebellion and so on, and the atmosphere stays with you throughout the entire book, changing subtly with each new part of the plot. It's this atmosphere, along with the fantastically vivid world building, that draws you in to the world and refuses to let you step back out. For me, it wasn't hard to layer this alternate London, over my London. Besides that, for someone who's never been to London, it's going to feel like you have been.

I loved the mix of times, it's set in the future, but there's Victorian elements strewn throughout, and it's all blended together to make a unique setting that you're engrossed by and wanting to know more about with every bit you learn about. Like I've said multiple times, I've been on a roll lately with uniquely awesome books, and this is one of those instances where a sequel is equal to it's previous installment if not better.

Bone Season, as fans will remember, was all about the Colony and the Rephaim, and learning about them and what's really going on with Scion, with brief hints of everything else, although I think it's safe to say there where some bad vibes from Jax, and how he treated Paige, which isn't how she remembered him. Mime Order is all about the Unnatural Assembly, it's structure, the different Cohorts and their resident Mime-Queens or Mime-Lords, their mollishers and other members, the politics of it, and how corrupt it really is and has been allowed to become by Hector. I mean, it's a lot more corrupt than even Paige thought it was.

I continue to love Paige, and connect to her, and feel for her, and I'm right there along with her in the book, feeling what she's feeling and everything. I love how strong she is, and how she keeps on surviving despite what's thrown at her, keeps on fighting. I've loved watching her develop, and continue to develop in this book, I mean she could have just given in and gone along with Jackson, but she didn't. She did what she needed to do, to keep everyone safe. Jaxon is not how I was expecting him to be from the bits Paige mentioned of him in Bone Season, and him at the end, appeared to be out of character, in this book he seems to be totally different from how he's supposed to be, and the whole thing at the end makes you realize what his problem is, why he's acting this way and so on, and I'm totally hitting myself for not picking up on it!

I love the characters in the book, all of them, not just Eliza, and Warden and Nick, but all the secondary characters, because even the really shitty characters, are all incredibly well written, they're all larger than life, they all leap off the page, they're all different from the others and it's a really colourful cast of characters! Not to mention I love the different types of Voyants and all the different gifts they have and Numa, I love finding out more and more about them!

The plot is complex, there's a lot going on under the surface, and there are clues, but I for one, was incredibly engrossed in the book so I missed some clues, obviously, and all the theories I had where totally wrong. Like reaaaaaally wrong! I loved how you're reading, and there's hints of something under the surface, something  more going on, but it's eked out, and you're desperate to know how it all connects and what's really going on and then the reveals just totally blow you away. There are seriously plot twists everywhere and it keeps you on your toes, and I seriously wasn't expecting certain things to happen and I had so many feels. So many. Like I said, I should have guessed certain things and picked up more of the clues, but I didn't, and I couldn't work out some of the clues, because I suck.

There's also a smidge more background about the Rephaim, and you see their point of view about what happened when they arrived back in the 1800's, how they framed Edward as the Ripper, how the veil works, how the clairvoyants came about and how Warden and the others became rebels, and started working against the Sargas. I love the timeline the author has created to explain the Ripper, and her current Scion London, and I love how she's changed history so it starts back in the 1800's, it fits so perfectly.

The Mime Order is reaching the climax of the overarching storyline, change is happening, revolution is coming, and the fight is about to start, and things are going to get even more intense and serious, and there's probably going to be heartbreak. You can feel the change coming at the end of the book, when Lotte shouts out you can literally feel it, it almost makes you shiver. Mime Order ends on a cliffhanger with a plot twist that seriously comes out of nowhere and pretty much punches you in the face and leaves you stunned for a good period of time after, as all the implications come crashing down on you and things click in to place.

The Mime Order is slick, and has a fast, action packed pace that continues strongly all the way through until the end, you don't want to leave the world, you NEED to know what happens next, you want to be as badass as Paige! I loved the Unnatural Assembly and how it's set up, and all the different names, and I'm excited to see what happens with this new Unnatural Assembly with it's new leadership, and the third book is looking to be utterly fantastic, and explosive and just amazing. I need it nooow!

Oh oh oh, and, P.S, I LOVED the little interludes breaking up the story and keeping it fresh and the cool pamphlets and things!

I know I know, so much writing, so much fingerling, y'all should be used to this from me by now when I love a series! If my review got you super excited for Mime Order, check out the link for the coolest guide ever! Reacquaint yourself with Scion London! 

Clickety click, riight....HERE for the open in new page, giant view, OR, below is a little viewer thingy I rigged up. As you can tell I have no idea how I managed it :')




Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Wicked Awakening Of Anne Merchant


The Wicked Awakening Of Anne Merchant
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Check out my review of the first book.....here.

Kicking off right where the first book ended, Teddy has brought Anne back to the island where there's a new Headmaster, one who's got plans with Mephisto to create a college, a college that's tuition is going to cost a hefty price. Ben has the joy of having his ex Garnet as a Guardian, and he doesn't want to fight at all in the Big V. Anne has to change that, even if it means changing things between them, and changing herself to make sure he wins, she has to become what she really is, and embrace her inner...well...you'll see.

Oh my God. I can't even. I got sent this by the publisher all the way from the US and I honestly can't thank them enough! The email about it brightened my day and when I received the book the other day? Day made. I even got a cool Cania Christy patch! So, I literally got the book yesterday, and I read it today, which is probably a few weeks past whenever you guys actually read this, because blog schedule and everything! But still. I finished this in a matter of hours and I have never been more tense reading a book in my life!

Much like with the first book, I was kept guessing until the end, and while I usually love that, I hate that in these books because I'm so on edge when I'm reading and I'm almost afraid to turn the page and see what happens next! The revelations in this book? Didn't see them coming, and boy are they shocking!

There is literally so much revealed, and just thrown out there that makes you go ".....oh...okay" and then you freak out. Anne's....heritage? Not what I had been expecting or assuming or anything. Anne in this book fully embraces the darkness of her soul to save Ben, because everything she does is about Ben, and we see an entirely different side to Anne what with the darkness and everything, it was kinda cool and kinda like "Noooo Anne!"

Anne in this book was so awesome, despite the darkness and everything, her plan is crazy and complicated and you're drawn right in to it with her, you can feel the weight Anne must have on her shoulders like it's a real thing because she has so many people relying on her after she makes all these promises and the book is a roller coaster. I loved Anne and I loved watching her kind of step up to try and save everyone, I feel like she's grown as a character!

Pilot was back, he's kind of awesome in this book, I felt a tad sorry for him, what with knowing the truth, but being outranked and not allowed to tell Anne but even then at the end he was trying to let her know something was wrong and she'd been played. I mean I was right there with Anne, I thought she'd been betrayed and I was like "Shit, how can I be so wrong about a character?!" and so when it was revealed who was Dorian? Not expecting it. So sad. I loved that character!

Molly is also back, and I pure loved her in the first book, as anyone who read the review knows, and then she popped back up, and she was her usual awesome self, and then she turned out to be even more awesome because of what she'd been...uuuhh...doing? I can't say much, you'll know what I mean when you read the book and find out what's reallllyy going on!

Ben and Anne's relationship I continue to enjoy, even when he supposedly hates her he's still lurking about and dreaming about her and it's kind of cute! There where a few new characters, and I loved how the entire time, you're not sure who to trust, who's on the right side, what these characters are up to. You totally make a call about a character and then you're wrong and it's a true whirlwind of emotion.

I found it so easy to slip back in to the world, like I said about the first book, the world building is fantastic, that's why it's so easy to slip  back in to the world, picturing everything as if you never left it, and the atmosphere is pretty much a real thing, you can feel the tension, the distrust, the danger and the creepiness oozing off the page. I literally picked the book up and fell straight back in to the story as if I had never been away from it!

Some things where dealt with and everything, but there's still more to be got out of this story to end it properly, so it's just as well this is a trilogy and there's another book! I love the mystery, I love how you're in the same boat as Anne trying to work other characters out, I love how the plot twists and turns keeping you guessing and I love how I totally called this as being a popular series, I mean, it's unique, it's different, and it leaves you wanting more! Roll on book three!

And again, thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this and the patch, and I would really love to hug you for that!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wishing For Wednesday #23

So I only have one again for you guys this week, it's one that I don't know much about other than the synopsis, I've not read anything by the other authors and so on. You gotta admit, I do find some intriguing little gems right?! This one looks like it's going to be fun, knights and princesses, and murder and ghosts, what's not to love? Or be very, very intrigued by?! GIMME GIMME!

Woven


Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.


Woven is out January 27th, pre-order your copy here

Add it to your GoodReads here

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Red Rose, White Rose


Red Rose, White Rose
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

The powerful story of Cecily Neville, torn between both sides in the War of the Roses. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory.

Richard, the thirteen-year-old Duke of York, England’s richest heir.
Told through the eyes of Cicely and her half-brother Cuthbert, Red Rose, White Rose is the story of one of the most powerful women in England during one of its most turbulent periods. Born of Lancaster and married to York, the willowy and wayward Cicely treads a hazardous path through love, loss and imprisonment and between the violent factions of Lancaster and York, as the Wars of the Roses tear England’s ruling families apart.
So nearly queen herself, Cicely Neville was the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of kings – and her descendants still wear the crown.

So this randomly arrived in the post from Harper, giving me a lovely little surprise and I started reading it almost immediately! I love a historical fiction  book! 

This has clearly been well researched, there's so many historical facts woven in to the narrative, and it's utterly fascinating! I was learning additional information to what I already knew, I love how you can learn from well written historical novels, while enjoying a plot and being fully engaged, and it just helps you to keep reading because it's utterly fascinating. 

I absolutely loved watching Cecily grow and mature over the course of the book, she was such a strong character and had so much influence for a woman of her time. She was an incredible character and one I didn't know much about, so it was fantastic getting to know her...sort of! Each character was so authentic, they where all written as realistically as can be with the information known, and they all came alive, particularly the women! 

The narrative was engaging, the plot was complex and covered a hell of a lot of ground, and events, and like I said, it was fascinating and interesting and at points quite gripping. It was a bit of a dodgy time, and that's putting it mildly! It was as interesting as it was fascinating to learn what it was like to live in that time with the marriages and the whole King thing. 

The thing that bothered me about this, however, was that while at points it was gripping, it was also a liittle bit boring, because sometimes the pace slowed down a bit, and while I loved all of the information, and all of the facts, at times it did bog down the pace and was a bit hard to get through, and remember who everyone was and so on, which slightly detracted from the story at points because I was trying to remember a person and wasn't entirely focusing on the narrative until I'd worked out who they where! 

Despite that little blip, which wasn't entirely unexpected when a book is well researched, I still enjoyed the book, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from the author, what historical figure she'll focus on next, and teach me about! 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Alice And The Fly


Alice And The Fly
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of Bookbridgr

This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It's about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it's about love. Finding love - in any of its forms - and nurturing it.

Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition's caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I'll flood out all these tears and it'll all be ok and I won't be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can't think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories - Herb's death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah - but none of these are what caused the phobia. I've always had it. It's Them. I'm just scared of Them. It's that simple.

Okay so this is GoodReads synopsis, I'm not doing my own because I WILL accidentally spoil it, and I don't want to give anything away! I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I was so entranced by it, I couldn't put it down, it really is an incredible debut.  This book was so haunting, I finished the book and just sat there for a while, thinking,  I was still in the world, still feeling the atmosphere of the book, slightly creepy atmosphere at that, and it was beautifully written. 

I loved how you really got in to Greg's head, how you came to understand him and I personally, connected with him and really sympathised with him. You're pretty much reading Greg's diary, and it's so sad to see how isolated he is, and how cruel kids at school can be, and not to mention his parents ignoring him all the time. The interesting thing was, that while Greg was so different, and so disliked by his peers, and seen as strange by other people, he saw a lot more than other people did about his peers, and you get a great look at other people from his point of view. Being inside his head leaves you feeling a bit unsettled, as his view of the world is so strange compared to ours. 

Greg was very well created by the author, and very well portrayed, and he came alive off the page. Not to mention the other characters that the author has created, they're all kept at quite a distance by the character, seeing as the ignore him mostly, but every character is so realistic, and natural, well as natural as you can be when you pretty much ignore your kids existence and the bullies being...well...bullies, you know? 

I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away which is why this review is shorter than usual, but the plot was fantastic. There where little twists and intrigues that you couldn't work out or see what was coming, and I ended up being surprised multiple times. I LOVED the extracts from the interviews, they added so much intriguing, without giving away the ending of the story, and giving you tidbits of information about the past, and it gives you the opportunity to see Greg through the eyes of other characters, which is quite a sad/heartbreaking thing. Especially his dad. Not buying his "showing her the house excuse either". It's so hard to put this book down because you want to keep reading, to find out what this event is and so on. 

I thought the entire book was very well written, the world was very natural and realistic and believable, and it felt like Greg was a real person, and I was reading a real account of events that happened, and I even felt a bit guilty for reading his diary! This book was quite emotional for me, and the plot is woven with lots of different elements and themes, and it was all fantastically blended together to create a truly incredible read.

The ending left me feeling a bit bereft, and sad, and teary, because I didn't want to leave Greg, I wanted to see what would happen next for him, I wanted to see his father and sister have more of a relationship with him which they where clearly starting to do, and I wanted to see him, I don't know, become less alone? I felt so many emotions reading this and finishing this and I think this is a book that's going to stay with me, and I'll keep coming back to. I really think it's a book you all should read, it's utterly fantastic. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wishing For Wednesday #22

Hellloooo erryboddyyyy!
This week I am most looking forward toooooo.......... this  little book I found, that seems quite intriguing. I'm excited to give it a whirl, I don't read enough from this particular genre! I'm getting some Maze Runner vibes from the synopsis, not like "omg it's exactly the same" just certain things are a bit reminiscent, so I'm curious!

The Prey


A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.

The Prey is out January 20th, pre-order your copy here

Add it to your GoodReads here
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