Currently Reading

Currently reading: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Catch Up

First off, happy Easter guys! Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. Four days! Perfect. I think we need to start a petition to make all weekends four days. How awesome would that be?

Anyway, back to the post! So, things have been pretty quiet around here so far this year. It has been a bit of a weird time for me really. Whilst I've been pretty busy with work and real life I've had a lot of spare time to read and review and stuff but I've just had no compulsion to do so. In fact I've been in such a bad reading slump that I've only read 5 books so far this year and that is a joke! I really don't know what was wrong with me but no matter what I picked up I couldn't connect with it, I could finish it, I had to put it down and I started to wonder whether if it wasn't the books that were the problem but me. So I gave myself a bit of time away from reading and just did other stuff to keep myself occupied and then a couple of weeks ago I picked up Banished by the lovely Liz de Jäger and I fell in love and I'm happy to say I'm reading again. Not at the rate that I used to but I'm still reading and I'm loving it again which is good. So over the next few days I'm going to finally be getting some reviews up! Yay. There is of course one for Banished and the two Zom-B books that have been published this year.

I also in other news went to the premiere for Divergent at the end of last month and had such an amazing time. The film is stunning and more than it could ever of dreamed of. One of the best book to film adaptations I've seen in a very long time and it has me very excited to see how they will handle Insurgent and then Allegiant in the coming years! 

Anyway, I'm going to let you go and I hope to see you around again soon for lots more reviews and posts as I really get back into the swing of things! There area. Lot of exciting books coming out this year that I cannot wait to get stuck into!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Competition: Win tickets to the UK premiere for DIRVERGENT!!!!!

First off, yes I know I've been quite lately, there's been a lot going on and I have been in a MEGA reading slump but I'm hoping that's over now, so you'll be seeing a lot of me in the very near future... anyway... EXCITING THINGS... Let's get on with it shall we?

-


Have you ever wanted to go to a movie premiere? Sit alongside the stars of the film and watch it with them? Well, now you can because I have a very exciting opportunity for you today. Thanks to the amazing guys over at HarperCollins UK, I have a pair of tickets to give away to the UK/European premiere for the movie adaptation of Divergent!!! Cue lots of squealing... I for one am so excited for the film and cannot wait to see it! I'll be there, along with lots of other bloggers, so it's set to be an amazing day! Here is some more info about the premiere and about the Divergent Experience which is being held in London over the course of Saturday and Sunday! So exciting!!!

Experience the world of the hotly anticipated DIVERGENT movie in Leicester Square and attend the EUROPEAN PREMIERE!

On Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th Leicester Square will be transformed into the dystopian world of DIVERGENT, where fans will be invited to undergo initiation tests and, like Tris Prior, choose where they belong. Would you survive in Dauntless? Fans will be put through their paces with Dauntless training to see if you are brave enough to join their faction!

But that’s not all – we have a pair of tickets for the European premiere of DIVERGENT at Odeon Leicester Square on the Sunday at 1.30pm, attended by stars of the film Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet! So not only can you discover the world for yourself, you can walk the red carpet, mingle with the stars and watch the film before it’s released in the UK!

Enter here for your chance to win this once in a lifetime experience! If you aren’t lucky this time, you are still in with a chance - get down to Leicester Square early as we will also be giving out a limited number of premiere tickets to fans on both days!

The Divergent Fan Experience Timings

Saturday March 29th 
11.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday March 30th
11.00am – 12.00pm
3.00pm – 6.00pm

Premiere timings

Sunday March 30th 
Doors open – 1.30pm
Doors close – 2.30pm
Film starts 3.00pm

Now there are a few terms for this competition... 

1) You have to be atleast 18 to enter, or if not you have to be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
2) You have to be able to make your own way to London, THIS SUNDAY, 30th March.
3) The competition ends on Thursday at 9am, simply because I have to get your info over to the publisher who will be getting in contact with you about the full info!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your email address broken up so for example empire-of-books [at] live [dot] co [dot] uk, just so you don't get any spam, AND your favourite scene from any of the three books in the Divergent trilogy! I'll pick the best one!

So what are you waiting for? You can be sat in the same room and Theo James!!! Who doesn't want that? I do!

Good luck, and see you there!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Zom-B Gladiator by Darren Shan [Review]

Written by: Darren Shan.
Published by: Simon and Schuster.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 2nd January 2014.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Can you kidnap a zombie? Can money buy your life? Or can you only fight for it? B Smith has met her darkest challenge yet ..."

-

Oh, boy. Here we go again. Another year and another rollercoaster expected for fans of a certain horror author. Yes, that's right, Mr. Darren Shan is set to publish four main volumes in the Zom-B series, bringing us to nine volumes by the end of the year, and we also get an even smaller addition in the form of Zom-B Circus, a short novella written with the intention of being released as a £1 book for World Book Day before the event organisers deemed it would be too violent for them... Well... if Gladiator, the sixth entry in Shan's planned saga of twelve, is anything to go by I can understand why.

As the series is progressing it is getting steadily bloodier and gorier and I for one am loving it. With some of Darren's goriest scenes yet encapsulated in its 160 pages, Gladiator is also my favourite of the series so far. It delivers both in the deeper content and gore as it does in action and we meet one of Shan's most disgusting and frankly vulgar villains yet. I want to speak about this character so much but the fact that you don't really see him coming is needed for the story, so hopefully we can talk about him a bit more when Zom-B Mission comes out in March. If you've read Gladiator then you know full well who I am on about. Total shmuck, right?! So creepy...

We meet a few other bad guys in this book as well, after B is captured and forced to perform for the entertainment of some of the living that have taken up residence in London. Seriously, these guys are weird and not to be missed.

I also like that we do see B developing. She does a lot of internal thinking, things that she doesn't say to her fellow Angels and things that she needs to sort out in her own head - it makes her feel more, well, human, despite the fact she is actually just a walking, talking corpse now.

Anyway, back on topic... I'll keep my review short because there is only so much gushing one guy can do, and we are half way through the series now so if you haven't yet read the previous books (seriously, where have you been living, under a rock?) I don't want to spoil anything. All readers need to know about this book is that it's fun, just as pacey and well written as we have come to expect from Darren. Some would fear that four books a year, as well as an adult novel he has coming out this Summer as well would be too much and that with all that quantity, the quality would suffer. Well worry not, because the quality of these books is on the up and Darren shows no signs of stopping yet and rightly so. 

I cannot wait to see what Zom-B Mission has in store for us when it is published in March!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Anticipated Titles for 2014

I had meant to finish this post so it could go live yesterday, but family butted in on plans so it had to be put on hold... Anyway, there are loads of titles I'm excited about that are due to be released this year. There are sequels, stand alones, debuts, all sorts, so lets have a ganders, shall we?

Kicking off things this year is Mr. Darren Shan. The sixth book in his Zom-B series hits shelves, and e-readers, today in the UK, and later on in the month for US readers. It'll be followed in March by book seven, Zom-B Mission, and books 8 and 9 later in the year. But not only that, there is another Zom-B edition set to hit the shelves in March! It's called Zom-B Circus and Darren wrote it with the intention of it being released as part of the £1 book scheme surrounding World Book Day, but the event organisers said it would be too gory so decided not to go with it, but Darren being the awesome man that he is is going to release it anyway. Full details are to follow but it's coming! GREAT! Lots of zombie action for us this year, looking forward to it!




We also get a new book from the wonderful Keren David in January! Something I am very excited about. If you've read my blog over the last few years you'll of no doubt seen me mention When I Was Joe, Almost True and Another Life. Well, those books are phenomenal and it sounds like her new book, Salvage is going to be just as good. Keren's writing is always amazing and she isn't afraid to shy away from gritty subjects. The books surrounding Ty/Joe dealt with knife crime and witness protection and Salvage is about adoption. Very excited to read it, and luckily it's high up in my to read pile at the moment so it won't be long!







Then in February something very exciting that looks and sounds right up my street. One of our very own is making her debut this year, oh yes! Book blogger turned authoress, Liz de Jager is about to publish the first novel in a trilogy surrounding faries, battles, and I've been told hot boys? Who doesn't want that, huh? I do. And the cover is a beaut as well. It's going to look so good on the shelves and in peoples hands whilst they read it. I for one cannot wait. It's called Banished and it is the first in The Blackhart Legacy trilogy! We're all rooting for you Liz! 




In March of course, a sequel comes that I have been dying to read ever since I read the last book in the series. Zero Hour is the fourth book in Will Hill's utterly incredibly Department 19 series. It hardly feels real, I remember getting the proof of the first book when there was all this secrecy around it, and now we're sat here waiting for the penultimate book in the series. I dread to think what sort of state I'm going to be in this time next year waiting to see what Will has in store for the finale. Bring it on, Will, bring it on!










May see's the return of James Dawson. After his debut in 2012 with Hollow Pike and last years Cruel Summer being so damn good, the fanbase for Mr. Dawson is growing daily. And this year he is set to take on a tale most horrifying - that of Bloody Mary. I for one am a little nervous about reading this book because I don't do all that well with phycological thrillers and scary things, just because I am generally a bit of a woos. It sounds amazing though and I love the cover. Cannot wait! 




June see's the release of another debut. I have already read this one actually, thanks to the wonders of Edelweiss and the awesome Harper Collins Teen US team who gave me access to a copy for my Kindle. It's creepy, it's dark, it's exciting and it is one that shouldn't be missed at any costs. I am of course talking about The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. Again, blogger turned author, only Lindsay is from across the pond in America! I'm not aware of a UK publisher picking this book up yet but it's brilliant so it shouldn't be long. Fear not, though, good old Book Depository is on the case! You can pre-order it there for free worldwide shipping and it is so worth it! Trust me! Argh! So good. Before that though there will be a prequel novella, The Fear Trials on sale in May which you can pre-order for your Kindle right now, even in the UK! Buzz!

The summer will also see some annual publications that I always look forward to. The fifth book in Pittacus Lore's Lorien Legacies is due to be published in August, as is the third book in Michelle Pavers' awesome Gods and Warriors series. Neither of these books have names yet, but they're sure to be favourites for me upon their publication.

Other books that deserve an honorary mention that are due out this year are...


Stolen is a prequel novella set before the start of the first book in Erin Bowman's Taken trilogy which debuted last year with Taken. Stolen is due out on 4th February and is available to pre-order right now for your Kindle at the low low price of 99p. BAGAIN! It is followed in April by the second book in the trilogy, Frozen, which I personally cannot wait for. I'm so excited to see it in the flesh as well because the design of the covers of this trilogy is truly stunning!

This year also see's the end to a trilogy I am truly in love with. It's so good, so epic, so well written. I am of course talking about Elizabeth Richards Black City trilogy. The second book, Phoenix blew me away last year and was one of my favourite books too, so I have high hopes and excitement for this finale due in June. Wings also has my favourite cover of the trilogy. It's so cool. It looks like it should be framed and hung up for all to see, right? So excited!

Also, we get new Cat Clarke this year! YAYAYAYAYA! A Kiss in the Dark is Cat's fourth novel and one I am so excited to read. I read her last book, Undone right at the tail end of 2012 so it's been an awfully long time coming for me. Honestly, if you haven't read anything by Cat yet, just do it. Do it do it do it do it. Her writing is so addictive, so gritty, so good. Just do it.
And we get a sequel of sorts to Malorie Blackman's Boys Don't Cry which was one of my absolute favourites when it was published a few years back. Heart Break Girl tells the other side of the story, it shows why Mel dumped her baby with its father in the first book. It sounds great, I love the cover and I cannot wait to read more about these characters.
Now, I could go on and on and on and on. But then we'd be here all week and we've got places to go, people to see, books to read, right?! RIGHT! So I'm going to leave it there. There are so many more which just goes to show how exciting it looks like 2014 is going to be for us readers. It's already sounding like this years end of year lists are going to be even harder to judge than last years! Bring it on! Haha!
Have I missed off anything you're excited about? Maybe I haven't heard about it, just leave a comment below letting me know what you're excited for in 2014.

Happy reading.









Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years, New Resolutions



Hey guys. First off... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

So, I've been pretty quiet lately. There's been a lot going on in my life personally that I'm not going to go in to but 2014 looks like it is going to be one freaking awesomesauce year and I cannot wait to get it started. There also look to be a lot of amazing books coming out soon too... In fact, there's a post going up later about my most anticipated releases of the year so be sure to check that out to see if we're excited about the same titles or if there's something there you are yet to discover!

So, yeah, resolutions. I only have one. To be a better blogger. I know. Kind of predictable right? But it's true. I want to post more. Review more. You guys have been awesome, I've just checked the stats page and it's ridiculous how many views the blog still gets even when I'm not posting, so thanks for sticking with me.

Thanks to all the awesome publishers who send me proofs and stuff to review. I'm off work at the moment till next week and I am reading as much as I can and already have a few reviews to be writing up. So lets get to it guys. 2014, bring it on!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 10 Books of 2013

Wow! 2013 is almost at an end, with just a few hours to go, and by golly gosh it has been a strong year as far as books have been concerned. We've seen trilogies end, we've seen new authors explode on to the scene and we've seen some awesome sequels too, so lets see what my favourite 10 books of the year are...

-


10) The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness.
The first of two appearances in my Top 10 for Mr. Ness! This book is so beautifully written and it's such an enchanting story that although I have an unwritten rule that I only include one book by each author on my Top 10, it still has to be included, so that rule has to be broken. It's a great little book that I recommend big time!











9) Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood.
A book both beautiful in design and in content. It is a wonderfully written tale of first love, ill-fated from the start and of tragedy all in one summer. It is great and I cannot stress how much I love this book. It's only little, about 200 pages but it packs a punch!













8) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.
A chilling tale of an alien invasion on Earth that left me feeling cold and terrified. Surprisingly though it is freaking awesome. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to check it out soon. The sequel, The Infinite Sea is out in September 2014!













7) Phoneix by Elizabeth Richards.
The second book in the Black City trilogy. The stakes are higher than ever and with Purian Rose building death camps for the Darklings action needs to be taken. I cannot express how much I love this trilogy. It's a disgrace that no one over here publishes them yet, but with the third and final book, Wings, due out in June hopefully it won't be too long. I cannot wait to see how it ends!











6) More Than This by Patrick Ness.
Ah. Mr. Ness' second appearance on my Top 10. And this book is a stunner, both to the eye when you look at that beautiful cover, and when you read it. It's a great story that is difficult to summarise without spoiling it. Just read it. That's all I have to say about this wonderful book. Just read it! That's all you need to know anyway! Just do it!











5) Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
This book had a bit of a controversial entry in to the world back in October. A lot of long term fans of the trilogy were unhappy with the way that it ended, but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it and understand why it ended the way it did. It's just sad to see another trilogy go. Please write more Veronica! Please!












4) Taken by Erin Bowman.
So from an ending of a trilogy, to the beginning of another. And this time it's fronted by a male character! Yes! A male protagonist! How long have we been waiting for one of those in a dystopian setting? Quite a while. Taken is a well crafted book centred around Grey whose brother has been taken, just like all the men before him, on his eighteenth birthday, and Grey is determined to get to the bottom of why it happens before it is his turn. A page turner that I cannot recommend enough and I am so pumped for the second book, Frozen to come out in April!!








3) ACID by Emma Pass.
A stunning début that took a hold of me right from the word go and it just would not let me go until I'd read the very last word. It's pacey, it's addictive and it's so energetic and fresh and wonderfully written. A dystopian affair set in England. Yes please, and thank you! I mean, who doesn't want to rad that? I do! Emma has hit the ground running and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next. Her next book, The Fearless is out next year and I am so excited to read it!










Ooh... It's getting closer!!!

2) Department 19: Battle Lines by Will Hill.
It was close. Oh so close, let me tell you! In fact I hadn't decided which book would get 2nd and which would get first until I've just written the post up. I've been tossing and turning them over and now I think I have it right. Battle Lines, for those of you who would have to be living under a rock not to know, is the third book in Will's phenomenal series. It's electric. His writing is incredible. His knack of getting you to think you know where the story is going and then yanking the carpet right from under your feet at the very last moment is inspiring and incredible. That would be why The Rising, book two of the series was number 1 last year. He is awesome and he should know it by now, I know I've said it enough times to count for everyone. His monsters are real, tangible, scary. Something that I personally don't think we see a lot of these days. People dumb down the monsters, make them on the same level as stroppy teenagers, make them all angst-ridden and lovesick and while there is an element of romance in there it is secondary to the actual story and the brutality which is something I love and applaud Will for! The penultimate book in the series is out in March and it is called Zero Hour. You better not miss it!

And finally then, the top spot. My number 1 book of 2013... It is, without further ado...




...


...


...


1) Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.
It's been a big year for me personally. I, myself, only came to terms fully with my own sexuality at the very end of this year, partly helped by reading this book which for me was life changing. It moved me, it showed me that it is okay to be gay, that I don't have to be ashamed any more and that I am not alone. Since reading this book I've come out fully, and the response has been amazing. I honestly don't think it would of happened yet, were it not for this book. It's beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it. Published in October, the stories encased within it's cover (which is big too for YA fiction, two guys kissing, who would of thought it, huh?) are so touching and some of them are pretty close to how I am, or I should now say was. Thank you Mr. Levithan for crafting this beautiful book. I like to think that it will help others out there too, just like me, and maybe that was Levithan's idea. Either way, it was a great book that I have only seen praise for elsewhere too. So there it is. My favourite book of 2013.

So guys, what do you think of my choices? What is your favourite book of 2013?

Either way, I am so pumped to see what 2014 has in store for us all. Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!