Currently Reading

Currently reading: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rose Society


The Rose Society by Marie Lu
publishes 6th October 2015.

"Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all. Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?"
I adored The Young Elites, the first book in the series and I cannot wait to see how things progress in The Rose Society! I love the cover - I mean the colouring, the wolf, the typography... ARGH! It's so perdy! I am very excited to continue this trilogy, October cannot come quick enough!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Zom-B Bride by Darren Shan [Review]

BEWARE!!!! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!! Zom-B Bride is the tenth book in a series so there are bound to be spoilers for the previous books in the series. If you have any intention of reading the Zom-B series then please DO NOT read on because I do not want to be responsible for ruining a major plot point or twist! You have been warned! Read on at your own peril!!

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Written by: Darren Shan.
Published by: Simon and Schuster.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 12th February 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "B Smith has been reunited with the murderous maniac clown, Mr. Dowling. To her shock and consternation, he's desperate to make B his partner in crime. Mr. Dowling disgusts her, but B thinks she can see a way to control him and maybe even save the world. But it will involve a sacrifice far greater and more surreal than any she has contemplated before..."

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All good things come to an end and it is always a shame to see them start to wind down, and you would think by now, ten books in to a twelve book saga, most threads would of been tied together by now, but not with the Zom-B series, oh no! There is still life in the old gal and for now she is on full steam ahead, rattling towards what is sure to be a cataclysmic finale, and until that point there is still a lot of shocking to be done, and Zom-B Bride is most definitely full of shocks. Physically and metaphorically speaking too!

Things kick off pretty much where they left off with the last instalment, Zom-B Family. B has seemingly made a pact with the devil as it were to save the lives of the humans left in the power station and has somewhat willingly handed herself over to her enemies, and if anything she's glad of it.

We finally get to see the inner workings for Mr Dowling's operation. His plans, or sometimes lack thereof and of the life he led before the zombie apocalypse that has left the world so ravaged and broken. I particularly liked the scenes were Mr. Dowling let B into his head and the things that went on there, how he seemed like a normal man before the bloodlust and insanity took over. We also learn more about his origins and that I found particularly interesting. 

And of course as the title suggests, it wouldn't be a wedding without a blushing (well, can zombie's actually blush?) bride would it? I loved the scene where Mr. Dowling "fixed" B. Almost like DanDan's torture scene but in reverse. It provided the signature Darren Shan gore whilst still keeping things fun and keeping readers on their toes.

The writing, as ever, is impeccable and unquestionable. Mr. Shan is a master at what he does and with two final instalments to come, and a shattering conclusion at the end of Zom-B Bride leaving B in more danger than she has ever been in, I just do not know if my heart can take it. But I'll sure as hell enjoy finding out!

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury [Review]

Written by: Melinda Salisbury.
Published by: Scholastic.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 5th February 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company. But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?"

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First off I have to say that as soon as I saw the cover for The Sin Eater's Daughter I totally and unquestionably fell in love. I didn't know what the book was about and when I first saw the cover I had never heard of it but as soon as the striking image of a girl in a bottle with blood swirling around her popped up on my twitter feed I just had to know what the book was about and from the moment I found out I CRAVED this book. Literally, I craved it! I needed it. I had palpitations, I had cold sweats at night when I woke up with a start realising I didn't have the book, I just needed it. And then when I got it and finally read it something clicked and it all just fell in to place.

This book is a masterpiece. It is beautifully written. Lyrical and smooth, it flows from and before you know it you've read a sizeable chunk when you only promised yourself one chapter before bed. One turned into two and two into three. 

I have to say I had high expectations going in because it sounded so good and I had hoped it would be. I loved it from the start to the finish - and boy that ending, it has me begging for book 2 just to find out what happens next let alone how the story itself continues! I need to know what happened in those next few seconds after this book closes!!! ARGH!

The characters themselves are fantastic. I grew to love Twylla, despite her self-importance that at times drove me mad, and I absolutely despised the queen. God, what an awful woman she is! Violent, quite clearly insane and deathly dangerous, she is not a lady to be messed with.

The fantasy elements were so perfectly done and I love the back story, to Twylla, and the whole reason for a Sin Eater in the first place and what they do and why. It was great fun getting to learn about a new world that feels fun and fresh but yet at the same time has its dark undercurrents that make you think twice!

I for one cannot wait for book 2 and if it is as good as it's predecessor, both in plot and in execution (pardon the pun, considering the content of the story...) then it is sure as hell going to be worth the awfully long wait we are now being subjected too!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig [Review]

Written by: Francesca Haig.
Published by: HarperVoyager.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 26th February 2015.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Nobody. They were born together and they will die together. One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death. The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power."

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It was late 2014 when word about a book called The Fire Sermon started to pop up on twitter, instagram and all around the blogosphere. Excited chatter about a debut novel from an author who had so far only written and published poetry and was causing such a raucous that the movie rights had already been sold in a major deal, and the book was still months from initial publication. Naturally  my interest was piqued and when I was offered the opportunity to receive a proof copy of the book I jumped at it and couldn't wait to get it. What arrived was a wonderfully designed book, based on the Alpha characters, dark, fiery, powerful. There are also Omega proof's out there too, light, burnt, weak. For in the book every Alpha has an Omega twin, the one with a disability, all the bad stuff cast off from hundreds of years of radiation poising after a great war that changed the world as it was known to the world we see inhabited by the Alpha's and Omega's in the book.

I saved the book because I didn't want to read it too far away from publication at the risk of forgetting elements when it came time to write my review. It was the first book I read of 2015 and what a stunner! I needn't of worried about forgetting anything because this book is still with me now, the story, the characters, the mood, the setting. It is all sown so deep inside that I only have to look at the cover and I want to weep that Book 2 is still another year or so away!

This book is fresh, original and so blooming exciting. It's pacey, dangerous and intoxicating as you race through the pages following Cass as she tries to find an island of Omega's so that they might finally bring the oppressive Alpha government down and make everyone equal. Because in the world, they are most definitely not equal. Everyone is born a twin. It is just the way it is. But no one wants an Omega. They are hated, sometimes so deeply and unquestionably and cast off as soon as they can be. But Cass has managed to avoid the split with her brother Zach. She know's she is an Omega. He know she is an Omega. And secretly her parents do too, but neither child had any physical deformities so they had to be careful to make sure the right child was sent away. They look for anything, a sign, a slip, that will reveal Cass's true nature and when it eventually comes, Cass is far older than any other Omega cast off by its former family and her Omega branding on her forehead is still raw.

The characters are incredible. I loved Cass and part of me even liked Zach despite the fact that he is a total ass and would do anything for the power he so desperately craves. There are twists and turns and things that won't see coming a mile off and then when they hit you, BAMN!! It's like a gut-wrenching punch that will leave you breathless and gasping for the next book! It's beautifully written, so lyrical and soothing and it just lulls you straight into the world - maybe a sign of the authors previous work in poetry? It just flows so well. The world itself is so vibrant and well thought out that it feels totally real. This trilogy is DEFINITELY going to be one to look out for and it is one I cannot wait to share the ride in! Bring it on Miss Haig. Bring it on!

This is a definite contender, already for my book of the year. And that cover?!?! YIKES! So beautiful! Harper actually went to a blacksmith and had that made so that is real - it isn't photoshop, that image is real and so bloody cool! Bravo Harper! I can't wait to see what you do with he rest of the trilogy cover-wise!

My thanks to Harper Voyager for my proof copy!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Half Bad by Sally Green [Review]

Written by: Sally Green.
Published by: Penguin.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 27th March 2014.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone. Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?"

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I have to make a massive, MASSIVE, admission here. I put off reading this book time and time and time again. I have actually lost count of how many times I picked the book up, seriously thought about it and opened up the first page, only to change my mind and read something else instead. It wasn't that the premise of the book didn't hook me in. It was my own apprehension, my own fear, that stopped me from reading Half Bad. I have talked many a time about hype and how it is something that can either be a good thing or a bad thing, and that at times it can even put people off of something for fear that it just ins't going to live up to the hype that it's getting. That was me with Half Bad. I wanted to read it, Lord knows I did, but every time I picked it up something stopped me and I don't know why. And now I hate that even more because as soon as I actually started to read the book I was sold. I was hooked so deep into the story that I read massive chunks in one sitting, despite the fact I had work and life. I just couldn't put it down.

Some would be turned off by the writing style, which flips between first and second person with such fluidity that it doesn't take any time at all to readjust it just flows so well. I personally loved this, especially once I really got into it. Sometimes I wouldn't even notice a change, I just kept racing on through which is something I loved about the book. It is just such a page turner!

It is brutal, incredibly, spine-tinglingly brutal. So much blood. So much violence. And permanent damage - I'm not even going to go into it too deeply because it was something that took me totally and completely unawares and I think it should do that to all readers for it to have its true shock value. Just trust me when I say you will squirm and fidget uncomfortably. I had to put the book down, physically I had to stop reading just for a few moments to compose myself before diving back into it, it was that effective!

I also love the dynamics between the characters. Sally has created a wonderful, lovable and sometimes love-to-hate cast. From Nathan himself, to the dastardly Marcus. From Annalise to, my personal favourite, Gabriel - who can I just say, hope finds love before the series is over! I adore him! Gah. Sally knows this. There have been tweets. Just... GAH! GABRIEL!!! <3 span="">

I also really enjoyed the dynamics between the different witches. The white witches, the black witches and the singular half code, Nathan. White witches are good. Black witches are bad. Half codes are dangerous and need to be tested, watched, analysed. 

There have been a lot of comparisons to Harry Potter and I get that. Both books are so totally different but I think it's the characters that makes the comparison for me. Both the characters in Half Bad and Harry Potter feel so fully fleshed out, both are epic tales of coming of age despite the looming darkness overhead, even if that darkness comes from within too. I remember hearing Andrew from The Pewter Wolf describe Half Bad as being Harry Potter on acid, and I have to say he isn't far from the truth at all! This book is incredible. Insane. Mind boggling. Powerful. But totally incredible. I don't know what I was ever afraid of! I have to say thank you to Andy, Rhys, George and Ben (the editor of the book...) for encouraging me to FINALLY pick it up! I cannot thank you guys enough and I apologise now for all my "I'll read it later" tweets. Do I feel like an idiot? Err, yeah I do! Luckily I have Half Wild on my kindle so it won't be long before I read the sequel either! Wahoo!

My thanks, also, to Puffin for actually sending me the proof copy... a year ago! Damn! What a missed opportunity! I missed out on this big time and cannot believe how bad I feel!

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here cover revealed!

I fell in love with Patrick Ness when I read The Crane Wife last year, and feel even deeper in love when I read More Than This which was a stunning read! Bear with me, I haven't mentioned the Choas Walking books, because I haven't read them. Please don't shoot me, I'm well aware that I am missing out and I am hoping to rectify that this year and read the trilogy. However we have new Patrick to look forward to this year with the release of The Rest of Us Just Live Here in August! And now it has a beautiful cover for us to oggle and I am in LOVE!!!


OH MAN JUST GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!

"What if you weren’t the Chosen One? What if you’re not the one who’s so often the hero in YA fiction; who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions..."

Roll on 27th August!