Currently Reading

Currently reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Farewell 2010... Hello 2011

Wow! This hardly seems possible. Here we are in the dying hours of 2010, waiting to ring in 2011! It's madness! It doesn't feel like 5 minutes since we were counting in 2010, not counting it out!

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who's made this year a good one! All of my fellow bloggers, especially those who I met in the beginning of February who gave encouragement and advice! And to the people that continue to read! Glad you like the blog so much. And also to the amazing publishers/publicists/authors for all their generosity. I appreciate every single book I receive and cannot believe you're so willing to send them to a nobody like me!

I hope everyone has a very very Happy New Year, and I hope that 2011 treats everyone well! :)

Empire of Books Top 10 Covers of 2010

Just like the Top Books of 2010 chart/list/thing yesterday, this took a heck of a lot of work to put together. So many brilliant covers. It took a lot of thinking, fishing out of physical copies, as we all know that cover art is even more amazing in the flesh, but I think I finally have my Top 10! So without further ado...

10. Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne.

9. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

8. Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey.

7. When I Was Joe by Keren David.

6. The Radleys by Matt Haig.

5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

4. The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison.

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

2. Trash by Andy Mulligan.

And my favourite cover of 2010 is...

1. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.





Thursday, 30 December 2010

Empire of Books Top 10 Books of 2010

So, after a good day and a half of thinking, umm-ing and ah-ing, a bit of a headache, lots of music and a little bit of reading too, I whittled down all the amazing books released that I read this year into this, the Empire of Books Top 10 Books of 2010! It took a lot of hard work but I am very happy with the final outcome!

10. VAMPIRATES: Empire of Night by Justin Somper.

Unleashed upon the UK in March, Empire of Night is the fifth addition to Somper's hugely successful, and very impressive, Vampirates series. It's the penultimate adventure taking Connor and Grace deeper into their past than ever before. With new alliances, and new enemies, Empire of Night sets things up pretty nicely for an explosive finale. Look out for the final book, Immortal War, out June 2011!










9. Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey.

Released in March, this horrific beauty is the first book in a terrifying trilogy that will make your teeth chatter, your spine tingle and your toes curl. Perfection all in a neat little package. Brilliant writing that will draw you right into the heart of the story! I have the second book, Gallows At Twilight and cannot wait to read it! Look out for the remaining two books in the trilogy, both published this year! Gallows At Twilight is out 6th January and what is sure to be a stunning finale, The Last Nightfall is due to land in September! Brilliant! (And this series has such beautiful, eye catching artwork! Check out the cover art for the remaining two books below!)


8. Angel by L. A. Weatherly.

Published in October, Angel is another introduction to a trilogy from author L. A. Weatherly. It takes angels and completely re-imagines them as horrific, merciless beasts, and I for one LOVED it! I am quite simply chomping at the bit to read the second book, Angel Fire out Summer 2011!













7. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

With a Hollywood film adaptation already filming before the book was even published, expectations were high for this book when it was published over the Summer and I for one was not disappointed. I was sent a beautiful review copy from Penguin/Puffin and once I started reading I did not want to stop! I was a bit sceptical - it is about aliens that are living amongst us after all, but it's not what I expected at all. It's the first in the Lorien Legacies series, with the second book, The Power of Six due Summer 2011. And with the film out in Feb/March, I cannot wait to see just how far this series really can go!






6. Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne.

Noah Barleywater Runs Away has to be one the most beautifully written books I have ever had the fortune of reading. It takes fairy tale and real life and blends it all together so brilliantly. I love the themes, and the story as a whole. The way this book deals with death is quite simply genius. I wish this book had been around before I experienced the death of a loved one. In my opinion it has brilliant morals and every child should read this book. If not to learn or understand, to read a blooming good story!








5. Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan.

Released in October, Birth of a Killer is the first of four in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, a prequel to Shan's The Saga of Darren Shan, this book was a must read for me! I am a big Darren Shan fan and was delighted to get a proof copy and devoured it in a day. Brilliant book and it sets things up brilliantly for the next book, Oceans of Blood, due May!












4. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.

I am a massive massive MASSIVE fan of Michelle Paver and could not wait to read this! And luckily for me, that wait was cut short thanks to the amazing people at Orion! And what a book! A slightly terrifying read that chills to the core, it's the best ghost story I have ever read (I believe it's only the second or third, but who's counting?) and only continues to prove what an immense talent Michelle is! And that cover! 











3. Boy's Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

As soon as I heard the concept for this book, I just knew it'd be a brilliant read. And it was! Malorie Blackman took the concept of teenage pregnancy and flipped it completely, looking at it from the point of view of the father, and that is something I actually haven't seen or heard of before in teen literature! A stunning read, the tale of Dante - discovering and coming to terms with the fact that he is a father - and his brother Adam - coming to terms with his sexuality - run alongside each other. I cannot recommend this book enough. Read it, read it, read it! You'd be mad not to!







2. Almost True by Keren David.

I really really REALLY want to include both Almost True, and the first book in Ty/Joe's journey, When I Was Joe into this list but didn't want to leave out any other amazing books, so I went for my favourite of the two. This ground-breaking book isn't just my second favourite of the year, it is among my Top 5 books ever. I just love it so much. The writing is perfect. It feels exactly like a fourteen year old boy talking. And although Ty/Joe does some stupid things, you can't help but love him and sympathise for him. He's just a brilliantly thought out character! Keren has done amazing things with these books! Tackling the knife culture of today, these books are stark, often quite horrifying reads that will leave a MASSIVE impression on you! Do NOT miss out! Please!





And so we come to Number 1. My favourite book published this year... it was a hard decision, but I've made it and I am confident that it's the right one! I even read last few chapters again just to be sure, and I am... so... My Number 1 book of 2010 is...

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

It just had to be Mockingjay. I know quite a few people were disappointed with this book when it was published in August. And yes, it is a heavily depressing and draining read - I was exhausted when I finished it - but it takes a true talent to make you feel real emotion and to have that sort of effect on you. I just thought it was brilliant, epic. I am something of a relative newcommer to The Hunger Games, only reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire about 2 or 3 months before Mockingjay came out, but I could not wait to read it and it did not disappoint. It had the biggest impact on me since I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007 and for that reason alone it was already a front runner. But combined with the plot, and the overall feel of the story, the characters, the cover design, it won by a country mile!




So that's it folks. Those are my Top 10 Books of 2010! Look out tomorrow for my Top 10 Covers of 2010!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cover Watch: Witchfinder 3 and Scorpia Rising

Some beautiful covers have been released over the last few weeks! 2 such beauties right here!

The first is for The Last Nightfall, the third and final book in William Hussey's brilliant Witchfinder trilogy. It's out in September 2011 and sounds amazing! Check out the cover and the synopsis below!

With a sickening jolt, Jake realized that everything before this had been just a prelude to terror. Now he could see and hear the darkness of demonkind. Now he had reached the Shore of Damnation. Now he had truly entered Hell . . . The Demon Father has taken control of the United Kingdom. He is on a mission to open the door to the demon realm, destroying all of humankind. Jake would go to hell and back to stop him . . . but will that be enough?

And the second beaut to be revealed is the cover for the ninth and final of Anthony Horowitz' Alex Rider series, Scorpia Rising. Out on 31st March, and strictly embargoed, it is set to close the series with a collossal bang! Check out the stunning cover which is sure to stand out below, as well as the synopsis!


"This gripping final mission brings together Alex Rider's old enemies to frame the teenage superspy in an unstoppable plot of revenge, from which he can never return. Pursued from Europe to North Africa and Cairo's city of the dead - this is the twistiest and most deadly plot of any Alex Rider mission yet, and will reveal Smithers' ultimate gadget and see the shock death of a major character."

The End of the Year: A Series of Charts

Hey guys!


So 2010 is in it's dying days and what a year it has been for books. So many amazing reads hit the shelves this year. So many beautiful covers were unleashed upon the world! And so on Thursday and Friday (30th and 31st) there will be 2 charts! EoB's Top 10 Books of 2010 will see me struggle, and believe me I am struggling!, to place my top 10 fave books of the year in some form of order! And then on Friday, EoB's Top 10 Covers of 2010 will see me again fight to chose my Top 10 covers of the year, and that included any book, not just that I have read! So it's even harder. Argh!


Also, tomorrow (I might not be online as it's my birthday! but I'll try and tweet the link at some point from my iPod!) there is a review of The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan going live! There may also be some reviews going live on Thursday and Friday but that all depends on if I get around to writing them or not!


Ryan

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas



Hey everyone!

So as I feared I haven't had much time to come on. Things have been so hectic with work and getting ready for Christmas! But I have time off now until 4th January so in between Christmas and New Year there is lots of stuff to come! Reviews, Charts of 2010, all sorts! It's going to be fun. I hope! Haha.

Anyway, the point of this is to wish all of my amazing followers, both here on the blog and on Twitter a very very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2010 has been kind of a bitter-sweet one for me. Lots of good but also the fair share of bad, and I for one cannot wait to see what 2011 holds personally and in the literary world. I've already read some amazing 2011 books (Entangled by Cat Clarke being one!) and have received a few more that are very exciting and I cannot wait to read!

So yeah, Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year. I hope everyone has a great day and keeps safe! And I hope good old Father Christmas brings you something nice too! ;)

Ryan

(P.S. Sorry the decorations are up so late! Blegh! Oh well! They're here now! :))

Monday, 6 December 2010

Wow... No Way

Hi guys!

Yes! I am still here! I haven't forgotten about you! I finally got my new laptop and when I haven't been working I've been busy setting it up and doing other things (like works Christmas Party this past weekend which was amazing... I got a little bit tipsy... Nuff said!). I really feel like I've been neglecting EoB and that is not the way I want 2010 to go out! So I am going to do my best to make sure that things pick up around here! 

And now I've just found out that we've hit the 100 follower mark! :D You have no idea how happy this makes me! When I first started EoB back in February I had no idea that anyone other than me would give a rats. So thank you thank you thank you! I am going to hold a contest, but it probably won't be till next month (January) as most of this months wages are gone already... Oops! Haha! But yeah. Reviews and stuff all coming up. 

There'll also be charts. Top 10 Books of the Year, Top 10 Covers of the Year and maybe another one or two if I can think of any! Haha! It's coming up to that time of the year again and this weekend I will be sorting out the Christmas decorations to put up. ;) Exciting times ahead and I hope next year is just as good! The big first Blogerversary coming up! Argh!

Thanks for sticking by me guys! Look out for lots of new content next week! :)

-Ryan

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting [Review]

Written by: Kimberly Derting.
Published by: Headline.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 11th November 2010.
Rating: 4/5.

Official synopsis: "Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies – or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world...and the imprints that attach to their killers. Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift, but now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him. Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer – and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling in love, Violet is getting closer to discovering a killer...and becoming his prey herself."

I have to say, when I first got this book, I was kind of worried about whether or not I'd like it. I'm not really a big fan of romance paranormal books, and I've already been converted to Maggie Stiefvater and didn't know if it'd happen again. But The Body Finder proved to be a very very pleasant surprise.

I loved it. The story. The characters. All of it just appealed to me. From start to finish, I didn't once thing "this is naff". And as far as I am concerned that's a good book! I loved the plot as a whole. Violet being drawn to the murdered by, what she calls, echoes. This book is hugely clever and very very entertaining!

The writing is beautifully crafted and styled. It reads really nice and smooth. ReadingThe Body Finder kind of reminded me of watching a film. It was such an effortless yet brilliant read!

I cannot recommend it enough! You seriously need to read it! I'm sorry that there's really not much more to say! It's just too brilliant for words! I couldn't believe how much the book changed my mind after my initial thoughts!

(Also, I should say, that I adore the cover. It's so cool and stands out for sure!)

My thanks to Sam at Headline for my copy! :D

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I Hereby Curse Technology...

Technology is awful! My laptop screen has spectacularly died. Well, the light has. If I want to see I have to hold a lamp up to it which is so annoying and awkward. Sadly this means the blog is going to be mighty mighty quiet and I am so so sorry! :( I hate it. I have to snatch whatever time on a computer I can! Mostly when I'm at work so I can't even do reviews or anything. Argh! :(

I get paid at the end of the month and will be getting a new laptop ASAP so hopefully things will return to normal then! I hope! I'll try and get some reviews up but in the meantime just know I haven't forgotten about you all, between work and blooming technology!

Ryan

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Cover VS Cover: Lex Trent

LEX TRENT VERSUS THE GODS / LEX TRENT FIGHTING WITH FIRE

Normally, Cover VS Cover takes one book and compares the UK cover art against the US, or the hardback vs the paperback should they differ. Well this week, it's taking two books! The first two Lex Trent books by Alex Bell. Lex Trent Versus The Gods published earlier this year, and the sequel, Lex Trent Fighting With Fire out early next year which I cannot wait for!

The cover for Fighting With Fire was revealed earlier today over on Alex's blog (http://www.alex-bell.co.uk/blog/) and is amazing. Look at it. So cool. Orange. And the actual image in the disc. The dragon, and EVIL RABBITS! It's just awesome. I love it.

I love the UK cover. Blue is my favourite cover but the winner this week has to be Fighting With Fire. However, I like the way the title is written on Versus The Gods more. It looks like stone, giving it the feel of epic legendaryness (is that even a word?). I love both covers but Fighting With Fire is immense and I cannot wait to read it. Roll on February! :D

Which one do you prefer?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Update - I Have Not Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth...

Hi everyone.

This is just a quick update. Just to let you know I haven't forgotten about you all! I started my new job last Wednesday and have had pretty much no time to blog! It sucks but I've been so tired and by the time I've done what has to be done for the day, it's too late and there's too little time to blog! As it is, I am hoping to get caught up this weekend and have some stuff scheduled! 

Also thank you to all the publicists sending me books! They make coming home even more of a pleasure! Had some great books this week (which you will see on Sunday in In My Postbox!)

:)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

In My Postbox #26

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all links take you to Amazon UK.

Hi everyone! This week has been pretty good for me! I started my new job on Wednesday and am loving it so far! :D Only downside is that I haven't had a lot of time to blog, but I'm hoping to schedule some reviews today to go live through the week! Anyway, these are the awesome books that came through my postbox this week!

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan
SIGNED!

"Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night..."

This sounds absolutely brilliant and I cannot wait to read it. Thank you so much to Savita herself for this one, and for signing it! :D


Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
SIGNED!!! ARGH! YES! SIGNED!/UK FINISHED COPY

"In Boys Don't Cry, bestselling author Malorie Blackman explores the unchartered territory of teenage fatherhood. You're waiting
 for the postman--he’s bringing your A level results. University, a career as a journalist--a glittering future lies ahead. But when the doorbell rings it’s your old girlfriend; and she’s carrying a baby. You’re fine to look after it, for an hour or two, while she does some shopping. Then she doesn’t come back and your future suddenly looks very different. 
Malorie’s dramatic new novel will take you on a journey from tears to laughter and back again."



I got this on Wednesday and had a quick look at it, and then put it on my bookshelf next to my proof copy. And then, yesterday (Saturday) I was looking at it, and flicked to the first little title page, the one that just normally has the title) and was shocked to see it was a signed copy! :D ARGH! I was so excited. So so so excited. I loved this book, so to have a signed copy for me is amazing. Made my week even better! Thank you to Random House, and of course Malorie herself for signing this! :D


So there you go guys! That's what I got this week! Hope everyone has a good and happy week! Rap up warm because it is so cold right now! Brr! Best time of year to curl up with a nice book next to the fire! :D

Until next time, guys! :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (15): Lament


Lament by Maggie Stiefvater.

Published by: Scholastic UK
Format: Paperback
Released: 3rd January 2010

"
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. When a mysterious boy enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of nowhere, Deirdre finds herself infatuated. Trouble is, the enigmatic and conflicted Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin—and Deirdre is meant to be his next mark. Deirdre has to decide if Luke's feelings towards her are real, or only a way to lure her deeper into the world of Faerie"

I've really enjoyed the first two Maggie Stiefvater books I've read so far. Shiver and Linger. I am eagerly anticipating the release of the third and final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Forever which is out next Summer! But in the meantime, Maggie's UK publisher are launching Lament in the new year and I'm looking forward to reading what Maggie can do outside of the freezing Mercy Falls books. Be sure to check this one out! It sounds awesome! And I love the cover! Very cool!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Harry Potter Website!

Yesterday, the new UK editions of all seven Harry Potter books were re-issued with a new livery. The Signature collection is set to welcome a brand new generation of readers, and now Bloomsbury have also launched a new look official website which you can check out here!


Play games. Watch videos. Read all the latest news. It's all there! Don't miss out!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

In My Postbox #25

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all links take you to Amazon UK.

Hi guys! Hope everyone has had a great week! These are the books that I got for review this week! 

0.4 by Mike Lancaster
UK Proof/Advanced Reader's Copy

"It's a brave new world. 'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.' So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on to old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie. And if everything we know is a lie does that mean that we are, too?"

How awesome does this sound and look? Wow. I cannot wait to get reading this! Thanks to Jenny at Egmont for this!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
UK Proof/Advanced Reader's Copy

"There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable."

This sounds very cool! Can't wait to read it! Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for this!

So that's what I got this week! Hope you all have a good week! I start my new job on Wednesday so that'll be exciting! Until next time! :)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy Halloween



Okay. I am not the biggest Halloween fan, loathing the idea of trick or treating (but I like the original, centuries old traditions of Halloween). But I wanted to wish everyone a spooky day. I shall be reading a good scary book (to be decided) and not much else. Haha. Oh, and not answering the door to trick or treaters! Ha. What are your plans? Just remember to be safe! :)

Cover VS Cover:

US // UK

This is on my reading pile and I can't wait to get to it, and today the US cover art is going to battle it out with the UK cover!

I might be biased considering I own the UK edition, but the British cover art is beautiful. The image is just so cool and powerful. It has a matte finish while the black is glossy. Everything about it is just brilliant!

As for the US cover, it's nice but there's something un-definable that I don't like about it. I've seen a few other people say that it reminds them of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance cycle books. So perhaps it's that. It just doesn't look as nice or enticing as the UK cover. 

This week, it just has to be the UK. I'm sorry, but in my opinion there is no competition!

So which do you guys prefer?