Currently Reading

Currently reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Monday, 30 May 2011

In My Postbox #37

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

So yeah, this is late... apologies. But it's bee a busy and tiring weekend! Anyway, better late than never. And this week should officially be The Works and WH Smith are amazing week!


REVIEW:

Double-Cross by Sophie McKenzie.
I've never actually read any of Sophie's books but this sounds good so I might just have to give them a go! Thanks S&S!

BOUGHT:

Like I said at the start of this weeks In My Postbox, The Works and WH Smith were full of awesome and I spent more money than I should, and kind of regret it as everywhere is selling Wii's for £99 and mine is broke. Oh well. Payday tomorrow so it's all good. Will get one then! :D

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.
All 7 books in 1. And for £3.99. What a freaking steal?! Never read them all. Read the first 3 and loved them. Need to read them all!

The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan.
Never got around to getting this despite wanting to! Then I saw it in The Works and knew I'd regret not getting it!

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.
I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it and saw this hardback collectors edition with illustrations all throughout. I couldn't help but grab it!

Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini.
Again something I've wanted for a while. Something to increase the excitement for the final book in the series!

Dreams by Leona Lewis.
I like Leona and this was only £1.99 so thought I'd grab it just to have a ganders! 

The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.
And again, another book I've wanted for a while. Cannot wait to get around to this.

And finally I got some musical and visual goodies too!


Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Brilliant album. Listened to pretty much nothing else all week. Has some addictive songs on there. Fave at the mo has to be either Government Hooker or Heavy Metal Lover!

Am halfway through this now and loving it. Probably the best season yet!

So there ya go. That's what I got this week. What about you guys? Hope you all have a great week, and Happy Reading! :)



Friday, 27 May 2011

Vampirates: Immortal War by Justin Somper [Review]

I had intended to save this for the Vampirates Week in June but after reading it, I couldn't wait anymore!...


Written by: Justin Somper.
Published by: Simon & Schuster.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 9th June 2011 (UK) / Jan 2012 (USA).
Rating: 5/5.


Official synopsis: "A bloody war is raging across the oceans, with the Pirate Federation and Nocturnals in alliance against the renegade Vampirates, led by Sidorio and Lola. Lola might be heavily pregnant with twins, but it doesn't stop her from remaining an active in battle! Connor and Grace Tempest each have important roles to play - he as a pirate warrior at the heart of the fight; she as a powerful healer working with the war-wounded. As the twins face their greatest challenges to date, old allies and foes return to play their part in the ultimate battle of Pirate versus Vampirate."

On 6th June 2005, Simon & Schuster published, Demons of the Ocean, the first book in a sequence of books to set the barren landscapes of adolescent male reading alight. In a world of spies and wizards it was a refreshing read. And in the 6 years that have passed, we've seen blood, death, oceans, vampires and pirates aplenty. And now they are set to publish this, the sixth and final book of the sequence, Immortal War.

Conceived by Justin donkeys years ago (he actually had the idea 5 years before Demons of the Ocean was published, so the end has been 11 years coming - wow!) the series blended the world of vampire and pirate together. I have to admit to being a little nervous, okay... very nervous to read this book. I've been a fan of the series pretty much since I got the first book after seeing Justin talking about it on Blue Peter way back in the Summer of 2005. I speak to Justin quite a bit and have done since about 2006! Email, twitter, you name it. Every time there's a piece of news my excitement burns a little brighter and so my excitement in the weeks leading up to this one has been exceptionally mental. Every book, Justin topped himself and brought out something bigger, more epic than the last. 

And then I got my copy from the lovely people at S&S! Cue major excitement, shouting and maybe a little bit of crying at the fact it was finally here... As I sat down I was in two minds. The first was that as long as it was as good as Blood Captain (my then favourite in the series) I would be very happy. The other was to try and not to expect anything - to just sit back and let Justin take me across the ocean into the heart of the war between Pirates and Vampirates.

And wow... I was not disappointed. The book opens with a prologue that takes us way back and begins to fill in some gaps and sets the tone well for the book. We're then taken back to the present (or future considering the books are set 500 years into the future...) and right into the midst of the war. Grace is at Sanctuary doing her best to help the war wounded, while Connor is right in the very heart of the war as a key member of the Alliance that has formed between the pirates and Nocturnals - vampires who shun the blood-thirsty ways of renegade and self styled Vampirate King Sidorio and his monstrous - although fascinating... - wife, Lady Lola Sidorio Lockwood, who just happens to be heavily pregnant.

With a prophecy that looks set to send shock-waves out through the characters, and more tension and action than you can shake a stick at, Immortal War makes for a brilliant read. I would say, read the first 5 first because the true magic of this book is that as a reader, you really do become close to the characters. You've seen them grow, and change into the people, or demons..., they are now and really fear for their lives as they fight for supremacy over the oceans.

I have to say that Connor in particular in this book was a personal favourite. The secret that he is a dhampir, as is Grace, is eating away at him and he can't stand it. He's trying to fight himself, yet at the same time finds it hard not to cave in to his blood hunger. Along with a few new tricks he learns in the book, it's the strongest he's ever been as a character and he was a personal highlight in this book, or more his experiences were.

Most of all, I'm glad at the overall outcome. The ending is just - wow... I don't want to say anymore incase I spoil anything, so I'll just say you need to check it out! Justin has done the characters, the story and his Nocturnals - that's what his fans are called... ;) - worldwide justice. I can't begin to thank him enough and pity his poor inbox right now! Haha! Seriously, you need to check out this series. It's addictive regardless of your age or gender. I defy any boy who doesn't like reading not to be engrossed and captured by this series. 

A fitting end to the series. Enough said really. Can't wait to see what Justin does next!

News: Immortal War Blog Tour


To celebrate the release of Immortal War by Justin Somper, there's going to be a blog tour of epic proportions and it is not to be missed. Stopping off here on 14th June, so the Monday after Vampirates Week, there's all sorts to look forward to. Top 10's. Q&A's. Giveaways and lots more! Check out the full schedule below and don't miss out!

Monday 6th June -- Chicklish - Extract #1 
Tuesday 7th June -- My Favourite Books - An interview with Justin Somper 
Wednesday 8th June -- The Crooked Shelf - Guest Post: on Lady Lola Lockwood & The Women of Vampirates
Thursday 9th June -- Feeling Fictional - Animal Antics 
Friday 10th June -- The Bookette --Extract #2 
Saturday 11th June - Girls Without A Bookshelf - Playlists & The Music of Vampirates
Sunday 12th June - Wondrous Reads - 10 Ways to Know You're Obsessed with Vampirates 
Monday 13th June -- Daisy Chain Books - Guest Post: Ending An Era -- Killing Off Vampirates 
Tuesday 14th June -- Empire of Books -- Top ten Vampirates characters ever
Wednesday 15th June -- Book Zone For Boys -- Q&A with Justin
Thursday 16th June - I Want To Read That - WIN! Vampirates swag

Sunday, 22 May 2011

In My Postbox #36

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

So glad it is finally the weekend. Chilling out like mad! It's been mental but it's been such a good week for books. Some very exciting books this week!


REVIEW:

Changeling: Zombie Dawn by Steve Feasey.
The final book in Steve Feasey's spine-tingling Changeling series. Steve stopped off here on EoB earlier this month as part of the Changeling Blog Tour! I've read the first two books and am really looking forward to getting around to this. The cover is amazing in the flesh! Thanks to Macmillan for this! :D

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
This sounds good actually and I love tigers... perhaps my favourite animal. Looking forward to this, thanks Hodder!!

Never read anything by Mal Peet before but when I got an email from Walker about this I just knew I had to read it. Sounds brilliant, and just how awesome is that cover?

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.
This book sounds all shades of brilliant and it's been getting rave reviews. Can't wait to give it a twirl! Thanks Random House for this! :)

Trial By Fire by Jennfer Lynn Barnes.
Thanks to Quercus for this one! Haven't actually read the first book, Raised by Wolves yet but I'll have to give it a go one day!

Too Much Trouble by Tom Avery
Sounds good. A nice looking little book. Thanks to Frances Lincoln for this!

This cover is amazing in person. All shiny and reflective. Very cool. Never actually read any of these so excited to give it a go. Thanks to Macmillan for this! :)

My Name Is Rose by Sally Grindley.
This actually sounds quite good! Thanks Bloomsbury!

This actually sounds very very good! And I love the cover. Haven't read the first one yet though so might make a note of doing that and then checking this out. Thank you very much to Egmont!

And finally... something majorly epic came through my postbox just this morning (I'm writing this on the Saturday so it's ready to go up...) that I am so majorly excited for that it deserves it's own picture... all on it's own in it's own epic glory because it is that freaking awesome looking...


OH YEAH!!!!!

Vampirates: Immortal War by Justin Somper.
The sixth and final book in the series. I have been waiting for this book since last March when the fifth book, Empire of Night came out! So excited to finally have it in my hands and to see how it all ends. Actually in the process of reading this now (or I am at the time of writing...). Thank you so so so so much to S&S for this! Super pumped right now!

So there you go guys, those are the books I got this week. What did you guys get, eh? Hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

When I Go A-Wandering...

I went a-wandering today and visited The Book Base for a Q&A session! Was lots of fun so check it out here!!!

Thanks James for asking me! :D

Sunday, 15 May 2011

In My Postbox #35

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

Hi guys! Hope you are all well. Not much news this week but I got some pretty cool books so check it out!


REVIEW:

An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons.
I got a proof copy of this a week or two ago and this is a beautiful finished copy. It's paperback but has flaps on the inside that each have either one of the guys on the cover. Very cool. Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks to Nina for this!

The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence.
I cannot believe I missed this off the pic! :( Oh well. It's a lovely looking little book, let me tell you. Currently reading it and loving it. First in The Western Mysteries. Very much looking forward to the rest of this series! Again thanks to Nina at Orion for this! You're a star!

The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne.
I hadn't actually heard of this until the proof popped through my postbox this week! Sounds pretty good! Thanks Usborne! :D

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Already have a proof of this and have actually read it. Brilliant little dystopian novel... I say little, it's huge! A brick of a book! But so good! Review in the next few weeks hopefully! Thanks Scholastic!

BOUGHT:

Lee Raven, Boy Thief by Zizou Corder.
I am a big Zizou Corder fan having loved the Lionboy trilogy when they were published! Used to speak to Louisa, one half of the duo loads especially around the time this book was being written in 2007. So much so that my name (first and middle, not surname...) actually appears in the acknowledgements for "encouragement"... I do have a proof copy of this which my parents brought for me I believe years ago! Now I have this beautiful shiny finished book!

Halo by Zizou Corder
Another Zizou book! This was released last February but I just never got around to it. Going to now though and I cannot wait! It's Ancient Greece, with Centaurs. What's more to want?!

So there you go! That's what I got this week! What did you guys get? Hope you all have a great week, and happy reading!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Why I Love Being A Blogger

Earlier on in the year, I completely and utterly missed my blogoversary! :( Yep. Completely. It was the 15th February and due to work commitments, and life in general it slipped by despite me being so excited to celebrate a year in the Blogging community. Anyway, this is the post that I intended to write and post way back then... the reasons I love being a blogger!

When I first started I never imagined that I would of spoken to so many brilliant people. Bloggers like Jenny (Wondrous Reads), Darren (Bookzone For Boys), Iffath (LoveReadingX) and so so many more. We're tweeting, e-mailing and just generally chatting all the time and I love it. Regardless of what's going on we can talk books wherever and whenever and that is a good thing for me! There's nothing I love more than coming home from a stressful day of work, to click the Twitter app on my iPod and see what's gone on throughout the day, what books people got, to share anything majorly exciting that I got that cannot wait till it's In My Postbox time, and to talk about books we've all read.

And it's not just the bloggers either. The publicists and even publishers themselves are just as amazing. Nine at Orion. Rosi and the girls at Random House, The guys and gals of Walker and so on and so on. And a special mention for the lovely Sarah (Editor over at Puffin!). They're all great. Emails, tweets. It's just so... humbling I suppose to get to talk to all these people who I never dreamed I'd speak to one day. All one great big book loving family!

Now I know I've said this before, but I am not in it for the free books but getting to read such amazing books before they come out in some cases has been one of the highlights of my year of blogging. I've read some real corkers and have had to keep quiet about them for months on end, which has sometimes been a struggle.And books that I'd of never picked up before either. I'd heard of The Hunger Games, but the premise sickened me. And then the people at Scholastic sent me over a copy of the first 2 books and I fell in love. Now they're amoung my favourite books ever and I'd of NEVER picked them up. Never. And it's all thanks to blogging.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, that I love being a blogger. Over the past 6 months I've not been as active as I had been previous thanks to work and I am really working to turn that around. I don't want to neglect my blog ever again. I love it, and I love what it's bought into my life. I'd like to thank each and every person who has made this first year so enjoyable. My fellow bloggers. Publicists. Publishers. And of course the people who read this blog! I never imagined that anyone would ever want to read some old tut that I'd taken time to write and it makes me feel all warm inside when I read comments saying that that review has caused someone to go and get the book, or that they felt that way too when reading it. 

So thanks everybody and here's to a great second year. You best watch out for my second bloggoversary because it's going to be huge. Some real making up to do for missing this year!!

Cover Art: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Now I freaking loved The Maze Runner by James Dashner which was released here in the UK last Summer! I couldn't wait to get the second book, The Scorch Trials, but it's not even out here till August and it came out in America last year so a week or two ago now, I ordered the US hardback edition. Initially last October when it came out, I didn't like the cover, a reason  why I hadn't ordered it sooner, but it did start to grow on me and I finally said, enough waiting, I don't care, but when I opened that package I fell in love. Amazing cover art. So beautiful in person. And so a week or so ago now, I eagerly awaited the cover release for the third and final book in the trilogy. It's called The Death Cure and is out in America on 11th October and I shall be shipping my copy in! Check out the cover below!!!

Swim The Fly Blog Tour


Earlier this month I got an email from the lovely Leonora at Templar about this book... Swim The Fly by Don Calame! It's out next month and to celebrate there's going to be a blog tour and EoB is the penultimate stop! Yay!!!

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. But this impossible mission starts to look easy in comparison to Matt's other challenge: to swim the 100 yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to man) and impress the gorgeous Kelly West.


There's going to be a Q&A right here on 4th June, with a chance to bag yourself a signed copy too!! How exciting is that?!

Check out the flyer for the tour below, to check out where else the tour will be stopping off, and be back here on 4th June so you don't miss out on the fun!!


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

News: Immortal War Cover Art Released

At long last folks, the cover art for the final Vampirates book, Immortal War has been released. And it is a BEAUTY!!!


I first saw the cover in the 2011 stocklist booklet for Simon and Schuster UK Children's Books. Bare in mind it was a teeny tiny little pic, and I commented to Justin about the cover who said that the foil has certainly been cracked open! I cannot wait to see this in the flesh! :D

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A Monster Calls : Extract 4 (Part of the A Monster Calls Blog Tour)

I freaking loved this book so am delighted to have been asked by the lovely people of Walker to be a part of this! Enjoy! And make sure you don't miss this book!

-



I’m the fourth stop on the blog tour for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and you can read the fourth extract below. If you’ve missed any of the previous ones, start the tour at The Mountains of Instead.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Extract 4

“You’ve had breakfast?” his mum asked, leaning against the kitchen doorframe.
“Yes, Mum,” Conor said, rucksack in his hand.
“You’re sure?”
Yes, Mum.”
She looked at him doubtfully. Conor rolled his eyes. “Toast and cereal and juice,” he said. “I put the dishes in the dishwasher.”
“And took the rubbish out,” his mum said quietly, looking at how neat he’d left the kitchen.
“There’s washing going, too,” Conor said.
“You’re a good boy,” she said, and though she was smiling, he could hear sadness in it, too. “I’m sorry I wasn’t up.”
“It’s okay.”
“It’s just this new round of–”
“It’s okay,” Conor said.
She stopped, but she still smiled back at him. She hadn’t tied her scarf around her head yet this morning, and her bare scalp looked too soft, too fragile in the morning light, like a baby’s. It made Conor’s stomach hurt to see it.
“Was that you I heard last night?” she asked.
Conor froze. “When?”
“Sometime after midnight, must have been,” she said, shuffling over to switch on the kettle. “I thought I was dreaming but I could have sworn I heard your voice.”
“Probably just talking in my sleep,” Conor said, flatly.
“Probably,” his mum yawned. She took a mug off the rack hanging by the fridge. “I forgot to tell you,” she said, lightly, “your grandma’s coming by tomorrow.”
Conor’s shoulders sank. “Aw, Mum.”
“I know,” she said, “but you shouldn’t have to make your own breakfast every morning.”
Every morning?” Conor said. “How long is she going to be here?
“Conor–”
“We don’t need her here–”
“You know how I get at this point in the treatments, Conor–”
“We’ve been okay so far–”
Conor,” his mum snapped, so harshly it seemed to surprise them both. There was a long silence. And then she smiled again, looking really, really tired.
“I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, okay?” she said. “I know you don’t like giving up your room, and I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have asked her if I didn’t need her to come, all right?”
Conor had to sleep on the settee every time his grandmother came to stay. But that wasn’t it. He didn’t like the way she talked to him, like he was an employee under evaluation. An evaluation he was going to fail. Plus, they had always managed so far, just the two of them, no matter how bad the treatments made her feel, it was the price she paid to get better, so why–?
“Only a couple of nights,” his mum said, as if she could read his mind. “Don’t worry, okay?”
He picked at the zip on his rucksack, not saying anything, trying to think of other things. And then he remembered the bag of leaves he’d stuffed into the rubbish bin.
Maybe grandma staying in his room wasn’t the worst thing that could happen.
“There’s the smile I love,” his mum said, reaching for the kettle as it clicked off. Then she said, with mock-horror, “She’s going to bring me some of her old wigs, if you can believe it.” She rubbed her bare head with her free hand. “I’ll look like a zombie Margaret Thatcher.”
“I’m going to be late,” Conor said, eyeing the clock.
“Okay, sweetheart,” she said, teetering over to kiss him on the forehead. “You’re a good boy,” she said again. “I wish you didn’t have to be quite so good.”
As he left to head off for school, he saw her take her tea over to the kitchen window above the sink, and when he opened the front door to leave, he heard her say, “There’s that old yew tree,” as if she was talking to herself.

The fifth extract of A Monster Calls will be posted by Carla over on The Crooked Shelf, Monday 9th May…

You can follow Patrick on twitter, become a fan on facebook, or visit his website.