Currently Reading

Currently reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cover Art News: Torn by Cat Clark!!! ZOMG!

Now anyone that was skulking around EoB towards the end of 2010 will of seen me rave about Cat Clarke's debut novel, Entangled, which was published this January. It had a looovely cover and now Cat has revealed the cover for her next book, Torn, which is due early next year. I saw this on my lunch break earlier today and had a little freak attack. I loved Entangled and have been counting down to this. Cat just has such an amazing voice in her writing that I cannot help but melt! Cannot wait for this book. Check out the beaut below! And be sure to get Entangled now!!! (Review here). Anyway... beautiful cover!!!!


Friday, 24 June 2011

Cover of the Week: Imaginary Girls


Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma.

How beautiful is that cover? It's just so captivating and eye catching. When I first saw it I was like "wow... what... what's she... she's underwater. Wow! This is good."

It's so simple but there's something about it. It just works. But at the same time it looks a little eerie. And then you read the synopsis:

Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.


Well I will definitely be checking this out!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Case of the Deadly Desporados by Caroline Lawrence [Reviews]

Written by: Caroline Lawrence.
Published by: Orion Children's Books.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 
Rating: 4/5.

Official synopsis: "When desperados kill a preacher and his wife in a small frontier town, their foster child P.K. is forced to go on the run. P.K. must get a valuable letter to the Recorder’s Office before anyone else can get their hands on it. It’s not easy: Virginia City in 1862 is a glorified mining camp on a barren mountain above a great vein of silver. Seething with miners below ground and hustlers above, it’s a dangerous place, full of gamblers, hurdy girls, saloon-keepers and gunmen, all of them on the make. When twelve year-old P.K. Pinkerton arrives there, homeless, penniless and hunted, things don’t look good. But armed with a Smith & Wesson seven-shooter and a knack for disguises, P.K. takes on the tricksters and desperados who are out to get him and he finds possible allies: Sam Clemens, the new reporter for the paper, a gambler called ‘Poker Face Jace’ who knows how to tell if someone is bluffing, a derringer-packing Soiled Dove, and a Chinese photographer’s apprentice called Ping. 
When this book first arrived through my postbox, I read the synopsis and thought, "Ooh, this sounds good!" It's set in the days of the Cowboys and Indians. How cool." But then I thought, hmmm... it's a kids book, so will it live up the the rapturous and dangerous lifestyle that people had back then? I remembered learning about Western America in that particular time period in GCSE History and instantly worried. Hmm... But then I read it. And I needn't of worried at all! Caroline has obviously done one heck of a lot of research for this book and it really does show. The attention to even the tiniest detail is incredible. From the layout of towns back then, to the clothes they wore, the way they spoke, the way they were towards other people and even the guns they would use - in those days, EVERY body had one... - it's just breathtaking. I found myself remembering things and learning even more than I had done in those stuffy lessons all those years ago.

PK is an interesting young fellow. Half American and half Native Indian, he is fostered by the Reverand and his wife, and when they are scalped by a trio of dastardly desporados for a mystery object somewhere within the house, PK must go on the run. Soon he learns that in the world he lives in, you can never trust anyone. Just when he thinks he's made a friend, he is shocked and knocked down again, on his own he must continue to run.

The whole book is told in the form of a memoir really. It just has that sort of a feel. PK thinks he's going to be caugt, that he's going to die, so is attempting to get the whole story down in the hope that a good man will find it and bring those that killed his Foster Ma and Pa and soon himself, to justice.

I really enjoyed this and it was a great little read! Boys and girls alike will love this little beauty by the author of the Roman Mysteries series (which I loved). Maybe not those that are too young, because there are words/phrases that are quite mature, but still, I think everyone will love it.

My thanks to Nina at Orion for my copy.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (16): Forever

Wow! First Waiting on Wednesday since November! Blimey!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.

Published by: Scholastic.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 13th July 2011.

"The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater.
In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before.  Wolves are being hunted.  Lives are being threatened.  And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in."

Now I am very excited for this. I loved Shiver, and really really enjoyed Linger, so the wait for this, the finale of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. Not long to go now!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

One Seriously Messed Up Week In The Otherwise Mundane & Uneventful Life of Jack Sampsonite by Tom Clempson [Review]

Written by: Tom Clempson.
Published by: Atom.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 2nd June 2011.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Our hero? Jack Samsonite His mission? 1) pass his GCSEs 2) get the girl (to notice he exists) 3) survive the week without a serious face punching Good thing he's got a plan. Well, half a plan..."

Well the award for the longest title of the year goes to... One Seriously Messed Up Week In The Otherwise Mundane & Uneventful Life of Jack Sampsonite! A whopping 15 words and 90 characters! Brilliance already! It's not an overly long title in the sense that it's crap... just that it's brilliant! It certainly captured me when I first saw it online a few weeks before publication.

The lovely Mr. Clempson himself and I have spoken a few times on Twitter and I was very excited to read this so when my copy arrived from Amazon I couldn't wait. And it's timing could not of been better. I came home on a Friday night after a particularly stressful day (and week at that) at work in need of something light and fun to read, and word on the grapevine was that this book was very good, light and funny. And you know what? It was! Just the thing the doctor ordered!

Right from the first page, the first word even (and you'll see what I mean by that when/if (no not if... you must read it!) you read it!) I was laughing. In fact that first page had me in fits of laughter. This book really really pulled at my inner, immature self. Now, as most of you know and as my bio says to the right, I'm only 19, so I'm still pretty immature, and I love it, so this was a delight to read. The words used in this piece of brilliance were those I used at that age (even though it was only 3 years ago). It really reminded me of being at school. There were points when I was laughing, nearly crying, thinking "Oh god... that's me!!". Ha. It really was a great read and made me reminisce about my own school days.


The character of Jack - or Sam whichever way you want to look at it... - pulled at my heartstrings a bit. For the most part I knew exactly how he felt. I was pretty much the kid he was at school. I had my close ring of friends, and whilst I wasn't everyones enemy, I wasn't exactly that popular. I was just never that sort of person. And I sure as hell had my fair share of embarrassing moments at school - but that's not for here!

I cannot commend Tom enough right now, in all honestly. He is something of a God to me after reading this book. He evoked so much in me with such a fun read that I cannot begin to explain just what he has done to me! My thanks to you Tom, for hours of fun reading, and an aching stomach from too much laughing - oh and for relieving some stress! Top man! I really cannot recommend this book enough. To all boys. Even girls. To the old. And the young. Just do it. Now. Don't hesitate! Just get on Amazon now, and press that buy button!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Monstrous Monday: The Mogadorians


The Mogadorian's are a blood thirty race of aliens from the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore. All they know is destruction and death. First, they destroyed their home planet, Mogadore, then moved on to Lorien. And now, they've chosen Earth as their next target. Oh yes, it's not just because of the nine Loric children that will grow to be the Garde are here. Oh no. They just love to kill off planets for fun - charming. It's just that Number 4 and his friends are standing in their way.


I really love their blood thirsty nature and inability to show even an ounce of mercy. Mutilating the owners of a website called They Walk Amoung Us, they will stop at nothing until they get what they want!

(Handsome chap, isn't he?)

Be sure to check out these books! You will not regret it! Here, is my review of I Am Number Four, and the second book, The Power of Six is out this August!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

In My Postbox #39

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

Hey guys! It's that time of the week again. Hope everyone is well, and reading something mighty fine! :D 


FOR REVIEW:

Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce.
This sounds very good and I love that cover. It's really cool! Looking forward to getting around to this! Thanks to Egmont for this!

Exile by Rebecca Lim.
Haven't read the first of this series but it sounds good! Thanks to Harper Collins!!

Glee: Summer Break by Sophia Lowell.
I read the first Glee book and thought it was great but haven't had time to get to Number 2 yet! This is the third book. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. I only watched 2 or 3 episodes of the last season because it was just so bad. Not what it once was! Hope the quality of the books stays good though. Thanks to Headline for this!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
I've really enjoyed Maggie's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and am very much looking forward to reading the finale, Forever, which is out next month. But this is a standalone book by Maggie out in October. It came in a red tube which was really cool and different. Read the prologue and was completely captivated. Cannot wait to read on! Thanks to Alexandra at Scholastic for this! You rock!

And finally something amazing which has me excited beyond belief (this happens a lot right? Too much amazingness to handle really!)

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore.
Sequel to I Am Number Four, the second of the Lorien Legacies series, and out this August this is amazing. I love love love it. Another beautifully produced review copy from Penguin. Lovely white hardback with simple logo and writing. Brilliant. Really eye catching. It's just a shame this isn't openly available for everyone. I love it! It looks great alongside I Am Number Four too...


Reading this now actually and really really enjoying it! Thanks to the lovely Sarah at Penguin for sending this out to me after my first copy sent out went missing in the post! You are a star!

And I also got a DVD this week, following along the Lorien Legacies theme...


Just watched this actually! Brilliant! Such a good adaptation of the film. One of the best book to films movies I've seen for a long long time. Some changes obviously, and as a lover of the book I am a teeny weeny bit annoyed, but still, it's all good and a very enjoyable film which no doubt I will be watching again and again in due course!

Okay, so that concludes In My Postbox for this week! I hope you all have a great week and I'll speak to you all soon! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Swim The Fly by Don Calame (closing next Sunday!) and happy reading! :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore Secret

Things are hotting up in the world of J.K. Rowling and I could not be more excited. Yesterday, news broke that Jo was preparing an announcment. Not a new book, but something equally as excited... Whut?! WHUT?!!! What could possibly be that exciting? Lord knows I've been dying to read something new from Jo since Deathly Hallows came out 4 years ago next month! Then a website appeared. Pottermore! Pottermore! WHUT IS THAT?! LIKE REALLY?! I did a little jig of excitement hoping all would be revealed. But no. This is Jo we're talking about here, the cruelest tease there is! And now this has appeared on YouTube... JK Rowling Announces. How amazing does that look? Really, that's your answer! There is a countdown to next Thursday when a video will be uploaded and Jo will finally reveal what it is! :D Colour me very excited! What do you think it is? Comment box is down below for a reason, get speculating! :D Not long now

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Immortal War Blog Tour: Top 10 Vampirates Characters



Wow. When I was asked to do this by the lovely people at S&S I thought, wow... what an easy subject. Cannot wait! It was only upon sitting down to write this that I realised that it was not easy. Far from it. It has to have been one of the hardest pieces I've done for the blog, be it part of a Blog Tour or not. Really hard. So thanks to S&S and Justin for giving me the challenge!


10) Stukely - Now, not initally one of my favourite characters I couldn't stand him towards the start of the series. Crewmate to Connor turned Vampirate, he always annoyed me when he popped up and being Sidorio's sidekick he just kept coming. But as the series has progressed I've come to really enjoy him as a character. He still has some good in his dried Vampirate husk of a body, and it's buried so deep that all he can seem to do is highlight his flaws. 


9) Bo Yin - The innocent, odd, daugher of a swordsmith, she's been a favourite since she first appeard in Blood Captain. Her innocence always makes me smile and is sometimes a good rememdy to the darkness going on in the rest of the books.


8) Mollucco Wraithe - Captain of The Diablo, and a mighty fine pirate. He sure does have his moments of annoyance but he just seems to be one of those characters. Wheter you agree with him, or what he does, or not, you cannot help but like him. 


7) Kally - A fishtail (mermaid) who appears in Dead Deep, the novella Justin wrote for World Book Day and then again throughout the subsequent books. She doesn't really have any series-changing moments, but she's a fun little addition and always brightens things up whenever she pops up for air.


6) Darcy Flotsam - Figurehead of the mysterious Nocturn by day, regular Vampirate by night, she's been a consistent source of wisdom for Grace. Other characters waver in their wisdom, The Captain, Lorcan, because they always seem to have other interests at heart, and as we learn throughout the series, secrets to keep, but Darcy always has this sense of honesty about her which I really like and draws me to her as a character. The only downside is that the poor girl is only looking for true love and it seems so far away for her.





5) Lady Lola - One of the most wicked characters in the series, possibly even more than the big bad himself, Sidorio. She ia a complete puppet master. Pulling the strings to get what she wants, when she wants. With a chilling tendancy to bottle the blood of her victims and savour it rather like wine, she'sa highlight on the oceans!



4) The Vampirate Captain - A complete enigma throughout the series, this guy creeped me out majorly in the first few books, and also in the latter, but more so in the early days of the series. The whole mask situation and how his voice never exceeds a whisper even when angry. Creepy creepy dude!


3) Lorcan Furey - An important character all the way throughout the series, and a constant love interest for Grace, Lorcan is the loveable Irish vamp frozen forever in his nineteen year old body. Plucking Grace from the ocean in the first book, Demons of the Ocean, it was clear from the start that he'd be one to watch!


2) Grace and Connor Tempest - Our main characters. Yes, they are technically two different characters, but as they're twins, I'm grouping them togther. They've had a tumultuous journey throughout the series, being shipwrecked and finding themselves on two completely different ships, fighting for their lives in a world of piracy and vampires, no real Top 10 could exist without them.




And so it comes down to this, the Number 1 spot. 





1) Sidorio - Yes, I know, I hear you. WHAT?! WHAT????!!! Are you mad? You name Sidorio the number 1 Vamps character of all time?! Well guess, what, yes I do? Love him or hate him he is one cracking character! With his golden insisors which puncture his victims bodies to feast on their blood, and his Roman-esque wardrobe and ways, he truly is the self-styled King of the Vampirates. You cannot fault his enthusiasm, no matter how many knockbacks he takes, he won't stop until he gets what he wants. He is definitely a favourite character of mine, no matter how much I try I like him just as much as I am repulsed by him. He, more than any other character in the series has caused greater effect on me, and so therefore he is my Number 1 Vampirates Character!

So what do you think? Who are your favourite Vampirates characters?! Leave your comments below!

Thanks to Justin and S&S for allowing me to do this. It's been a lot of fun! Be sure to check out the series if you haven't already done so, and if you have, do not miss out on Immortal War! (Review here).

Monday, 13 June 2011

Harry Potter: Search For The Ultimate Character

With just a few weeks to go until the release of the mammoth eighth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, UK publisher of the series, Bloomsbury, are hosting a search to name the favourite character of the series, once and for all. I've voted and now it's your turn! Want to see your favourite character named the ultimate? Well all you have to do is click the image below and you'll be taken to cast your vote!! You have until 26th August to make your voice heard!!


Sunday, 12 June 2011

In My Postbox #38

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

Hey everyone. Yes it's Sunday afternoon and my IMP posts normally go live like midnightish, I had this all ready just forgot to scheuele it. In the end that's a good thing as I just got another book while out. Haha! Anyway, hope you're all well and have had a good book week!



FOR REVIEW:



Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck.
Got the first one of this series on my reading pile and very much looking forward to getting around to them! Anything with tigers for me is a MUST! Tigers are perhaps my favourite animal of all time! Thanks to Hodder for this!

Edda by Conor Kostick.
This was sent by the lovely people over at O'Brien in Ireland! Thanks guys. Sounds great, and I can't wait to get stuck in!

BOUGHT:

I am a massive Darren Shan book and love love loved the first book of this series when it came out last year! (If you do a bit of looking around, you can find my review of it on here somewhere. Called Birth of a Killer!!). Very excited to read this one especially after the beautiful cover art revealed for the next book in the series due out in October! Darren never disappoints!

And another Darren Shan book!
Procession of the Dead by Darren Shan/D.B. Shan.
The first in a trilogy for adults. Saw this in The Works and couldn't resist!

Winning the award for the longest title of the year, I am currently reading this and it is as funny as hell. Just the book I needed at this present moment in time! Review as and when I've finished reading it!

And finally...



Yep. Wanted this for ages, am a massive fan of the True Blood tv show and always wondered how these differed, and after a little chat with Caroline of Portrait Of A Woman, I decided to bite the bullet and buy this boxset for a bargainous £26!!! There's 9 of the novels here and then the collection book of short Sookie stories. Shall be powering through this and then getting the other books that have been published since!!

So there we go folks. Hope you all have a great week and some very happy reading!

Giveaway: Signed Copy of Swim The Fly!

If you guys cast your minds back to the end of last week, Saturday I believed, the charming Mr. Don Calame stopped by for a little Q&A as part of his blog tour to celebrate the UK release of his book, Swim The Fly. Well, as part of his visit I was offered a signed, yes *SIGNED*, to giveaway. Well I forgot to add it in to the post, so here it is now. Haha. Better late than never!

Sadly, it is only open to UK residents, but all you have to do is fill the form out below. Easy as that. The comp closes on Sunday 25th June. I'll then let Randomizer.org do it's work and the said signed copy will be wizzing it's way over to the winner!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

News: Cover Art For Darren Shan's Palace of the Damned!

Darren Shan is once again gearing up for the release of another horrific beaut. This time in the shape of the third and penultimate book of The Saga of Larten Crepsley. Palace of the Damned is due to be published here in the UK at the end of September and in the US just a few weeks later. And now Darren has revealed the cover art. Minus the titlework and his name so that we can appreciate just the image itself with no obscurity. It's stunning, check it out below and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Cannot wait to read this one!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Q&A With Don Calame - Part of the Swim The Fly Blog Tour

Hi Don! First of all welcome to Empire of Books and thanks so much stopping by! Swim the Fly encapsulates Summer for me, and when I read it I was instantly transported back to my own School Summer holidays (not that long ago… but still), how did you feel writing it and did it have you reminiscing at all?

I had an absolute blast writing it. The story brought me right back to being fifteen years old and being on swim team. It had me reminiscing about those long summer days where me and my friends would hang out and get into all sorts of mischief. 

What were you like at Matt, Coop and Sean’ age? Do we get any glimpse of your younger self in the book?
I think I was very much like these boys. Mostly, I was probably like Matt. All those emotions and feelings of awkwardness. Knowing that I liked girls and wanted a girlfriend but having absolutely no clue how to go about talking and interacting with girls on a romantic level.

Is there any particular scene that you had the most fun writing, or perhaps one you want people to know about more than any other?
So many of the scenes were fun to write about. I think the scene in the girls locker room was particularly fun for me to write, though I don’t want to give away too much for those who haven’t read it. I think I really enjoyed just getting my characters into all sorts of trouble and then trying to figure out how to get them out of it. 

What is the most daring thing you have ever tried to do during one Summer? And did you succeed?

That’s a tough one. I don’t know that there was ever anything particularly daring that I did. My friends and I would do fairly risky bicycle and skateboard stunts, like creating ramps and trying to jump over lined-up garbage cans (which I do not recommend, by the way). We’d also leap off our roofs with open umbrellas in hopes that they’d act as parachutes (they didn’t). I wouldn’t say these were so much daring as not terribly well thought out.