Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Grim Grotto

The Grim Grotto

Title: The Grim Grotto

Author: Lemony Snicket

Series: Series of Unfortunate Events #11

Genre: Young-Adult, Adventure, Mystery

Published: September 21st 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers

Plot:

Dear Reader,
Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not to be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater.
In fact, the horrors they encounter are too numerous to list, and you wouldn’t want me even to mention the worst of it, which includes mushrooms, a desperate search for something lost, a mechanical monster, a distressing message from a lost friend, and tap dancing.
As a dedicated author who has pledged to keep recording the depressing story of the Baudelaires, I must continue to delve deep into the cavernous depths of the orphans’ lives. You, on the other hand, may delve into some happier book in order to keep your eyes and your spirits from being dampened.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Review:

It’s been a long time since I read the first ten books of this series, and I easily fell back into reading this one. Snicket creates a tragic event in three young children’s life into an exciting, extraordinary and unique tale of mystery, adventure and despair.

He continually tells you not to read on and relates the story around a theme. For this instalment our central focus was upon the water cycle which was related to the underwater adventure. It’s interesting how he manages to pair this with the nature of the three children and their journey and he continually reminds us throughout the book of this!

We have still yet to have our questions answered and if not got more than we originally started with, but Snicket’s really holds the attention of the reader and makes the pages turn!

The children are as intuitive as ever, and they make up an interesting and intelligent set of characters. It’s nice to watch the progression of Sunny from a baby into a more able and talking toddler and Violet seems to always be beyond her 15 years in my view.

I found there was real suspense, excitement and with in this story. However some of his continual repetition that created the characters began to annoy me at times, and I found myself wishing they’d shut up. Despite this, I think the book has some very engaging moments, a good mystery that doesn’t really give away the ending and a continual need to carry on and read the series.

The Grim Grotto is without a doubt a fantastic addition to the young adult genre. I think Snicket makes the Series of Unfortunate Events appealable to both the young generation and the adults who like to indulge in the young-adult genre.

My Rating:

4 books

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Filed under 2004 Publication, 4 Books, Adventure, Hardback, HarperCollins, Lemony Snicket, Mystery, Young Adult

Ophelia

Ophelia

Title: Ophelia

Author: Lisa Klein

Genre: Young-Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance

Publication: December 26th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA

Plot:

In this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting. She catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, and their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and ultimately, Ophelia must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret, she is pregnant with Hamlet’s child. Sharp and literary, dark and romantic, this dramatic story holds readers in its grip until the final, heartrending scene.

Review:

To start with the book was well written, engaging at times, but for me, probably a hundred pages too long. By the end it began to drag and I was happy to have it over with. By far this book wasn’t bad, it just lacked any form of juice and excitement.

What happened to Ophelia? She leaves me in utter despair to how the author has ruined such an iconic Shakespeare character. Klein took a mysterious, alluring young girl in my opinion, who held a great deal about herself in inner strength and made her a watered down pansy. She was fluttering around in panic, always looking to Hamlet for advice, she supposedly had a hideous pig of a man after her who she continually pushed away. This led to her being ‘saved’ by Hamlet to start their romance. She just lacked any form of sustenance. To me, Klein’s portrayal of Ophelia damaged by impression that I gained from Shakespeare.

The idea behind the story I thought was interesting and it did offer an alternate theory which is plausible. After all, we only viewed surface matters in Hamlet. I don’t think this was over the top or too fanciful. It fit well with the story being of mediocre interest.

The middle of the story is where everything becomes rather dry. The story seems to plod along at a slow pace and I found myself wanting to skip parts. I did read it all, but only because I felt like I would miss on something vital. Here the story could have done with more action or an introduction of a lively character to brighten the story and engage my attention.

The piece of work may be sharp and well written, but I wouldn’t call it dark and romantic! The romance is there, but it’s all rather artful and embellished as was the style in the Elizabethan era, but with this novel being aimed at a modern society, I felt the romance needed toning down to more plausible and realistic terms. The darkness I didn’t see at all, there may have been moments where you were momentary surprised or found a little exciting, but to me this was more of a fluffy romance novel than the dark, brooding tale I was expecting.

I enjoyed the interpretation as I do all different variations of Hamlet and it’s characters, but for me, Ophelia lacked any of the fiery sustenance I was hoping for.

For those of you that love Hamlet, and ultimately Ophelia, don’t waste your time reading her story because I’m sure you’d think of your own more exciting tale that she could venture on rather than Klein’s rather drab, if not a happy ending tale.

My rating:

2.5 books

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Filed under 2.5 Books, 2007 Publication, Bloomsbury, Historical Fiction, Lisa Klein, Paperback, Romance, Young Adult

The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules

Title: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa

Series: Blood of Eden #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Vampires, Dystopia

Published: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Plot:

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

Review:

This book has had an awful lot of hype surrounding the story, and I had a lot of expectations riding on this book after I’d heard about it. It DID NOT disappoint me in any way! It is an OH MY GOSH book.

I have to start with the vampires of this book. They are not the sparkly, insta-love, friendly vampires. They have fangs, they are all grit and raw action and they have no morals. I adore them! Humans are literally blood cattle and nothing changes that view, not even our main girl becomes all preaching of humans being the greater population. They are the food and they stay that way! The vampires stick to their nature and for that alone this story could rock into the five stars! These vampires really are REAL vampires. You can’t get anymore gritty than these.

Then we have the rabids, they remind me of zombies and are similar in a way. These are epitome monsters that don’t hold back. If you watch ‘The Walking Dead’ they remind me of those zombies because these rabids are not something with a thought, they are following a desire for blood and they will kill.

Allie, she was nice, maybe a little annoying for the first part of the story and then she rocketed into ‘wowdom’. She became a realistic, gritty character who faced hardship, had real emotions and I just all around fell behind her and supported her. Kagawa has made a realistic teenage protagonist that isn’t dumbed down. She is an independent thinker who is kick ass enough as her own female lead without a guy to lean on.

Zeke. He was sweet, a little naive, but brave and kind. You couldn’t help but feel he was cute and get a little enamoured with him, but he didn’t have enough substance for me. We had a real connection to him and his love built for Allie and was entirely realistic. It was heart-breaking and emotional to read, but utterly realistic! Zeke overall was an easy character to like and he was everything a leading male should be, but ultimately I fell for Kanin in the first few chapters of the story. He was intelligent, witty, tormented and he had this aura that screamed masculinity.

Kagawa doesn’t hold back on the gore and brutality of a dystopia world that I think some dystopia authors can lack and I think this is part of the excitement of her story because it makes it RAW and powerful!

This book is descriptive without it taking away from the fast pace of the plot. There is plenty of action to keep your entertained and angst is certainly in buckets full. But it’s not cheesy. I found myself near tears at certain points, but I am rather emotional. Not only is it descriptive, but it doesn’t fall into simplifying language, it really attempts to stretch one as a reader, which I think is vital for young readers of today.

Without a doubt I can say, this is a refreshing addition to the young-adult genre. This is definitely the type of book young people should be reading. It’s exciting enough to keep them interested and of a great quality that makes it one of the best books I’ve read in a while. To me, this holds in the ranks of Harry Potter and I only hope the story can continue to be so fantastic in the rest of the series to come!

It’s fantastic and I cannot help but gush!

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Dystopia, Harlequin Teen, Julie Kagawa, Paperback, Romance, Vampires, Young Adult

The Golden Flute

The Golden Flute

Title: The Golden Flute

Author: Catherine Lanigan

Series: Adventures of Lilli and Zane #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Adventure, Fantasy

Expected Publication: June 12th 2012 by Cedar Fort, Inc.

Plot:

Teen treasure hunters Lilli and Zane have grown up in a world of ancient artifacts, coded messages, and long-buried mysteries. But there’s no telling what they’ll unearth when they face off against the infamous Zorav and his even-more-menacing advisor.

With the fate of the world in their hands, Lilli and Zane will have to stay one step ahead of danger, find the treasured artifacts, and keep them far away from their enemies or face death—and maybe even worse.

Masterfully written by bestselling author Catherine Lanigan, this thrilling action story keeps you guessing through every twist and turn. Cross continents and connect the clues along with Lilli and Zane as you’re pulled into a world of mystery and suspense. A must-read for adventurers of all ages!

Review:

This isn’t my favourite book by far, but by the end I guess I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s really geared towards people older than around 11 and I’d say buy it for your children/nephews/nieces, but you’ll probably not enjoy it as much yourself.

The premise for the story sounds great with the whole archaeology aspect and the adventure/fantasy side excited me. I read the first chapter and fell in love and then I met the villains and the protagonist and I felt things begin to crumble a little. That’s not to say the characters are dreadful, I just felt like they didn’t hold structure to a character plan. They seem to fluctuate in whether they actually ‘fit’ in their age group. At times they seem to excel and then others they fall into simplicity that makes them too young. It was probably the biggest thing that annoyed me.

Do also prepare for the ‘jock’ stereotype introduction and girl who’s a social ‘outcast’ and the looks they cast between each other. However this premise quickly drops off once we fall into the adventure of the story, which is annoying despite the fact that the whole idea now annoys me. It annoyed me because it was so easily forgotten and only recalled at the end.

The story line at times fell into stupid simplicity that felt like it was being condescending even to a younger audience. However this doesn’t draw away from the story being rather well written. I just felt certain episodes were unbelievable and drawing to far away from realism.

The fantasy is an aspect you really have to fall into because if you can’t let the realms of reality fall away then this book really isn’t for you! For me, I found this hard to do and I never really did it by the end of the novel.

I did enjoy the dynamic between Zane, Lilli and Teddy when it worked, it worked really well! I think with more fine-tuning from Lanigan their characters could have really taken off. The budding romance between Zane and Lilli wasn’t overdone and despite it never reaching a moment of ‘flourish’ we were aware of it. I hope Lanigan will take the chance to develop this storyline throughout their next adventures because I think it could add something to the story. I feel like Lanigan needs to make it more explicit.

One thing this story doesn’t lack is the historical/archaeological ideas that surround Atlantis, Stonehenge, the Gods. It really does involve a lot of interesting legends and connects them in a way that intrigued me.

I found at times the book tended to drag, but the short chapters helped me to get through and the constant location change helped. However we did seem to skip whole time phrases that added to the confusion of the story and did nothing to improve my opinion.

For a first young-adult novel I thought this was a good start, but there is a lot of work that needs to come to refine the smaller details. If you can overlook the loopholes and get along with the characters you’ll probably enjoy this, which is why I suggest giving it to a younger audience I feel it’s more designed for who are unlikely to find fault with the exciting, action this book offers!

*This book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for early review*

My rating:

2.5 books

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Filed under 2.5 Books, 2012 Publication, Adventure, Catherine Lanigan, Cedar-Fort, E-book, Fantasy, Young Adult

Blaze of Memory

Blaze of Memory

Title: Blaze of Memory

Author: Nalini Singh

Series: Psy-Changeling #7

Genre: Paranormal-romance, Adult, Were-shifters

Published: November 3rd 2009 by Berkley

Plot:

Dev Santos finds a woman with amnesia-and all she can remember is that she’s dangerous. Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to kill, Katya’s only hope is Dev. But he could very well be her next target.

Review:

This book became a hard one to judge. Throughout reading I was adamant this book would be a three stars and the ending entirely changed everything! I was holding back the sobs, which I didn’t expect to be. It shows that despite Singh having written 7 books previous to this on in the Psy-Changeling series, she still manages to throw a spanner in the works!

Despite the tear-jerking moments I felt that the book was a little drab in places, it lacked some of the excitement that the last few books Singh has given us, held. It lacked the spark to take of and make me race through this book without thought. It wasn’t until around 200 pages in where I really started to turn the pages.

However it is probably what you expect to find in one of Singh’s paranormal-romance books, the sexy man, the woman who has to make her own journey, a game of cat and mouse and the capture. However we do get more than this because there are sub-levels we have yet to explore from previous novels, especially with the Forgotten which was exciting.

‘Blaze of Memory’ did seem to fall flat with the involvement of secondary characters because we didn’t have not nearly as many interludes as the previous novel into exploration of other characters. I felt this allowed us to focus more on the two characters, but it was probably what drew out the read for me.

The guy on the cover is not how I imagined our lead male, Dev, not at all! He’s not nearly as masculine and brooding, so he’s not my bar for the main character. In my head he was much better, so I didn’t allow the cover to influence me on this lead.

After reading ‘Branded by Fire’ I almost feel sorely let down, but in some ways I feel like Singh had a large mountain to climb in living up to her previous book. Nevertheless, don’t not read this book because it’s invaluable to the series.

I’d tell you to read this book and the whole Psy-Changeling series which is just fantastic, but don’t be prepared to be blown away by this particular novel. It’s just above average and leading to excitement for the future, but for me it’s more of a filler novel than anything.

My rating:

3.5 books

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Filed under 2009 Publication, 3.5 Books, Adult, Berkley, Nalini Singh, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Wereshifters

Lover Avenged

Title: Lover AvenLover Avengedged

Author: J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Published: November 27th 2009 by Piatkus Books

Plot: As the vampire warriors of the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD defend their race from their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood is about to be tested – and his dangerous mixed blood revealed.

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and the leader of the Brotherhood.

However, Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood. He’s a symphath and the revelation of his deadly secret will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And a plot within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in the darkening world: Ehlena, a vampire untouched by corruption that has its hold on him – and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Review: Damn this book was long, but it was utterly fantastic.

J.R. Ward really leaves little space for me to criticise. She manages to envelop secondary characters with individual storylines that are all interwoven with the main pairing, Rev and Ehlena and makes everything exciting and interesting. Despite the secondary characters all gaining their own attention it doesn’t take it away from the main storyline.

It was lovely to see the reappearance of Wrath and Beth who we meet in the first book, Dark Lover. I advise you all if you haven’t read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series to go rush and buy them! They are utterly fantastic and only get better! However, don’t read them out of order because they really require the precise order to make any form of sense because of the character depth and storyline.

By the end of the book I was in the state of happiness and despair. The action Ward creates is indescribable and the ending makes sure we cannot wait for the next book!

Rev has to be one of my favourite all time characters! He was on the peripheral for most of the previous books and somebody I failed to connect with, but Ward brought him in at the perfect moment. He’s everything your lead male should be and by the end I was a gooey mess on the floor. A sweet kind of over-indulged mess!

Me:

melted-chocolate

After all, he manages to be the strong, sexy male throughout the whole book with this unwavering devotion to protect those he cares for. What more could a girl ask for?

Saying that, these book shouldn’t just be labelled as for the female population, because it is clear to me, that both women and men can love them equally. The third person perspective that Ward presents that allows her to adopt the view of so many characters allows you to delve into the story from your own perspective and rather than attempt to view the plot from a female/male perspective you can take it as your own and really enjoy it.

My only problem if I had to pick one with this book, is the villain. I truly detest him beyond belief. I think that’s the point, but it’s to the extent that I skim read the sections that follow his life. However, having said that his character is brilliant as a leading villain, but for me, I cannot stand to read about him!

This book really does contain everything and the suspense is fantastic. We get a build up of so many key events that it becomes almost the perfect ‘Disney’ moment.

suspense

I fail to see how Ward can truly offer us more in one book, because she seemed to surpass her usual standards with Lover Avenged and I know I’ll certainly be picking ‘Lover Mine’ up very quickly in deed!

Just read the series because you will not regret it!

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Filed under 2009 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, J.R. Ward, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Piatkus Books, Vampires

Author Interview: Catherine Lanigan (Sunday 27th May)

Hey guys!

I’m officially back here, I prefer WordPress to Blogspot.

Anyway, I have an Author Interview arranged for Sunday 27th of May with Catherine Lanigan, author of The Golden Flute, which I’m currently reading.

Title: The Golden Flute

Author: Catherine Lanigan

Expected Publication: June 12th 2012  by Cedar Fort, Inc.

Plot: Masterfully written by award-winning author Catherine Lanigan, this thrilling action story keeps you guessing through every twist and turn. Cross continents and connect the clues along with teen treasure hunters Lilli and Zane as they try to stay one step of ahead of danger, find the ancient artifacts, and keep them far away from their enemies. A must-read for adventurers of all ages!

 

 

Look out for this on SUNDAY 27TH MAY!

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The Kite Runner

Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Literature, Adult, Historical-fiction
Published: 2004 by Bloomsbury
Plot: 1970s Afghanistan: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal best friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to an Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
Review:  My first piece of advice would be to not read this book if you’re sensitive, squeamish or upset by a troubled life because this book is not for the faint hearted. Personally, I’m a rather sensitive person and the book has made me cry countless times that I care not to count.
This was me…
However, this does not mean to say it is not a fantastic piece of literature. It falls into that category where you find it hard to place other than stand alone literature. It’s heart felt and full of deep sorrow, it explores the workings of Afghanistan and opened my eyes to the real cultural split. I’d never heard of a Shi’a or Sunni muslim, a Pashtun or Hazara before reading this book. I lived in blissful ignorance until this book pushed me to research the Afghanistan culture. For me, this is Hosseini’s most profound message if nothing else you gain from this book: an understanding of Afghanistan.
This book it told through first person narrative, and looks through a life of a child from the eyes of a matured, tortured adult. Hosseini works the first person narrative well and we find ourselves drawn out into Amir’s isolation with him. One finds it hard to forget that Amir is indeed an adult when we are told of his childhood, because the language isn’t simplistic or patronising, it’s that of an adult retelling his childhood. It’s certainly effective for the storyline.
Amir is definitely a hard character to like, and I think it is entirely personal opinion whether you like him and sympathise or whether you despire his character. Personally I felt for his character deeply, and my heart went out to the little boy who was troubled. The first-person narrative aids stepping into his life and I feel without that, then Hosseini would never have effectively given us into the torment and torture that faced Amir. He’s certainly a troubled little boy who’s actions are motivated by his desire to please and gain the love of his father. It’s all rather sad.
Hassan on the other hand, represents a happy little boy who shows the innocence of the world and encaptures the heart of the reader. He’s insightful despite his naivety and he has a gift of kite running. His story certainly had me sobbing throughout the whole story and he faces some real hardship. However his loyalty and kindness are in the end a downfall for him.
Rahim Khan a character we meet as Amir’s first grown up friend is the all-knowing, insightful adult of the tale who is the voice of reason and ultimately the brains of the story. I grew to feel great affection for his character and I felt that as a secondary character, he was imbedded well into the story.
Baba is another complex character like Amir. He is Amir’s father and another tortured soul. Once the story progresses our perspective of the man alters and changes into something rather different and I still find it hard to retain an opinion of the man, even after reading the story twice. He is a character I neither like nor dislike.
It was interesting for once to see a book that had a real link to the title and something that reoccured throughout the story. Sometimes I find authors name a book and never truly think to the name. This one worked effectively because Hassan is ‘The Kite Runner’ however, so are thousands of other people. I liked that touch of the story and title linking.
The plot is certainly difficult to handle at times because Hosseini doesn’t shy away from sensitive subjects such as death, rape or abuse. He handles everything in a sensitive manner that still manages to shake you to your core. I don’t think I’ll ever read a book quite like ‘The Kite Runner’.
This book does not have the happily ever after that I find myself reading so often. We tackle the grit, gore and profound reality of life in Afghanistan, before and after the Taliban. The effect they had and the nature of them. We see into Afghanistan and the cultural shock was certainly there for me. Hosseini really hits home with his message in this story and with a man from Afghanistan compared with the international news published to us, I find it hard to discount his word against those of the media. This book is sure to stick with you a long time after reading, it weighs heavy on the heart, but ultimately I feel better for having picked up the book and read it.
I’ve been unfortunate enough to see the film interpretation and I urge you, the book is a thousand times better than the film. There are so many things that the film inadequately covered or skipped out for me, that I urge you, don’t watch the film, read the book! In this instance, the book is far better than the film.
Finally, I’m hoping to read Hosseini’s next novel soon, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ which focuses on the plight of women. After this emotional roller-coaster in ‘The Kite Runner’ I can only hope that Hosseini lives up to all his hype that was created around his first novel, in the second.
I hope you take the time to have the experience of reading ‘The Kite Runner’ because it’s not a book to be missed!
By the time I’d finished I was more of a….
Rating:
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Filed under 2004 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Bloomsbury, Historical Fiction, Khaled Hosseini, Literature, Paperback

Releases in May

Here are some of the hotly anticipated releases of this month, from some of my favourite authors.

Black DawnBlack Dawn

by Rachel Caine

Release Date: May 1

Plot: The hotly-anticipated twelfth instalment in the Morganville Vampires series!

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires… their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Lovers of Morganville, rejoice: Black Dawn takes the intrigue, romance and nail-biting suspense of the series to its highest level yet!

UnderworldUnderworld

by Meg Cabot

Release Date: May 8

Plot: Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.(

Tangle of NeedTangle of Need

by Nalini Singh

Release Date:May 29

Plot: Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past–one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.
Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

Born of SilenceBorn of Silence

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Release Date:May 1

Plot: Death Stalks Them All…

Kere is the second most infamous member of the shadow organization known as Sentella. An explosive engineer who strikes terror into the hearts of the League, the bounty on his head is truly staggering. No one knows his true identity.
The daughter of a traitor, Zarya Starska grew up hard on the back streets of hell- her family hunted to the brink of extinction. But Zarya dreams of a different life and a different world. A world where the harsh hand of the Caronese emperor doesn’t destroy his subjects. As a Resistance leader, her goal is to topple the government that needlessly ruined the lives of her family and comrades-in-arms. In this deadly quest, the only person she can trust is a mysterious man known only as Kere.

By The Light Of Day…

Kere has a dark secret and a brutal past. As he aids the Resistance, he’s actually working to bring down his own family- the Cruels- so named for the viciousness in their blood that runs so deep, no other name would do. Born and bred from one of the oldest and noblest families in the United Systems, Kere’s real name is Darling Cruel. And the one thing he wants most is to see his uncle, who stole the crown by murdering his father, pay for his crimes.

If You Tell A Lie Long Enough, It Becomes The Truth…

In order to protect his mother from execution, Darling’s entire life has been built on a lie that he dare not breathe a contrary word about. His hands tied by his uncle’s cruelty. No one has ever seen the real him. No one except Zarya. She’s the only person he’s ever fully trusted with the truth. But when she betrays him by allowing a weapon he designed solely for her to be used against him, all bets are off.

The Hero Is Now The Monster…

Betrayed to the deepest level, Darling becomes an enemy even worse than his uncle. His goal is not only to reign, but to kill every Resistance member he can find. He won’t rest until all of them are dead and that includes Zarya.

The Twisted Hand Of Fate…

Zarya is the only hope to reach the heart of the man her people once considered their ally. A man who hates her with a fury so great that she knows it’s just a matter of time before he kills her. But if she can find the part of him that once trusted her, the part of him that once loved her, she might be able to save not only her own life, but those of her people.
It’s an impossible mission.
Too bad she doesn’t play the odds.

ChangelingChangeling

by Philippa Gregory

Release Date:May 29

Plot: Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

The first in a series, this epic and richly detailed drama is grounded in historical communities and their mythic beliefs. It includes a medieval map of Europe that will track their journey; and the interior will include relevant decorative elements as well as an interior line illustration. And look for a QR code that links to a note from the author with additional, detailed information about the setting and the history that informed the writing. With Philippa Gregory’s trademark touch, this novel deftly brings the past—and its salacious scandals—vividly and disturbingly to life.

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The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale

The Bewitching Tale of Stormy GaleTitle: The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale

Author: Christine Bell

Series: Stormy Gale #2

Genre: Steampunk, Adult, Historical-fiction

Expected publication: May 28th 2012 by Carina Press

Plot: London, 1841

There I was, retired from time pirating, enjoying a full if somewhat conventional life as a wife and mother. Then a chance encounter with a stranger drew me back into a world I’d thought I’d left, quite literally, in the past. From his odd behavior and even odder answers to my questions, I knew Phineas Grubb was up to something. I should have trusted my instincts—before he pulled out a time-travel mechanism and dragged my brother, Bacon, back with him…

Salem, 1698

The infamous Witch Trials may have ended a few years earlier, but the people of Salem are still pretty touchy about outsiders that appear in town as if by magic. Thanks to Grubb, my brother’s been accused of witchcraft and thrown in jail. Now it’s up to me and my husband, Dev, to save Bacon’s bacon before the hysteria starts up again, and the course of history is altered forever…

Review: I wanted to like this book so much, but in the end, I just couldn’t. I felt like Bell took a beautifully crafted short novella and ruined it by creating a sequel.

What I strongly disliked:

  • Stormy changed from a strong, kick-ass heroine and leader into a dependent wife. She then attempted to redeem herself by saying he needed to stay behind and it was her love for him that made her say this, but really that’s not right. If you love somebody and after the problems they face in the first book about trust and leaving one and other behind, this must prove to her to be the wrong route to take.
  • There is a great revelation at the end about Stormy and her past that is really corny and stupid in my opinion.
  • Her past is suddenly invented in this instalment. Granted, the first novel isn’t long enough to really include a past, but it ruins the book to suddenly start inventing one.
  • The book dragged for too much, I felt in Bell extending the length, she prolonged the torture. The first part had an unnecessary and extensive build up.
  • There wasn’t nearly enough Dev/Stormy interaction to make it enjoyable and we saw very little of her life that had supposedly become ‘normal’ at the end of the first novel.
  • Dev lost his ‘loony’ status and became too normal and boring. He held none of the previous excitement we’d seen because he was now a responsible husband.
  • There wasn’t nearly enough of the ‘steampunk’ genre for it to constitute as a real ‘steampunk’ novel that I imagine and it bordered more on the history kind of thing.
  • It reminded me of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ which I abhor because of the Salem witch trial context.

What I did like:

  • Dev was still part of the book and he became a integral part to the story line as to save Bacon.
  • Bacon gained a happily ever after.

There is so little I can say which actually made this book entertaining. By the time I was halfway through, I’d reached the point where banging my head against a brick wall felt the only resolve. I wanted to scream and shout at the characters stupidity and delete half the word count.

Overall, this book was a huge disappointment and I felt that Bell should have stuck with one instalment for Stormy Gale because that was truly a wonderful little story!

Read the first one, but expect to be disappointed with this new instalment. I’d tell you not to waste your money on the second instalment of Stormy Gale.

*The publisher provided me with this ebook for review, via NetGalley*

Rating:

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Filed under 2 Books, 2012 Publication, Adult, Carina Press, Christine Bell, E-book, Historical Fiction, Steampunk