Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Exemeus

The Exemeus

The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult, Romance

Publication: January 3rd 2013 by Royal Colours Ink

The Plot

Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, she has been given another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.
In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime:inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she’s been dead for 13 years.

Welcome to my stop on The Exemeus blog tour by Folami Morris and Abeni Morris hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the rest of the blog tour schedule!

The Exemeus banner2

The Review

The Exemeus is a book I have very mixed feelings upon, whilst there were moments I was thoroughly immersed in and engaged with, there were others that left me confused, disassociated and rather disappointed. However, The Exemeus is far from being a bad book and it has a lot to offer. Honestly, Hylee is a strong independent character that was savvy and likeable, and Singleton was more confusing and befuddled, but he certainly made an impression on me as being a rather fiery male love interest. Then we come to Dephon, I don’t really know much about this boy and I feel like he was overshadowed once again by the parents in this novel as youngster when we take a trip back in time.

The strongest point of this story was the world-building of the novel and the different worlds and magical elements that really came alive and touched every part of the story. I was absorbed from start to finish with these elements and engaged in all the political touches which were particularly strong throughout the novel. They were engaging and interesting and I really felt that the authors had spent lots of time and effort on working this out.

“Oh, a variety of different places… magical bookstores, interplanetary webula, but most of them actually came from Horace.”

“What’s a Horace?”

“A man.”

The characters were interesting. I never truly got a hold on any of them but Hylee, who I assume is not meant to be the main protagonist despite her consuming most of the narrative. Hylee was m0st certainly a kick-ass heroine  who brought life and character to the novel. However she was always on the edge of discovering something big and this frustrated me because I wanted her to open her eyes and see what was happening. She was quite oblivious in terms of things and a little bit stupid.

Singleton. Well honestly I never understood him, but I found him at times to be the swoony love interest you expected. However he seemed to move in riddles and his actions were never expected. The one really good thing about Singleton was he never gave up on Hylee and he acted the hero. He was strong and determined and I most definitely appreciated him for it because Hylee became weak at times where their relationship was concerned.

Dephon. Well there seemed to be something brewing in terms of romantic interests and his life, but I never fully grasped his character. We were always on the border of finding out more and I most definitely think that a second novel is needed to explore him more. He clearly verged on moments of great humour and wit, and my favourite word has now come from him. Troglodyte meaning caveman.

“The troglodytes on the football team had clearly decided to make up for their niceness yesterday by putting rotten eggs in his locker. His mom was right; football players sucked.”

In terms of plot, it was very disjointed and back and forth and I think making it shorter would have kept the interest with this to really define every element and keep my interest. I did find that by the end of the novel my interest had waned quite a lot since the start which had drawn me in and engaged me immensely. I think a little more editing to make it tightly knitted would have done wonders for this plot. However hopefully the sequel which definitely has to be in the works will work on these.

The cover is absolutely stunning and drew me in from the very first moment with the look and effects on the front that screams magical and kick-ass, but the actual synopsis misguides you a little in my opinion and I felt that  it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the story that really drives things forward. However it is a brilliant story all the same, so I suggest you take a dive into this one when you have a spare few hours.

In conclusion, I enjoyed The Exemeus in most parts, but felt it could have been a little shorter and tighter to fully reach the potential it promised. I think the sequel will definitely promise more and I’m not quite sure I’ll be reading that one yet. However I do recommend this one for when you have a spare moment of time as the magical elements, world building and politics are just beyond a doubt, awe-inspiring.

~ 3 Stars / 5 Stars ~

You can enter the giveaway to win a chance at an e-copy of this book HERE or a $50 Amazon voucher for first place. The book is also currently discounted at Amazon and Kobo for the duration of the blog tour.

Social Network following is also available for Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under 2013 Publication, 3 Books, Fantasy, Folami and Abeni Morris, Romance, Royal Colours Ink, Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (30)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

What Am I Waiting On?

Bronze Gods

Bronze Gods by A. A. Aguirre

Expected publication: April 30th 2013 by Ace

Hy Breasil is grimmer than it used to be.
Before the Architect closed the door, there were regular crossings, and a great war decimated both humans and Ferishers. The native fae who refused to treat with the invaders faded; their bodies withered and died, stranding them as hungry, angry spirits that haunt the countryside.
That means there’s always trouble brewing in Dorstaad.

Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko work for the Criminal Investigation Department, keeping citizens safe from things that go bump in the night. He’s a hardboiled cynic with an uncanny sixth sense; she’s determined to justify her promotion as the first female detective in her division. Together, they’re trying to keep a black tide from drowning the city.

But when the second body surfaces, murdered with the same type of infernal device, the entire CID must face the truth. There’s a madman on the loose, twining magic and blood… and only Mikani and Ritsuko can unravel the intricate, lethal conspiracy before the Royale killer completes his macabre plan, unleashing old, forbidden magic on an unsuspecting populace. If the maniac succeeds, it could mean the end of everything…

Why Am I Waiting?

Well, again I saw this book spotlighted on a blog, Maja’s The Nocturnal Library here although I recall seeing a more recent post. Still, it sounds like a fabulous stempunk book that definitely has elements of Watson/Holmes for me.

What Are You Waiting On?

22 Comments

Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

Through the Eyes of a Nerd: The Vow

Through the Eyes of a Nerd

This week I’m taking a look at The Vow and let me tell you know, that is one emotional, heart-breaking and adorable films I’ve seen. I don’t think it quite gets up there with the likes of The Notebook, but it’s a pretty lovely film and one that certainly brought a tear to my eye.

The Vow

The Vow is based on a true life event that in a car accident, Paige (Rachel McAdams) looses all her recent memories so she remembers nothing of her marriage to her husband, Channing Tatum.

It certainly makes for an interesting and emotional journey between these two.

Honestly, I don’t think Channing Tatum will be winning academy awards for his acting any time soon, however, in this I really felt him and his emotion. I think he works well in this role as the love interest and he plays it well.

He’s sexy, rather adorable and a man that makes it easy to like him. Beyond the superficial elements I don’t see a lot to Channing Tatum as an actor, but in this film I was genuinely sold on his acting and character Leo.

Rachel McAdams is safely an actress I really like. I remember her days in Mean Girls as Regina George and I was determined I would never like her, but her recent roles in Sherlock Holmes and The Time Traveller’s Wife have proved her to be a diverse, sassy actress that has quite a lot to offer.

She definitely plays the role of reserved, confused and rather lost Paige perfectly here. She captures the character and Vowadamswhat it means to have lost her memory. It’s honestly heart-breaking to see that she wakes up and doesn’t recognise Leo as her husband. However I totally believed every moment of her acting.

I cannot say that she didn’t frustrate me, but that’s because my heart was out for Leo and she was trying to come to terms with the fact that her memories no longer existed of any of their time and it was interesting and humorous at times to see the reaction.

Don’t get me wrong, the film is not all doom and gloom and one of my favourite moments is Channing Tatum strutting naked through their apartment and her squealing in her underwear because he’s practically a random stranger. It was rather sad to see in a way since he was relegated in his own home, but I think the humour managed to balance the sadness.

THE VOW

Personally, what made the loss of her memory so upsetting was the flashbacks we witness as the pairing as a couple before their accident.

This is them on their wedding day and it was clear they were totally in love and it was incredibly endearing.

They also wrote their own wedding vows for each other. The fact that Leo remembered all of this and Paige was sSteph-TheVow-Quote2struggling to cope really made me a little teary eyed. So this film does hold the cute balance of an emotional and fun relationship that makes up a chick-flick as well as it having a serious undertone too.

Another aspect of this film was how Paige changed. You could clearly see two different sides to her character before the crash and after and it was hard to piece those two people together.

However across the film she slowly started to unravel pieces of her life and I really liked the twists in it that were uncovered and changed things because I didn’t expect them.

I definitely liked her more pre-crash and after the unveiling at the end.

Overall I really enjoyed this film, I had a few laughs, a few tears and definitely think it’s a moving story especially based on real life. I’d be interested to read the book to see how it differs to the film. However it’s not all doom and gloom I will inform you so there is a happy ending for you guys!

cute

18 Comments

Filed under Through the Eyes of a Nerd

The Auditory and the Aesthetic: Imagine Dragons

The Auditory and the Aesthetic

The Auditory and the Aesthetic is a new meme that I’m launching here at Nerdy Book Reviews where I will be digressing largely from books to focus on other artistic inclinations such as art, theatre and music. Sometimes I may touch on books with book trailers of play lists, but largely it’ll be a step away from the book nerd that’s at the heart of me.

Today I am launching it with my love of music. I have over 900 songs on my Ipod which is really a mind mesh of different things, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep going with my love of music for a while!

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

This week, I’m taking a look at Imagine Dragons an indie rock band from America. I’m taking a look at Radioactive from their debut album.

The Video

I’m particularly enamoured with this video because of the very awesome pink teddy bear. Pink isn’t particularly my colour, but in terms of kick-ass scale, this teddy bear is certainly rocking up there. I appreciate how Imagine Dragons use something so simplistic and that we can all connect with to make their video original.

It’s honesty refreshing not to see a music video filled with gyrating naked bodies which are namely women. Another reason I tend to veer to the indie bands because they don’t fill their music videos full of them.

I also like all the different camera angles and visuals that make up the music video to make it chop and change between scenes so seamlessly to show all the different elements. It’s creative to see the way the scenes seem separate and eventually glide together to intermingle.

The Band

Apparently their name is an anagram, but the band are keeping it a big secret to what Imagine Dragons is actually an anagram for.

They formed in 2008 and only got signed in 2011, so I definitely think they’ll be an up and coming band in the next couple of years, particularly playing the likes of Leeds fest this year, which my all time favourite band played last year. I’d honestly love to go to a festival, but I just can’t stand all the muck/grime and unhygienic circumstances that ensue.

What do you think to their name Imagine Dragons?

From my first thoughts I was pretty enamoured with it, and it always gets me thinking of fantasy and far off places which I expect music to take me to. So they’re getting full support from me.

The Music

For me, indie rock bands are the epitome of music with bass, drums, guitar and vocals all together I really get into the beat of music.

In some ways I think you can overanalyse music and lyrics. However, I do feel that Imagine Dragons and Radioactive certainly touch on a new age and being different. A changing world. I think this song can touch with quite a few post-apocalyptic/dystopia/science-fiction novels.

imagine dragons

What are your thoughts?

27 Comments

Filed under The Auditory and the Aesthetic

Waiting on Wednesday (29)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

What Am I Waiting On?

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Expected Publication: December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Why Am I Waiting?

Well, just look at that cover. I first saw this highlighted over at The Midnight Garden here where there was a brilliant post on the background to the novel and how the authors went through lots of changes of title to end up with this one. However, now I have to say I don’t think anything else will fit. It’s so long away for December though and I do not want to wish that time away, but this book I will be awaiting eagerly.

What Are You Waiting On?

26 Comments

Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

Reviews from the Realm of Magic

Magic StudyFire Study

Magic Study and Fire Study  by Maria V. Snyder

Series: Study #2 & #3

Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Young-Adult

Published: October 1st 2006 and January 16th 2009 by Mira Books

*mild spoilers for book one, Poison Study.

A Brief Summary of the Magic Stories

Once upon a time, lived a girl named Yelena Zaltana. Well… actually you might just know her as Yelena and she found out that she had magic, so she must flee her home and the one she loved.

She went on a journey of self-discovery battling the villains and other magicians that tried to stop her whilst she developed her magic and grew as a person. She made some new friends, kept some old friends, made some enemies. She also met her family and began to develop her past identity whilst trying to balance the old and the new in her life of magic and non-magic worlds.

During all this, her fabulous man-candy appeared in her life at frequent intervals to seduce her and spice up the story with some swoony romance. Through all of this she found a trusty steed that called her Lavender Lady and made the story oodles of fun.

There were lots of twists and turns, fun and emotional moments that brought a little tear to the eye. The stories kept you turning the pages with the multiple plots and tonnes of action.

Finally, Yelena realizes she is super-awesome all on her own, but she does need the help, support and guidance of others and she becomes less frustrating so you don’t want to bash her head against the wall and we get an interesting happily ever after.

The Review

Magic Study and Fire Study retained lots of the fun and enjoyable elements that made me fall head over heels in love with Poison Study and I think they make a good series together. I’m breaking it down into some elements to summarise the progression of specific elements.

Yelena

Yelena was a character that wormed her way easily into my heart in Poison Study and she still retained the fire and tenacity that she held when we first met her. However I feel that at times she was a little head-strong and that she just threw herself into things which annoyed me, but that was her character and you had to appreciate her stubbornness and loyalty. She was still the smart and defiant Yelena who fought for what she believed in.

Although I did feel that at a couple of moments she wasn’t quite as witty as she had been previously and smart. She seemed like she’d lost a few brain cells when she didn’t get everything that was going off, but in her defence she was being dragged all over the place to make things exciting so she couldn’t do everything.

Valek

Is it quite manageable to fall in love with this man even more? Something about him with his secret allure and charm that slipped and slide through these two stories as more elusive got me all excited about Valek’s character. My only problem was we didn’t see nearly enough of him and I don’t think as an individual character we saw enough of his personality. He seemed to become Yelena’s love interest rather than an individual that we had gotten to know in the previous novel.

Although Snyder did give me a scare when I briefly thought Valek would be replaced as love interest for another. However fear nor, no love triangle develops nor does Valek disappear. He is very much around for the cute, swoony moments that maintains the magic for their relationship throughout both books!

Two steps and I was wrapped in his arms.

“That’s the best welcome I’ve had all day.”

World Building

I think it’s safe to say that Snyder immerses you in the world of magic and magicians along with the clans whether they were Zaltana or Sandseed or one of the many others. She delves into the politics of Ixia and Sitia and the tensions between the two.

We learn to understand the history of magic, not nearly enough for my own thirst for knowledge, but enough that you really start to understand the dynamics of the world.

Fantasy is a genre that really depends upon believing the world and understanding it, and I could picture every grain of strand, every jungle vine that Snyder depicted and this made the journey so much more enjoyable.

The Secondary Characters

Wow. Snyder excelled on all fronts here. This is what totally sells me her novels. Not only do we draw in everyone we met in the first novel, but in these two we meet a whole new cast of characters. She really built up a world of characters and individuals that moulded so many different elements to this story from the magicians to simple street beggar children who become friends of Yelena or the soldiers.

Snyder also managed to build up Yelena’s family and we developed some real relationships of her past that we hadn’t seen before. Things were certainly rocky and full of ups and downs, but I think that reflects a true family dynamic and how nothing is smooth and perfect. Her brother, Leif was certainly an interesting character of multi-dimensions and I had lots of changing emotions which I really liked.

Lief pretended to be shocked. “But our fearless leader. You have it all planned out. Right?”

I shrugged. “I’m going to take a long hot bath. How’s that?”

Overall, everybody in this novel had a story and a time to shine in the plot and I really liked how Snyder managed to interweave them all. If you like secondary characters, Snyder really excels here!

Ari and Janco

Ari and Janco are still present as my two favourite characters from Poison Study with their camaraderie. I’m sooo glad to see that Snyder brought this two back to be present in both books because I don’t think it would be quite the same without them. They brought humour to the books that could lighten up the more intense and action filled moments to just draw you back down to earth.

“Janco,” Ari warned. “We’re not supposed to be fraternising with the Sitians.”

“But she’s not Sitian. Right, Yelena? You haven’t gone south on us, have you?” Janco’s voice held mock horror.

Moon Man

He brought lots of cryptic wisdom, fun, adventure and emotional moments. Moon Man reminded me a lot of Finnick from The Hunger Games who weaselled his way into my heart entirely too easy as well. He had an aura about him that was hard not to like and from the moment of his first introductions, despite lots of ambiguous characters to whether they were truly good or not, the vibe from him was full of fun and mystery.

Not only that but he helped Yelena and strengthened her character growth and I liked how Snyder used him to do that as well as interlinking the clans and the plot lines that really helped the two novels to flourish.

I studied his colored skin. “Why indigo?”

A slow grin spread over his lips. “A cooling color to help soothe the fire between you and your brother.”

Then, a sheepish look. “It is my favourite.”

Kiki

Kiki is Yelena’s horse. This sounds entirely bizarre, but I think animals if used well are increasingly fantastic characters that authors can make use of. Buckbeak, Nero, Burru to name a few. She has intelligence and insight that the characters don’t and I liked her ability to rebuke Yelena when others couldn’t.

I also loved her nicknames for everybody which represented their identity of personality really by the smell and I think in most cases they fitted really well.

Yes. I’m sorry to take you out on such a horrible day, I said.

Not bad with Lavender Lady. Lavender Lady was the name the horses had given me. They named the people around them just like we would name a pet.

Villains

I’m never really sure how you can assess a villain. In terms of evilness, cruelty, ingenuity. They tend to be slippery characters that are hard to define and Magic Study and Fire Study are filled galore with them. Snyder gets a real mix of rather irrelevant villains that you can skip without much consequence and real two-faced characters and mysterious enemies that creates lots of plot twists and excitements in her novel.

I think the balance of villains done bad and villains done good makes the two novels work really well. I felt the villain in Magic Study was a lot stronger, the plot unravelled more in Fire Study to undermine it and make it a little more predictable in an element that I just knew it had to be that from the start. However, I don’t think it’s entirely obvious, but Snyder drops some fairly big hints throughout the novel looking back that makes it hard for you to ignore.

Overall, she creates some wicked villains and lots of bombshells with characters chopping and changing sides to show that human nature really isn’t set straight.

Favourite Moment

Undoubtedly Snyder packs the novels full of adventure and action which makes it so easy to like them when you can constantly turn a page and find something new happening. I find that I prefer novels with lots of action that transport me to an entire new world rather than something slow and thought-provoking. However one of my favourite moments from the two books was more humorous moments that captures Snyder’s sense of humour that appealed to much to me.

I spotted my mother’s green cloak near the top. I called to Perl, telling her I was fine. “You can come down now,” I said.

“Yelena! Thank fate! come up here where it’s safe,” she said.

Overall

Honestly, I thought these two held great strengths that made them enjoyable, but they didn’t shine as much as the original book, Poison Study. I felt that Magic Study held the edge over Fire Study too and that this series weakened a little by the end. I just felt Fire Study was a little more predictable and rushed than the other two. Still, that does not take away that I would happily label this as one of my favourite fantasy series and recommend it to everybody out there because there is something a little special about Yelena Zaltana and this series. I  cannot wait to get my hands on more Snyder books as she’s undoubtedly one of my favourite authors now!

Magic Study: ~ 4 / 5 Books ~

Fire Study: ~ 3.5 / 5 Books ~

32 Comments

Filed under 2006 Publication, 2009 Publication, 3.5 Books, 4 Books, Fantasy, Magic, Maria V. Snyder, Mira Books, Paperback, Romance, Young Adult

Stacking the Shelves (29)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Posts since last time: The Forest of Hands & Teeth and The Origins of a Love Triangle.

Books Borrowed from the Library.

photo (20)

photo (17)photo (18)photo (19)

So two of my requests came in from the library this week, making me a very happy girl! Tangle of Need is the latest book in one of my favourite series and surprisingly for once it my life, I have actually caught up with a series I read! Pretty astonishing. I also got Sins of the Night which should be fun. Then I picked up I Am the Messenger because I’ve heard tonnes about Zusak and I’ve yet to read one of his books. This caught my eye in the library and it sounds good, so hopefully it’ll be interesting!

What did you get this week?

34 Comments

Filed under Stacking the Shelves

The Origins of a Love Triangle

The famed love triangle can turn people away from a book in an instance. Even the mention of the two words can send people fleeing for the hills…

running for the hills

Personally, I don’t mind them all that much when they’re done right. But what makes them so horrific?

The cliché? The unnecessary angst? The silly indecisive protagonist that usually accompanies it?

There seem to be soooo many reasonings behind why love triangles are the death of a book.

However two of the biggest supernatural shows contain love triangles. Admittedly I am an addict of one.

Have you guessed what they are? I’ll give you a little clue. Fangs.

The Vampire Diariestrue-blood-season-4-sookie-bill-eric

The Vampire Diaries and True Blood.

So what makes these so immensely successful if people hate them so much?

The fact that most adults in Western Society claimed to have been involved in a love triangle? Quite a surprising figure really. Does it mean we can relate to them? Or is it that human nature is tempted by something we can’t have? Will we always want that one thing that continues to elude us so?

Not only do we have two highly successful TV shows, we also have two HUGE film series. Oddly, these are both from the young-adult genre that contain love triangles.

Clues: Sparkling. Death. Bow and Arrow.

lovetriangletaylor-kristen-robert-twilight-series-11401177-623-600

The Hunger Games and Twilight.

In some ways, I don’t think you ladies can deny that you wouldn’t want two hot men chasing after you. However it seems that YA heroines are increasingly having the need to have not one, but two men chasing after them to raise their self-esteem and give them character. Oddly I thought that books should be encouraging good self images and acceptance without the need for men in YA heroines particularly when women authors are writing this.

Now that’s not to say, every YA book or book that contains a love triangle is terrible. The Hunger Games, Everneath, The Vampire Diaries are a few from the top of my head that I’ve enjoyed despite the love triangle. However I don’t think it needs to be a requirement, especially if its trying to keep the audience interested.

On the other hand, one of the most famous writers of all time had a love triangle in his works. Shakespeare. Anybody familiar with Romeo and Juliet? Well remember Paris? The third element of the love triangle…

See, it seems that love triangles have been an inherent part of the literature culture since the 1600s. Somehow I don’t think we are about to escape it any time soon. However I don’t think this means we should stand idly by and let the bad ones pass through.

What do you think?

50 Comments

Filed under Rambles

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

What Am I Waiting On?

Zenn Scarlett

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Expected Publication: 2nd May

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

Why Am I Waiting?

I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by Strange Chemistry to date and find that they tend to publish really original works that are exciting, engaging and they have some real talent. So when I read about aliens in this one, I was incredibly excited and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

What Are You Waiting On?

20 Comments

Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

The Forest of Hands & Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Series: The Forest of Hands & Teeth #1

Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Zombies, Horror Young-Adult

Published: July 2009 by Gollancz

The Plot

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

The Review

 The Forest of Hands & Teeth was an interesting read for me. I don’t read that many zombie books nor do I really read that many dystopia type books, so I was curious to what Ryan would do. Frankly I had a very much love/hate relationship with this book. I agonized reading it over the plot direction, the decisions of the protagonist Mary and the heartbreak and then I’d put it down and yearn to read more. Quite clearly Ryan has a book that hooks and that cannot remain down for long, or not infinitely anyway because she makes you want this book resolved.

I’ll begin with Mary our protagonist who we follow for the story. She is selfish, annoying, deluded and most of all she is blinded by the unknown that she cannot see what is before her until it is lost. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if within the first two chapters she had been bitten by a zombie and rampaged around and eaten everybody. Unfortunately, I am sorry to disappoint you, this does not happen for one second. She is not bitten, nor does she rampage… as a zombie at least. Still, the plot wouldn’t quite be the same which does hold some real strength. It’s just Mary was not a character I liked nor one I tried to like after she failed to impress me.

One point that is not in Mary’s favour that probably didn’t help me is the world she lives in. The Sisters who are basically nuns control the village, they are the law, the leaders and they have the knowledge and the secrets. The Sisters are rather creepy and whilst they lord over the village, they surprisingly make it a very sexist society. Do not expect to find women’s rights being waved in your face because the Sisters have a plan for women. Have them married, get them to have babies, have them care for the babies, have more babies and so on until they die… This is the basic plot of what the Sisters expect from the women of the village and for those that fail to do that… well… who knows if their history was ever written down or they join the Sisters.

“You are a Bound woman now, Mary. And you have a duty to your  husband, to God and this village. It is time to own up to that duty, Mary. It is time you stopped playing by the fences.”

Despite the Sisters forcing the women into such roles, they were a fantastically creepy, twisted and mysterious group of women who I was definitely curious about. Without a doubt Ryan has created a warped group of ‘do-gooders’ who believe they are working for the best of the village and it fits generally into the typical expectation of a post-apocalyptic/dystopia novel that somebody must be attempting to ‘save the race’ although badly. However, I thought that Ryan took a rather original tone to the Sisters and they didn’t seem to feel like they’re own living breathing entity that I could generally see existing in the world.

I have to admit, I found that there were some very cute moments in this novel and despite the rather heart-breaking and torturous moments of the novel, the deaths and all the zombies and gore, I thought Ryan interspersed a few moments to detract from the depressive tone of the novel. And the perfect way to do this is bring a fluffy bundle of puppy!

“The dog tumbles to the floor and runs in a few circles and then comes and wiggles over my feet, its tail sweeping items off a low table nearby. “A wedding present for  you, Mary,” he says, dipping his face a bit as if embarrassed.”

Now there are two main men in the novel. Harry and Travis. Yes.. I see your thoughts travelling directly to a big ol’ love triangle.

chains of love

This actually pretty much perfectly sums up the relationships in The Forest of Hands & Teeth and it makes me tempted to not really call it a love triangle because Mary never really loves one of the love interest and the one she is in ‘love’ with, she never truly commits to for most of the novel. The moments in which we do have romance though touched me and I found myself awwwing a little bit.

“He pulls my face toward him, his lips brushing mine, and then he places my head against his shoulder. His arms wrap rightly around me and I understand how he needs me. I curl against his body, let him twirl his fingers through my hair.”

The Forest of Hands & Teeth is not a happy novel, I didn’t find that it was full of fun and joy, but it does make you think. I despised the main character and that was probably what detracted from my enjoyment the most. The plot whilst in large had moments of predictability was surprising and engaging and did serve to have a few unexpected plot twists that made me flip through the pages a little faster. I don’t think there is anything astounding about this novel, but it has enjoyable moments and it’s not too long. I recommend a rainy day when you have lots of free time. This novel like Mary’s brother managed to redeem itself largely by the end and I think I’ll be reading the sequel since it’s not from Mary’s point of view. I’ll leave you on a quotation I liked from the book.

“I want to believe in hope.”

~ 3 / 5 BOOKS ~

25 Comments

Filed under 2009 Publication, 3 Books, Carrie Ryan, Dystopia, Gollancz, Hardback, Horror, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Romance, Young Adult, Zombies