Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dark Inside By Jeyn Roberts


Dark Inside
Series: Dark Inside #1
Release Date: 24th May 2011
Publisher: Macmillians Childrens Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368

Synopsis: Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known since childhood; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive - at any cost!

Since mankind began, civilizations have fallen - now it's our turn!

Review: Dark Inside is a hard book to review. I don't want to say too much as I don't want to give away the story. Nevertheless I can tell you that Dark Inside is an incredibly haunting book, showing a dark reality of what could really happen to the world. It shows harsh truths about people that we sometimes overlook. The whole novel has a dark twist to it, making it scary and incredibly creepy. The whole book was fast paced from the first chapter until the very last page. It was a good read and left my mind reeling and wanting to know what was happening to all of these people and why. As this is only book one I guess will get more answers in the sequel. Yes this book can get gory and there are many deaths so take this as a small warning if you don't like stuff like that.

Dark Inside begins just as an earthquake tears apart the earth destroying many cities and turning people mad in the process. The darkest parts of the human minds begins to take over and they become what we know as Baggers. They are absolutely insane and incredible scary. They kill for fun like it's a game of survival and they don't care who they kill.

There are five different point of views in this book. First there is Nothing, an incredibly creepy voice inside someones head but even at the end of the book we don't know who they are, although I do now have my suspicions. He is a little voice in our head telling the unforgettable horrors he does and how he wants to escape. The way his chapters are written in first person, pulls this person unwillingly closer to a monster and make them see a whole different side of the story. We meet Mason as he goes to see his mother who has just been in an accident. Soon she dies leaving Mason numb with grief and totally out of his mind. Grief and sorrow pulls him apart and he hates himself for what's happened and how he should be the one dead not his mother. He runs to leave the past behind and lose himself in the horror that is the future. Aries is sitting on a bus with her friends when the earthquake disturbs the world. She's lucky to make it out alive, her friend wasn't as lucky. She tries to hunt down survivors but the reality that there aren't that many hits her full on. Clementine witness the mass death of her whole town, she just makes it out alive but she soon realises that she can trust no one. Micheal witnesses two horrible deaths shortly after one another. With another survivor he leaves town to run for his life and the horrors that follow.

Each of the characters were very well fleshed out and real. Just thinking back now I became attached to all of them without realising, it was liked joining friends on a adventure. Mason is the tortured soul, who blames himself for the death of his mother and friends. Sorrow digs it's claws into his soul. Aries is a strong female character who takes charge of the situation and makes sure that she and her few followers survive. I loved her character, no matter what she was clever and always thinking of ways she could escape if need be. Clementine was more alone than the others. She got out by herself and was alone surviving for half the book until she stumbled into another character. Micheal was also the leader of his little group but when the time come to stand up and help, his decisions proves to be fatal. Each character was unique and together they made a great team even if it wasn't for long. I just want to say one thing that bugged me though, and that was that two of the characters names began with M and both were boys. I was constantly flipping back to the beginning to find out who was who, even at the end of the book, I still wasn't sure. Along the way we were also introduced to many secondary characters and I mean a lot, the ones who I liked most were Chickadee, Jack and Daniel.

The setting was hauntingly real. Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is something that could really happen, well the earthquakes at least. It's so real that you can feel the terror the characters feel. If this was real and I were a survivor I would be so scared, I wouldn't have a clue what to do. It really is scary, the harsh reality of it all. It's so real, it could happen anytime. It really makes you think about the future and life in a whole different light. The world building was good, the devastation was written well but the best was the way the baggers are described and the creepiness that comes with them.

The plot was fast paced and kept the reader engaged from start to finish. This is a really good book, and I've got the sequel ready and waiting to read so look out for that review. I really hope you consider reading this book, it definitely deserves a bigger audience. For a debut novel this is spectacular in a creepy dark way. I really recommend it, it really makes you think! I'm going to leave you with three quotes which really jumped out to me. I hope they make you want to read the book!

"The nothingness. No fire trucks, ambulances, police cars. No people, cars, stereos, televisions, computers. All the things we use to replace the silence of loneliness. All the distractions we buy that fill up the empty voids inside our souls. It's all gone." pg 50

"Humanity has found a cure to a disease they never knew existed." pg 50

"The stars would always be here. Hundreds of millions of years in the future when mankind was gone from this earth, they'd still exist." pg 219


Remember to check back later in the week or early next week when I'll have a giveaway of this book!





Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Masque Of The Red Death By Bethany Griffin UK Cover Reveal

The UK cover for The Masque Of The Red Death was released for the first time this morning, and here it is:



At first I didn't like it but now it's growing on me a lot. It shows the dark haunting theme that is constant throughout the book. I like it a lot more than the US cover. It's just making me want to read the book again!

The Masque Of The Red Death is released on the 2nd August 2012. While you wait for it, why don't you read my review. You can find it here.

I also want to apologise for the quality of the image and the size, It's the only one I've found so far.

What do you think of the cover? 


Monday, 28 May 2012

Switched By Amanda Hocking


Switched
Series: Trylle Trilogy #1
Release Date: 5th January 2012 (Previously published in 2010)
Publisher: Tor
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335

Synopsis: What if your entire world was built on a lie?

Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in...

She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why...

When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. F├Ârening, the home of the Trylle.

Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about.

The fate of F├Ârening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever...

Review: Hmm I was very cautious when it came to this book. I knew about it when it was self published but I never read ebooks so I didn't read it. When it was scooped up for traditional publishing, I knew I would give this book a shot. Alas like the reviews state it isn't that great. I knew there would be some problems as it's a first novel but there were so many other things that annoyed me that I'll get into in a moment.

We join Wendy as she's just moved to a new town where she once again has to try and fit in. With a new town comes new people and the mysterious Finn is one of them. Finn knows more about Wendy than anyone else, he knows her past and what she's destined to become. She only needs to leave her family behind and join him in the world of Trylle where she will finally fit in.

Ok, first things first. Trolls. Hmm I knew they were different than the traditional ones but in Switched we got cold, money stealing, heartless trolls. Pretty much every Troll we met was stuck up and snobby as if they were better than everyone else. They never showed any sign of human emotion just hatred. Each Troll seemed the same just they looked slightly different. Oh and they're not ugly they're all pretty gorgeous. Something just doesn't add up there.

Onto the setting, I was expecting a woodland habitat with dens in trees or caves. The trolls living as close to nature as possible. What we got was the trolls living in mansions, with marble floors, ballrooms and balcony's. Not what I was expecting at all. What made it worse was that it wasn't described very well either, it just didn't make sense. Also they were designer clothes, what the hell? Hm. Oh and the whole switching thing, they switch their children with human ones, so when their own child reaches a certain age they can return to Trylle with their trust fund. Oh and to make sure there's a lot of money, they place their child with a wealthy family. Did I mention they're were snobby?

Next the characters. Wendy was a rather bland character. At first she was interesting with her uniqueness and how she stood up for herself, she was strong then. When she was taken to Trylle she lost the fight in her, sure it came through at the odd times but if that was a character trait it would be constant. At first she was didn't want to leave her family behind but once she left they hardly ever came up. She could have been developed a lot better. Then we have Finn the dark and mysterious love interest who mood changed so often, if you blink you miss it. Although I was rooting for him, he deserves better than a sulky girl. Elora, Wendy's real mother was a complete bitch, she showed no happiness towards her daughter at all. Whenever she spoke to her she told her off for not being a princess. She was rather annoying.

Lastly the plot. The concept of the whole novel was unique and not one I've seen done before but the problem was there was simply no plot at all. From the synopsis we get that Wendy was switched at birth and she's really a Troll princess, so she has to return to Trylle. This is complete within a few chapters then we are bogged down with an endless stream of useless information. The plot moves nowhere and the characters don't grow at all. I personally think this book could use a lot of work. And the ending left us at pretty much the same place as the beginning, which is never good.

I did like the unique concept for the novel and it was an enjoyable read, it's just that so much could have been changed to make it better and that's where it really falls flat to me. I would like to see what happens to Wendy next but she falls right to the bottom of my list.








Sunday, 27 May 2012

Letterbox Love (#4)


Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

Here's what I got this week:
 
Bought:

-Burn Mark By Laura Powell
-Dark Inside By Jeyn Roberts
-Changeling By Philippa Gregory
I've just been up town an bought these. Burn Mark isn't released yet so i was so excited to see it on the shelves. I have Rage Within but hadn't read Dark Inside so i picked that up too. And Changeling sounds so good, and it was half price so a bargain really.

-Sherlock's Home: The Empty House
I had to buy this as my short story is published in it!

Received:

-The Vampire Shrink By Lynda Hilburn
-The Emperor's Knife By Mazarkis Williams
I won these from Jo Fletcher Books, so thank you to them! Both sound so good!

- The Forest Of Hands and Teeth By Carrie Ryan
Thanks to Gollancz for sending me this!

Swag:
-Magnet, Badge, wristband, bookmark and card from Gina Rosati

I would love to see what you received this week, please leave your links in the comments!

I'm also going to start adding a weekly wrap up at the end of each post, so you can see what reviews and things I've posted.





Friday, 25 May 2012

Throne of Glass By Sarah J. Maas UK Cover Reveal

The UK cover for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas has just been revealed over here and it's so awesome. I thought I'd shared it with you all. What do you think? Personally i think it is so kick ass. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! Here's the cover:


Throne Of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416

Synopsis: Celaena Sardothien is a daredevil assassin with unrivalled fighting skills. After a year’s hard labour in the salt mines of the kingdom of Adarlan, Celaena is offered her freedom on one condition—she must fight as handsome Prince Dorian’s champion in a contest sponsored by the king, facing the deadliest thieves and assassins in the land in a series of set-piece battles in the country’s stunning glass palace. But there is more at stake than even her life—for Celaena is destined for a remarkable future...



What are your thoughts on the cover?


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hollow Pike By James Dawson


Hollow Pike
Release Date: 2nd February 2012
Publisher: Indigo
Format: Paperback
Pages:  314

Synopsis: Something wicked this way comes...

She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she’s being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.

Review: I've always been interested in witchcraft, the mystery and suspense surrounding it all. But more so the history of it all. Hollow Pike contains witchcraft and it's horrifying history, so naturally I was drawn to this book. Even more so when I realised the author was British. I received this book from Indigo recently but I've only just got around to reading it and damn I wish I'd read it sooner. It's so good. In Hollow Pike the teenage characters are so real, they are probably the most life like book characters I've read recently. James Dawson seems to have a talent when it comes down to writing as a teenage mind. Hollow Pike has humour and some seriously dark themes woven together to make a perfect novel that makes the reader laugh and freeze with suspense. It's the perfect mix of humour and seriousness making the novel very enjoyable and leaves the reader gripping on to the pages wanting to know more.

Hollow Pike follows Lis London as she moves to Hollow Pike to live with her sister. But Hollow Pike's no average town, it has a dark past with witchcraft thoroughly woven into it's history. Everyone knows of the myths but it's not real right? Lis starts having nightmares, the same one repeats itself over and over. In it someone is trying to kill her, Lis thinks it's nothing to worry about but she knows somethings not quite right with this new town. The town's gruesome past has a life of it's own and it will not be silenced.

I loved the character of Lis. She knew pain and was vulnerable inside. After having to face bullying at her old school, she knows how bad things can get. She swears that at this new school she won't let it happen again. She takes a different approach but it backfires and puts her back where she started but here there's a group of fellow freaks and together they are strong. Gaining confidence with her new friends we see Lis grow as a character and into her own. She was also clever and strong. Her courage appeared when she needed it, she was such a believable character.

Laura is the queen bee at school. She's the typical bitch but we finally see that deep down she's so alone, there's no one she can really share her feelings with. Kitty, Delilah and Jack became Lis's friends and each were unique in their own little ways. They made a great team together. Danny was the geek gone rugby player and he was so cute. I liked him instantly and hoped he and Lis would get together. The secondary characters were fleshed out really well and each were memorable in their own little ways.

Hollow Pike is an exceptional debut novel. From the first page the reader is hooked. The book's fast pace keeps the reader's attention, I didn't guess any of the twists and turns in the book. I read this book in a day, I was so engrossed the day flew by without me realising. It's a new unique take on the paranormal genre. With witchcraft a key theme more like a key character in the book. There's no spells and hexes like in Harry Potter instead it's creepy old folklore. Hollow Pike is also it's own character, it's creepy and spooky the best setting for a horror novel. I would say this could be classed as horror but it's not full blown gore more like adrenalin pumping suspense. It really keeps the reader at the edge of their seat. This is a brilliant novel by a very talented debut author. I really recommend you go and pick this book up. It's great to see a British book shining brighter than other books in the genre. It's a must read!



Can I also ask a favour from all you lovely followers, it would be great if you could go and vote for James Dawson for the Queen of Teen: here. I think he really deserves it! Thanks in advance!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Top Ten Blogs/Sites That Aren't About Books

I'm going to try this out this meme for a few weeks and see whether it works for me or not. so far it seems like a great idea. Here's more about it:

"Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here will answer. Everyone is welcome to join! All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers."
Top Ten Blogs/Sites I Read That Aren't About Books:

I spend pretty much all my free time here, It's great! Feel free to follow me.
 
I'm such a geek and this is the best site for all up to date news, I go on it at least three times a day!
 
This is a great geek magazine. The website again is full of great articles and competitions.
 
I'm a Photographer so i like checking out other peoples work. There's a lot of inspirational work on here.
 
I'm a writer too and the forums here are full of advice.
 
Sherlock Fan right here! This is a great website that's full of updates from the BBC series Sherlock. They are very nice people and without them i wouldn't be getting my first short story published.
 
A website dedicated to selling unique geeky T-shirts. I'm always on here checking out the new designs.
 
8. MINI
I have a MINI and i love it so much. The online MINI community is so awesome. I love checking out other peoples cars and seeing how they put their own unique twist on them.
 
A website dedicated to finding all the clothing and props featured in the BBC series Sherlock.
 
Alas i have to put facebook here as i do spend time on there and without it the list wouldn't be complete would it?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Soul Beach By Kate Harrison


Soul Beach
Series: Soul Beach #1
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Publisher: Indigo
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256

Synopsis: When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster's death.

Review: The concept for Soul Beach was very intriguing and rather unique. Just the synopsis alone dragged me in, leaving me wanting more. The book doesn’t disappoint either, from the start you’re pulled into Alice's story and follow her on a rollercoaster of emotions. Soul Beach is book 1 in a new trilogy by Kate Harrison and I can't wait to read the next book when it's out later this year.

We join Alice on the day of her sister's funeral when she receives an email from her dead sister. Thinking it's a sick joke she ignores it, but the sender is persistent inviting her to join the online world of Soul Beach. Alice tries to ignore them but if her sister is trying to contact her what could possibly go wrong. Joining Soul Beach Alice finds that many people who have died inhabit this place or limbo. She soon finds her sister who tells her that paradise isn't as brilliant as it seems. Alice is drawn to this new world and prefers it to her own where she's being swallowed by her grief. There's only one question on her mind though, and that is who killed her sister?

Alice was a character who was struggling to cope with her own grief. She tries to put on a brave face but there's only so much happiness you can fake. My heart went out to her throughout the whole book especially when her grief began taking its toll on her life, pulling her away from her friends and family. She began to shrink into herself and alienate herself from the world, but the grief told her this was an ok thing to do. All her free time she spent talking to her sister, Meggie on Soul Beach which becomes a second home to her. Paradise on Soul Beach is Alice's only escape, it allows her to speak to her lost sister and become closer to her than ever before. Alice's character was well written you followed her journey as if you were in the passenger seat. When she went to soul beach it felt like you were there too. The story telling and writing was top notch in this book.

The secondary characters were good. Meggie and Alice's relationship was believable there were the good parts and the bad parts just like a normal relationship. Meggie was a well-rounded character she was the shooting star, if she had lived she would have been famous but her time was cut short. Now she sees that paradise, isn't as great as it looks, there are always consequences. Danny was awesome from the beginning, star-crossed lovers is all I can say so I don't ruin things. Lewis was a nerd who helped Alice out when looking for clues; he was a great character who showed that nerds do in fact rule the earth.

Despite the uniqueness of this book and awesome characters a few things bugged me. The first is the whole social network site for contacting the dead thing. Alas I do believe there's life after death but through a social network, no way. It's just totally unbelievable. Oh and the whole Soul Beach thing Alice experienced through her laptop so how did she feel the heat and sand in her toes. One moment it seemed like she was there in the beach talking to her sister the next she's wearing headphones and whispering though the speakers. Hmm, something doesn't quite add up there, surely her parents would have noticed her talking to herself. Oh and time flies by without her noticing when she's at soul beach even though she's sitting at her laptop. And how she can always hear the waves from the beach even when she's at school? Another thing was the plot seemed to shift near the end of the book. It began as trying to find Meggies murderer then shifted to solving a whole secondary characters death. It just changed too drastically for me.


Nevertheless I enjoyed Soul Beach. It was a nice easy read. The writing is great and the characters are very emotionally strong. I will only give this 4 stars because of the above paragraph. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series to see what happens next.





Sunday, 20 May 2012

Letterbox Love (#3)


Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

Here's what I got this week:
Won:

-Wintercraft, Blackwatch and Legacy By Jenna Burtenshaw
Thanks to My Favourite Books for the great giveaway!
-Wake By Amanda Hocking
Thanks to Tor for sending me this, I can't wait to read it.
-Lenobia's Vow By P.C. and Kristin Cast
-Soul Beach By Kate Harrison

That's all for me this week, What did you receive? Leave a link in the comments and I'll pop over and look.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Shooting Stars By Allison Rushby


Shooting Stars
Release Date: 28th February 2012
Publisher: Walker
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272

Synopsis: Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Review: This book was nothing like I expected, it was so much more. I was expecting to read a cute short read aimed at younger teens which centred on forbidden love. What I got was so much more. This book is about real problems people go through and how far a person would go to get what they want. Each of these themes are explored in great detail in the novel making it a great read. Despite the cover which I personally think makes this book look less mature than it really is, Jo is a mature character who we can't help rooting for all the way.

Zo Jo, is a paparazzo, who has a big advantage over her fellow photographers. She's incredibly short making it easy to sneak into places unnoticed, allowing her to take the best shots. Making her one of the best in the biz with her advantage, she's asked to go on a special assignment. Join Ned Hartnett and secretly take photos of him while he's away at a retreat. It's a dirty task, the lowest one Jo has ever faced but the money's too good to decline. She accepts but she can't shake the fact that this is wrong. Once she arrives things get even more complicated.

I loved the character of Jo, she's very down to earth after all she spends most of her life watching celebs making fools out of themselves. She's clever and strong but underneath it all she's vulnerable. While away at the retreat listening to others spill their secrets, we see that Jo is affected by her own secret. A secret that's having more of an effect on her then she lets on. It shows no matter how good appearances are things can always be shimmering under the surface. We see Jo getting more confused each day trying to make the right decisions, just like a normal teenager choices are hard to make. I liked the reality of Jo's character, how she suffers but puts on a brave face so she can work towards her own goal. It's the future that she wants that pushes her on and motivates her and we see that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve what you always wanted.

Ned is another main character who is also suffering but nobody knows why. He keeps to himself and tries to stay out of the limelight despite his singing career. We learn that the only thing he wants is to get better and my heart goes out to him, he has some real courage. Jake was just plain awesome, I didn't see his particular story line coming at all, it completely blew my mind! It was so great, I wasn't expecting it and bam there it was, throwing the story in a whole new direction.

Shooting Stars is a great novel aimed at Teens. It contains many life lessons and reflects the reality of life and how difficult it can be. It shows that even if you are suffering, you're not alone and you never will be. There will always be people there who you can talk to and slowly things will get better. I loved the world building in this book especially the retreat was done very well. The best thing about this book though is the main character Jo, which I think many people will be able to relate too. Shooting Stars was a brilliant novel. When you read it you will definitely come out of reading it slightly wiser, it's full of wisdom and advice. It was great!




Wednesday, 16 May 2012

News!


 I can now officially announce that my short story, "The Beginning" is going to be published in Sherlock's Home: The Empty House. It's a book that contains short stories and poems based on Sherlock Holmes. All royalties of the book are going to the Undershaw Preservation Trust. Out of 400 entries only 31 of us were chosen. And i was one of them! I can't explain how happy i am that my story is going to be published. It's also for such a great cause.

Here's a more info about what the Undershaw Preservation Trust is and what they aim to do:

"Your help is needed!

The Undershaw Preservation Trust is vigourously working toward saving Undershaw from development and preserving it as Conan Doyle's home for future generations of Doyleans, Holmesians/Sherlockians, and literary fans of all kinds.

Once the home is saved from development there will be plans for its future use, but our focus right now must be to preserve it. Undershaw is under serious threat and there is no time to waste. There is a Judicial Review on 23rd May 2012 which may determine what our next steps will be."

(The above paragraphs were taken from The Undershaw Preservation Trust website, for more info check out the website.)

I cannot stress the importance of saving Undershaw for future generations. We only have a few days left to protest against the development. If you wish to help sign the position here: Petition. I really hope you do, we need all the help we can get.


A incredibly huge thanks to Sherlockology for this unique opportunity. It means so much to me that a story of mine was worthy of being included. Thank you!

If you wish to purchase the book, you can get it here: Amazon UK, Amazon US or The Book Depository. 



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fever By Lauren DeStefano


Fever
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2
Release Date: 16th February 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
Pages: 341

Synopsis: Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion. But danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago―surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous―and in a world where young woman only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion… by any means necessary.

In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price―now that she has more to lose than ever.

Review: I'm somewhat annoyed with this book. Wither was a brilliant debut novel and i was so excited to read this book and now I'm disappointed. Wither was so brilliant, the world was great and the prose flowed together excellently. I loved all the characters who were so real and the mansion they lived in was so vivid. But in Fever a lot of that is missing. First I'll give you a run down of the story.

Fleeing from the mansion and her scary father-in-law, Rhine and Gabriel, run to find Rowan but things aren't ever that easy. They soon walk into a trap, Rhine is pulled into the Scarlett district where she has to perform for the horrible Madame. But Rhine's past is not far behind, Vaughn finds her easily and she has to escape while her mind is clouded by drugs. Rhine realises that things don't look as hopeful as they did before and soon she notices the world has changed since shes been hooked up at the mansion. Running for her freedom, trouble is chasing at her heels, one fall and it's all over.

In Fever Rhine seems to be unconscious for about half the book. Her character seems to be weaker in this book. Before she was a strong and determined. In Fever she's driven by hope, she still wants to find her brother. But realistically we all knew her brother would have left by now and I think Rhine knew that too but still she kept pushing on only to be disappointed. Throughout most of the book Rhine was disappointed or unconscious, she was pretty useless. Gabriel was also pretty useless, he too spent half the time unconscious. I felt so much guilt for him, Rhine had pulled him out of his comfortable home and taken him to the horrible world outside the mansion. Full of crumbling buildings, Scarlett districts, gatherers, and all sorts of horror. Why did she do this too him? I have so much anger toward Rhine for placing Gabriel into this horrible world outside the mansion. The thing that annoyed me even more was that their relationship didn't develop any more at all. I think there was one proper kiss near the end of the book and that was all. I loved Gabriel before and i still do but Rhine treats him like rubbish. Rhine has really lost herself in this book, she's no longer the strong person we first met in Wither.

We were introduced to a few new minor characters but they weren't too important for the story. There was Maddie, the malformed child from the Scarlett district. She was an obstacle Rhine dragged with her, but in no way pushed the story forward. There were too many places, Rhine managed to stay when they were running for their lives. Honestly if you were running for freedom, you wouldn't go up to the first house and knock on the door expecting to be welcomed in. Each time they were accepted and they stayed with strangers. Rhine has the world taught you nothing? you just spent about a month in a prostitution camp, you can't trust anyone for gods sake. I wanted to get inside the book and knock some sense into the girl as it happened on more than one occasion.

The world outside of the mansion is detailed and horrible. I just didn't like it at all, Rhine tells us in Wither how she has to take shifts with her brother to stop intruders and in Fever Rhine goes striding around the city where she was kidnapped like there's no danger. What the hell? Writing this now, i realise this book annoyed me a hell of a lot more than i realised. I spent the whole day reading this book and my thoughts were all jumbled. A few hours later things are clearing up and all i can say is what the hell?

I think one of reasons i didn't like this book was because it wasn't set in the Mansion and the familiar characters we loved in Wither weren't introduced again until the last chapters of the book. The mansion was one of the most vivid settings I've read about and this book totally lacks that. I miss the real characters and the complex relationships. Instead we're left with a whiny Rhine and a lost Gabriel.

One of the good things about this book was that DeStefano's writing style was as great as ever. Her prose was perfect, she does have a talent for writing but this book just lacks in all the other departments.

I'm going to give this book 3 stars because despite the weakness of characters and world building. The prose was as strong as ever and a few of our questions we're answered. I am going to read the next book to see what happens to the characters and hopefully it will be as strong as Wither and not weak like Fever.





Sunday, 13 May 2012

Slide By Jill Hathaway

This is the US cover which is the edition i have. I will post the UK cover at the end of this post.

Slide
Series: Slide Book #1
Release Date: 27th March 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 250

Synopsis: Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Review: I won this book from Jill Hathaway herself, it's a signed copy and i got some lovely bookmarks as well. So thank you Jill! Now onto the Review. Slide is a very unique concept and Jill Hathaway writes about it perfectly, truly making it her own. I loved the idea, it's so unique and I'd never read anything similar before so it was a whole new experience. I loved the way Vee Slid into the minds of others when she was least expecting it, revealing their hidden secrets. I would love to Slide it would be pretty awesome, but a gift like that doesn't come without a price, which Vee soon realises.

We join Vee Bell as she accidentally slides into the mind of a murderer. She watches the death of her sister's friend and there's nothing she can do to stop it. When she wakes people are saying Sophie's death was suicide but it wasn't it was murder but only Vee knows this. While trying to cope with complicated relationships at home and at school, Vee needs to find out who killed Sophie and why. Nobody knows the truth about Vee's episodes which makes it harder for Vee to cope with all this unwanted knowledge. Vee tries to hunt down the murderer but will she be able to find them in time before they kill again?

Vee was a great main character. She was an outcast in her school, she has bright pink hair and is constantly whispered about when she has episodes in school. The only people she is close to she pushes away because she can't tell them the truth about her gift. Her relationships with her sister and father were remarkably well written by Hathaway. They were very strong and very real, it was almost scary how real they were. Hathaway seems to be very strong at creating complicated relationships and writing about them. Rollins, is Vee's best friend but she can't tell him the truth which makes him distant from her. He wants to get closer to her but she pushes him away. I loved Rollins character and when you got to see more of his background my heart went out to him. He was so real, too. I didn't like Zane from the start, he was too perfect and always there when needed.

Slide is a brilliant debut novel. The concept of the book is very unique and it's greatly written. The characters are so real and the relationships in the novel are some of the best I've read. Slide deals with bullying, suicide, affairs and complex relationships, in a manner that all teenagers will understand and be able to see the affects they each can have. It's full of life lessons placed in a intriguing story which many readers will enjoy. The books not too complex and was a nice easy read for me. I only just realised there's going to be a sequel so I can't wait to read that too! I've given this book 4 stars instead of 5 because i thought there was something missing. My attention wasn't fully hooked, i could easily put this down and pick it up again later.  Nevertheless it's a good read that i recommend to all teenagers.






UK Cover!

Marvel Avengers Character Encyclopedia


Marvel Avengers Character Encyclopedia
Release Date: 1st October 2010
Publisher: DK
Format: Hardback
Pages: 208

Synopsis:
From the incredible Hulk to the invincible Iron Man to the amazing Spiderman, all 200 characters who have made up the The Avengers, the world's mightiest Super Hero team are included in this ultimate character encyclopedia!

Discover all about the Avengers' action packed history since 1963. Find out about each member of the Avengers with detailed facts, stats, character histories, their allies and their enemies. Created in full collaboration with Marvel Comics and packed full with original comic book art this encyclopedia is essential reading for all Super Hero fans!

Review: I'm going to keep this a short review. As you probably realise by now I'm a huge geek and I'm a huge fan of superheros. Despite this I had only ever watched the films and never read the comics. I wanted a book that would allow me to learn about other relevant characters without reading hundreds of comics. This is where I found this book, well actually my mother bought it for me as a surprise. I totally geeked out when I saw it.

The book itself is full of great images and drawings of the characters each bright and clear. I loved looking at new characters and seeing how they got their powers. It's full of the basic history of many Marvel characters. They give you basic information and a bit of history which is all a new fan needs to get a feel of the new characters. The book is incredibly well laid out, it would be a great read for all ages. It's simply laid out which makes the book even more impressive. It's a great start for someone looking to learn more, even long turn fans will be able to get something out of this book. I really loved this and will now look for more character guides!



Letterbox Love (#2)


Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

Here's what I got this week:

Bought:

-The Immortal Rules By Julie Kagawa
-Insurgent By Veronica Roth
-City Of Lost Souls By Cassandra Clare
Each of these were high up on my list of books released in 2012 and I can't wait to read them.

-Marvel Avengers, The Ultimate Character Guide
I'm such a huge nerd and this just proved that point eve more. It's a great read.

Won:

-Black Heart Blue By Louisa Reid
I won this from Penguin books, I can't wait to read it.
-Black Dawn By Rachel Caine
This is a signed copy i won from Waterstones. I'm a huge fan of the series so it was great to win this.
-Rage Within By Jeyn Roberts
Thank you to Jeyn Roberts for sending me this book that i won in a contest of hers.

That's all for me this week, What did you receive?


Friday, 11 May 2012

Masque of the Red Death By Bethany Griffin


Masque Of The Red Death
Series: Masque Of The Red Death book #1
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 336

Synopsis: Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Review: Masque of the Red Death is a very well written debut novel. The writing itself is beautiful, the vivid descriptions are the best I’ve read recently. Bethany Griffin's writing style is very unique, and I loved it. This book was a joy to read. The whole idea is very unique. It's a concoction of dystopian and steampunk mixed together perfectly to create this hauntingly beautiful story. I wasn't sure whether I was going to like this book or not but it blew my mind. It's such a mysterious tale that leaves the reader catching their breath in suspense.

This novel follows Araby Worth, daughter of a scientist, who lives in a plague ridden world. The only thing keeping her safe is the mask her father created, but even that is cursed with regret. Araby is haunted by the past and all she wants to do is forget. That's until she's pulled into a plan to stop the evil Prince. As the daughter of the man who made the mask she's a valuable weapon and wanted by many. Elliott, Araby's best friends’ brother is the only one who thinks he can save what's left of the world but he needs Araby’s help. To add to the complicated world, she's drawn to Will, one of the poorer members of the world.

Araby is living a life of luxury but it hasn’t always been that way. She knows what it's like to hide from the rest of the world living on a few rations. Araby's haunted with the past and it won't let her move on. She made a vow to her dead brother and she won't break it. Araby is a broken character. She knows pain and loss but that doesn’t stop her from helping others. She's brave and wants to help but is there anyone left she can trust? Will, is the love interest and he was great from the start with a heart full of kindness. The way he looks after he's younger siblings makes my heart break. It's so cute. Elliot on the other hand is rich and cocky but under it all he still suffers. He's human too.
I have a feeling I'm not doing this book any justice. If there's one thing that you get from this review, it has to be that you need to read this book. It's not out in the UK yet so go and pre-order it, you will not be disappointed. Masque of the Red Death is a compelling and beautifully written novel. The reader is hooked and drawn into the mysterious world from the very beginning. This is a very intriguing novel that really makes the reader think. After all if the only thing that is keeping you alive can kill you too, it must be horrifying. How would you feel if you lived in a world like that, knowing only a bit of plastic is keeping you separate from contaminated air? Incredible isn’t it? This book is still reeling in my mind now and I'm sure it will continue to do so. The sequel will definitely be a must read for me. For now though, order this book and fall into this tragically beautiful tale. You know you want to!



Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Dusty Reads (#3)



Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted by Xpresso Reads featuring a book that has been sitting on our shelves for some time. For more information click here.

Todays pick is something that's been sitting on my shelf for a long while. I've read the first two books but thought the second ran out of steam, alas i bought the next one anyway. Here it is:


Passion
Series: Fallen book #3
Release Date: 14th June 2011
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: Paperback
Pages: 420

Synopsis: "Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have always chosen me. Forever"

Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross, before they fought the Immortals, they had already lived many lives. And so Luce, desperate to unlock the curse that condemns their love, must revisit her past incarnations in order to understand her fate. Each century, each life, holds a different clue.

But Daniel is chasing her throughout the centuries before she has a chance to rewrite history.

How many deaths can one true love endure?
And can Luce and Daniel unlock their past in order to change their future?

What's your dusty reads today?

Monday, 7 May 2012

This Is How It Ends By Kathleen MacMahon


This Is How It Ends
Release Date: 6th July 2012
Publisher: Sphere
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400

Synopsis: THIS IS HOW IT ENDS tells the story of two people who collide with each other just as the whole world seems to be caught between the hope and promise of Obama’s election and the catastrophic collapse of the global economy.

Bruno is a middle-aged American banker who has come to Ireland to escape the financial meltdown in his own country. Addie is an out-of-work Irish architect. Childless and isolated when she meets Bruno, her life seems to be on a downward spiral.

Addie and Bruno’s story is one of nationality and identity, of the power of optimism to defeat despair and the unstoppable march of time. It’s the story of two people who find joy together when they were least expecting it. It's about the past and the future and the elusive skill of living in the moment. It is a love story for our times.

Review: I won this book recently from Waterstones and wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it. As the books hasn't released yet there were no reviews. When the book arrived it came with a lovely letter from the publishers and inside the proof copy itself was lots of praise for this book. Each and every quote explained how excellent this book was in many different ways. Now that I've read it I can confirm that this is a truly breathtaking debut novel.

This Is How It Ends follows Addie, an out of work architect and Bruno an American whose just lost his job. Bruno finally keeps the promise he gave his father and flies out to Ireland to find out more about his families past. It's there where their two worlds collide. Love blooms between the two but life throws unexpected obstacles their way. Life is never easy and this book shows the journey of two people trying to keep their heads above water.

What I loved about this book was the way it was written. It was like you were growing with these characters, watching the story unfold as if you were in the same room as them. It's breathtaking how unique MacMahon's writing is and how the whole way the readers are tucked in nicely watching her characters go about their lives. This book is as real as it gets. It's full of pain, love, sorrow, happiness, pretty much every human emotion there is. It's a true reflection of life and it's challenges. The events of this book could happen to anyone, that's what makes this books so heart wrenching. You bond with these characters as if they were family. You feel their pain and you worry about them. Each character even secondary ones were so well rounded and real.

The last quarter of this book was the strongest of the whole novel. It's where things happen which I'm not going to spoil for you. It was incredible the way MacMahon dealt with these obstacles and how the characters reacted. It just proves that no matter what life throws at you, you can still be happy until the end. I can easily say now that I've finished this book that it is still stuck in the front of my mind. My mind is still flicking through the story and wincing from the pain and smiling from the happiness. It's a really unique feeling. This book is going to stick with me for a long time. I can also say that the five words, This Is How It Ends, have a whole new meaning and will haunt my mind for a long while yet.

This book stirred so many emotions inside me. This Is How It Ends, shows how life can be unpredictable and you can never be prepared for it. It's an important lesson and it's changed the way I look at things. For a debut novel this is pure gold. Like I said it is a truly breathtaking novel, that will be an instant classic. It's not something I would normally read but even then it's still amazing. I'm sure everyone will love it!