Wednesday 22 May 2013

This post doesn't get a title...cos I didn't know what to put

I've been trying to write this post for a long time now, and it has nothing to do with reviewing a book but is more of an explanation as to why I'm not posting much anymore.
I debated hugely whether to explain to everyone at all because part of me thinks it's really doesn't matter and the other part of me thinks I owe the people who read this a bit of an explanation to my absence.  So here goes.

For the past four years I have been mostly visually impaired in my right eye due to a condition called a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion.  The shortened explanation is that I suffered a clot in my retinal vein causing a bleed and damaging my retina.
I had come to terms with this and my other eye made up for the loss after a while (though it was hilarious watching me jump at shadows on my right side cos i think I see things).

Back in December though, my other eye started showing similar symptoms (though nowhere near as bad), and though the worst might never happen and I may have full use of my remaining good eye for life, I am no longer reading as much or spending much time on the computer at all to avoid straining my eyes.
It's based on this that I have made the decision to no longer post on here.

Having said that, I won't be shutting off my blog completely so people will still be able to read my past posts.
Anyway, I want to thank everyone who's ever read my blog, posted comments and also to the authors whose books I have reviewed on here and given me some epic stories to read.

Much love to you all

Leanne :)

Friday 8 March 2013

Florence (Florence Waverley #1) by Ciye Cho

Florence (Florence Waverley, #1)Publicaiton Date: 01/07/12
Pages: 336
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

SynopsisSeventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.

My Review: 

It's taken me a while to write this review because of various personal issues but here goes! I loved this book to bits! I found this to be a rare and wonderful piece of escapism that sucked me in from beginning to end.
As if the story line wasn't enough to draw me in; the descriptions of Niemela and the Mer people made it even better.

Florence was an inspirational character and I felt I could relate to her a lot, It was very easy to imagine how it would feel to be in the background to then be thrown literally in the deep end without any warning (please pardon the terrible sea related pun)

I loved reading about her relationship with Rolan; my personal favourite of the two brothers and I can't wait to see how their relationship progresses in the sequel (something I will most definitely reading, i might add).  

Filled with action, a bit of mystery, romance and one of my favourite mythical creatures of all time I knew this book would be a fantastic read before I even picked it up and I have to thank the author for giving me the chance to read it. I am currently hounding my sister to read it and now I'm harassing everyone reading this to read it too.

If you love your books filled with mer-folk, strong female leads, with a well thought out plot and romance then this is definitely a book for you and I highly recommend reading it. The writing style is fantastic and at no point (I promise you) will you get bored whilst reading this, something that I find is rare in books today.

Anyway, enough rambling. go read!

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn

PoisonPublication Date: 12/03/13
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 288
Genre: Fantasy/Fiction/Romance
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

My Review: I really loved this enchanting story and I was sad to learn the author has died since she wrote this. It's truly tragic that she will never see her book published and see it loved by so many people, and I'm very sure it will be.  It's impossible not to love this amazing and magical story.

The main thing in the synopsis that caught my attention? The Pig!Any story that has an enchanted, magical and 'too-cute' pig has to be made of win. And Kyra's developing and budding bond with Rosie the piggy made me squeak inside, and as a result I now want a pet pig. A cute cuddly pet pig.
Moving back to the main story; it flowed perfectly. There were twists and turns and I was fully surprised by every single one of them, which is fantastic!

There was quite a bit of flashbacking and where in some books this can get confusing, in Poison the blending of flashbacks to present day was seamless and made complete sense. They weren't suddenly introduced in the middle of nowhere and they helped explain a great deal of the story. Some of them even gave clever hints as to what was to come, but what was amazing about this book was that even though the clues were there, the puzzle pieces didn't click into place until they were supposed to. 
As one of those people who usually tries to guess the ending well ahead of time, i found it an impossible task whilst reading this. I've been outsmarted. dang it.

Character wise, Kyra made a great headstrong, gutsy and inspiring female protagonist, and I was in love with Fred five pages after meeting him (I wish I was kidding, but some male characters just make me long to have the ability to make them real).  Neither of them were what they seemed. Though initially Kyra appeared a ruthless killer and Fred appeared to be your average traveler  I was left amazed by how they both turned out and what they did through the course of the novel, right up until the very satisfying ending.
As for the Princess Ariana, she brought some wonderfully funny moments to the last third or so of the book and if I were to pick that best friend I'd do everything with, then that would be her. Loyalty and friendship the likes of that are portrayed between Kyra and Ariana are far, few and difficult to find.

I would love to hear more of Kyra's story, where things will go for her, for Fred and for Ariana. Sadly that will never be and I feel privileged to have read this book and for the escapism it gave me to such a magical and beautiful fantasy world. This wonderful author was gone far too soon and my best wishes go to her friends and family.  Rest in Peace Bridget and I'm sure you'd like to know your book is made of awesome.

Friday 30 November 2012

'Til The World Ends by Julie Kagawa et al

'Til The World Ends (Blood of Eden #0.5)Publication Date: 29/01/13
Publisher: Harlequin Luna
Pages: 368
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi
Target Audience: Young Adults

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa:

Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden—as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What’s worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she’s beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems...

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre:

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside—in the Red Zone—is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they’ll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside... for good.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall:

Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms—in the cosmos and beyond. And she’s not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She’ll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

My Review: I usually avoid collections because there's always at least one story in them that makes me want to tear my hair out or slam my face against a wall. Sadly, this collection was no different. But I'll start with the positives.

Dawn of Eden:
I was thrilled with Dawn of Eden and I found it a unique insight into the world of The Immortal Rules before Ali's adventure begun.  Kylie made a sympathetic  caring, yet tough protagonist and I was pulled into her story and her reasons for fighting the Red Lung Virus without much trouble.  
The story even took a romantic turn and featured a cameo from a pretty important character from The Immortal Rules. 
The ending was pretty well done, which is usually difficult with a Novella and overall, with this story, I was very impressed. Not only did it give additional background on the vamps and Red Lung Virus, but also an insight into how difficult life was during the breakout. 

Thistle and Thorne
I was really surprised with this novella. I have books by Ann Aguirre on my to-read list but have yet to read any of them; needless to say this will have to change very soon because she is an exceptional writer.
Mari and Thorne made a brilliant twosome and I really hope Miss Aguirre writes a full book based on these characters because I really want to know what happens after this novella ends, especially as it ends with the suggestion that there is more to come.
There is a little tinge of romance in this, but very little and the plot and action certainly takes centre stage.  The post-apocalyptic background is well thought out, and so different from most others I've read since I've never read anything about a chemical spill before.
Overall, this is a cleverly written novella but with quite a bit of violence and gore though not without the emotional undercurrent with the characters which make them feel more human.

Sun Storm
This is unfortunately the short story that let me down and by this point I was actually pretty hopeful that all three stories would be made of win. Don't get me wrong, the idea of solar flares and the end of the world is realistic enough, but what failed to capture me was the idea of developing powers when hit by the sparks from these flares. Having said that, It's no more unbelievable than zombies I guess so I gave it a chance.
When I got to a certain part half way through though, I thought the following: 'that could never happen in a million years' even my huge imagination has a limit and it reached it. Having said that, some people may take to it though to me it seemed a bit silly.
Character wise, though I loved Sarah, Ian just didn't gel with me and I didn't really feel his relationship with Sarah. Add what felt like a much too rushed ending and when I finally finished I was ready to admit that I didn't personally enjoy it.

All in all for the first two stories this is worth reading, but honestly, I did not get on with the third. Having said that, I'm sure some people will disagree with me. Give it a go when it's released!

Monday 19 November 2012

The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney

The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3)Publication Date: 8/03/13
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy/Fiction/Faerie
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults

Synopsis: After being tricked into opening the doorway to the Demon Realm by Aliette, the Wood Queen, Donna Underwood is faced with a terrible ultimatum from the newly released demon hordes. They demand that the alchemists deliver the Philosopher's Stone, or their reaper storm will plunge the world into a devastating modern-day Dark Age.

Donna is sent to London, England, where she must complete her alchemist's training and learn how to recreate the Stone. But time is running out. Between facing the vengeful demon king, Demian, and collecting the Stone's elements, Donna realizes she must give her own life in order to succeed. And this time, even braving death may not be enough to save the world.

My Review: I was so thrilled when Netgalley approved me to read this especially since I've been hooked on this series since the very beginning and it's with regret that I'm now waving goodbye to Donna, Xan and Navin. This series has been a fun but bumpy journey and though there have been many occasions I've wanted to yell at certain characters, I have to admit, the story came together nicely. 

This installment in particular is steeped in myth, legend and the kind of quest story line that I like. The attempt to make the philosophers stone is nothing short of trouble strewn and filled with danger and some truly horrible moments that made my heart break. One part in particular featuring Navin and Donna had me in tears, even though really if I'd thought about it, I should have sensed it was coming.

Miss Mahoney has achieved what few manage, creating a story that comes together perfectly, characters that not only screw up but are also aware they they messed up and desperately try to fix things. From the last book everyone will know what Donna did, but I have yet to find one review slating her as stupid. Why? because she's human and humans make mistakes, that's just the way it is. 
This is especially prominent in this book since, when compared to the vain and egotistical Demian, it becomes important to really understand what it means to have a sense of messing up and then putting it right.

It was great to have an insight to other characters to such as Aliette and the Faerie Queen, and finding out about Xan's past was pretty awesome too. It was also awesome to see more of Newton the demon stone head. I love that annoying dude for some strange reason that I can't fathom, there's something about bad characters with a streak of good that just tugs on my heartstrings.

Getting to the point though, there are some things that I can't tell you in this review. Do they make the philosophers stone? Find out for yourself. Does Donna marry Xan and have twenty kids? Sorry, not telling. Does Demian get locked back where he came from? Again, I'm not telling. Needless to say I found the ending brilliant and it ties all the loose ends nicely, so I don't think you'll be disappointed. But sorry, you'll have to wait until April. Trust me though, it's worth the wait

Monday 12 November 2012

Pantomime by Laura Lam

PantomimePublication Date: 5/2/13
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot)
Pages: 392
Genre: Fantasy/Fiction
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults/Adults

Synopsis: R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

My Review: The main problem with writing this review will be doing so without spoiling the main secret within Pantomime, but I have to do so because I won't spoil this book for anyone. 
This is so much more than a fantasy and it deals with issues that a lot of people won't even consider in there lives, let alone seriously think on or debate. 

Having said that this book also struck a personal cord with me because I know someone who is pretty alike to Gene in more ways than one and this perhaps led me to think more deeply of the issues in this book than I more normally would have.
Gene and Micah's journey is both harrowing, emotional and truly incredible. The magic of the circus comes to life in all it's beautiful brilliance, making the dark side seem even more shadowy in comparison.

Micah and Gene's story was beautiful told and I have been left longing for another book so I'm hoping to God that there's a sequel. There were so many twists, turns and unexpected events that I was left breathless and I wanted so much to be in that Circus swinging from the trapeze
I've been left with so many questions. But most forward in my mind is this: What is inside those Penglass domes? I really want to know. It's killing me not knowing. Maybe that's the curious child in me :)  

And what will become of Micah and Gene?! Ah why must I be tortured so? Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. But go read this when it's out. Totally amazing. I am in awe of the author and her writing talent. She hasn't just written a book, she has a created a magical world, fascinating characters and broached subjects in this book that few have dared and she totally nailed it. Brilliant.

Friday 9 November 2012

Circle of Light by Jennifer DeLucy

Circle of LightPublication Date: 10/2012
Publisher: Omnific
Pages: 278
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Romance
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults/Adults

SynopsisEmpath and Pathcrosser to the dead, Lillian Hunt has finally come into her own as a Sentient being. All seems well in her brave new world...that is, until a tragic turn sends her tight knit Sentient group on a rescue mission through lore-infested Europe. Their goal is to save the love of Lily's life—vampire Sentient, William Maddox — from both the prejudice of their own society and the dark intentions of ancient vampires. But how will they keep hope alive, even as time runs out?

My Review: Eeeeeek! It's over and now I have to say a sad goodbye Mr Maddox. Who will I fantasize about now?! :( Focusing on the positives though this installment rocked!

There was just the right balance of romance, peril, laughter,  action and creepy evil vamps to make this perfect.

As usual this is a very character centered novel and Lily is a very easy character to relate to. She's funny, emotional, tough and her character is so well written it feels like she reaches out to you from the page so that you can almost  feel what she's feeling. My heart almost tore in two during one certain scene with William (I won't post exactly what as I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it)

Other characters make a re-appearance and it was great to see how well Christian and Nicole were doing as well as meeting all the new characters that were introduced with the visits to London and Ireland. And in addition to all the lovely characters I've grown to love there was also a certain moo-cow introduced that reminded me strongly of someone I know. Seriously, the similarities scared me.  If you can get through this book without hating Judy Lynn then you're stronger than I am.

Though this was a very emotional novel it was not without some pretty funny lighthearted scenes and I will never be able to do a jigsaw puzzle again without thinking of this book and doubling up with laughter.

You will cry, you will laugh you will go awwwwwwww but ultimately you'll reach the end and probably be suffering William Maddox withdrawal symptoms. sniffle. Fantastic end to the series. Whatever Jennifer writes next I will be reading!

Clockwork Dolls by William Meikle

Clockwork DollsPublication Date: 29/01/2013
Publisher: DarkFuse
Pages: 152
Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller
Target Audience: Adults

Synopsis: Does all human passion, all memory, all imagination come merely from the chemistry in our brains, like the movements of a clock follow from the arrangement of its cogs and wheels?

Are we just clockwork dolls? 

Or is there an organizing principle at work, something we can ask for answers to the important questions of existence... something that might answer? 

Dave Burns has asked. 

Now he, and his friends, might not live long enough to understand the reply.

My Review: Netgalley doesn't class this as horror. I disagree. It scared the crap out of me in more ways than one. I'm going to keep this review spoiler free so as not to ruin the affect for future readers because this is one short story you don't want to miss.

Is it really possible to ask the Cosmos for something and actually have it granted? well it does in this novel and with devastating consequences.  This is so well written I was creeped out by every twist and turn and every time something unexpected happened I felt like the bottom of my stomach dropped about a foot.

I never thought that such a short novel could have such a huge impact, not only on my emotions but also on my ideas of God, the Universe and Fate.  This is a thought provoker if ever there was one. Though be warned the main character is a bit erm annoying at first but I did warm to him.

Anyway read this when it's released. It's totally mind blowing.

Monday 5 November 2012

Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon

Snow Whyte and the Queen of MayhemPublication Date: 11/12/12
Publisher: Cedar Fort inc
Pages: 288
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fantasy/Retold Fairy-tale/Romance

Synopsis: Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing---and no one---in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully re-imagined  this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!

My Review: I loved this story to pieces :) I could leave my review there, but I won't. I'm a sucker for happy endings and an even bigger sucker for fairy-tales so you can imagine I was enthralled by this enchanting retelling of Snow White.

Some parts of the story remained the same for example, the mirror, the evil Queen and Snow White herself. But everything was twisted in such a great way. Kat is not the vulnerable Disney character who lies waiting to be kissed, the dwarves are not little men who go out and dig in a mine and the story itself is much harsher in parts with the stark realism the original tale lacked.
Danger follows the characters everywhere and the reader is given a constant reminder of exactly how dangerous a woman with an all-seeing mirror can be with all her hunting down of the 'rule breakers' in her kingdom without having to witness the rule breaking in person.

The romance side of it was brilliantly done and I loved the twist regarding Kat and Jeremy and the link between Kat and the man trapped in the Queen's mirror was amazing. I never saw it coming, nor did I guess the mystery surrounding Jeremy.
Some of my favourite scenes though were between Kat and the Dwarves and my personal favourite was Pokole (such a sweet little dude) and there were some scenes with those guys that nearly had me in tears.

All in all this story has a lovely ending with some cleverly thought out plot twists, a healthy dose of humour and some heartwarming romance that I think will be just perfect for these cold winter months. Grab a hot chocolate, some nice biscuits and curl up with this book :) 

Saturday 3 November 2012

Red Flame: Wizards' School by Pamela Shine

Release Date: 13/08/12
Publisher: Upfront Publishing

Pages: 114
Target Audience: Kids

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Synopsis: Hi, my name is Resha Valentine, I'm a 17 year old wizard who wants to join the strongest Wizards' School, Red Flame. I meet Aiden and Kat, 17 year old twin wizards just like me. Only it turns out they're in the running for the strongest wizards in Red Flame Wizards' School!

Review: Usually I find writing reviews for books pretty straight forward because essentially the authors are all adults with life experience behind them and years of schooling or at least some knowledge of literary skills and devices. Occasionally however, I need to re-evaluate how I look at a book because the author is different. In this case, the author is only 12 years old.

When I think back to when I was twelve there is no way on this earth I had the urge to read much let alone write something. And if I did write stories, I got bored very quickly, so I have to give Pamela Shine full credit for her determination and staying power to the task at hand. To review her like an adult however, would be unfair.

Red Flame: Wizards’ School is a fun fantasy adventure about a group of wizards who go to the Red Flame School, one of many in the world of Wizland. These wizards are given missions and jobs to go on and in the case of some of the wizards, get to go out and cause a lot of trouble (the child in me grinned wickedly at this) and they also get into fights with other competing schools.

The powers the characters have were different to what I usually expect from a book centred on magic. It is often too easy to make your main character super powerful with an insane complicated power, but Pamela has created abilities for her characters which tend to stem from something simple or basic and become surprisingly powerful when used.

The story itself is fast paced and quickly comes to a conclusion without any messing around or going off on a tangent (something some adult authors are guilty of), whereas it  is the way of the teenager or younger person to get the point. Having said that, as an older reader I think I would have liked a bit more explanation as to background and character history and description of the places the events were set. The ability to do this is something I feel she will develop over time and gain with experience, but if I were to give this to a younger person as it stands now I feel they will love it to bits without the added description. As this book is aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds then I think it would be nice if this book got a bit more publicity as I’m sure children in that age group will love it.

One important point to note while reading this, and as a reader it is one of my big sticking points; I hate grammatical errors and I was expecting some from such a young author, but you know what? There were NONE. None what-so-ever. I’ve been known to mark books as DNF because the grammar mistakes are so bad and this book has absolutely none at all. So I give 10/10 for her brilliant spell checking and grammar skills.

If Pamela writes a sequel I will definitely be reading it as I’m interested to follow her career and to see where she goes from here. I’m sure that with more experience and knowledge she will become a very competent adult author. 

Friday 2 November 2012

A Royal Marriage by Rachelle McCalla

A Royal MarriageRelease Date: 27/11/12
Publisher: Harlequin (Love Inspired)

Pages: 288
Target Audience: Young Adults/Adults

Genre: Historical Romance/Religion

Synopsis: Despite her protests, Princess Gisela, headstrong daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, must enter into a diplomatic marriage. Yet en route to her wedding, her ship is attacked and she's gravely injured. Rescued by a renowned healer, King John of Lydia, Gisela recuperates at his Mediterranean castle. The handsome, widowed ruler soon has her reevaluating her beliefs on love and marriage …but only if King John could be her groom. Their love is forbidden, and duty requires him to deliver her to her betrothed. Unless they can find a way to join their hearts—and kingdoms—with love, faith and honor.

Review: When I first started reading this I was enjoying it immensely and then the Religion heavy content kicked in and it started overshadowing the Historical Romance side of the story. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religion in novels or in general. In fact i read the Amish Romance stories but they are a lot less Religion heavy than this book (odd considering they are set in a religious community).  I also think it prudent to point out that I am NOT an Atheist just to make it clear that this is not an anti-god splurge.

At the beginning of the story it is the peril and romance that takes center stage, followed swiftly by the threat of war and some fighting. But then the religious side creeps in, sneaky and not so there at first, but then it hits you like a hammer and I found it hard to focus on Gisela, John and there budding romance. One part that particularly annoyed me was that John seemed more alarmed at the thought of the church splitting than losing the woman he loves and the lives that would be lost during a war that would cause said split of church.  Now I understand that this was a different time period but still, it bugged me a lot. 

If you can get past that and focus on the romance and the complicated military plots and betrayals then there is a good story underneath it all. And I was thrilled with the ending. The idea that Love will conquer all has always been a big thing for me and I love the idea. So for that reason this book still gets three out of five, because it is, underneath it all, a compelling love story. It helped that the characters were well fleshed out and with personalities that could be related to. I could understand the reasoning for John and Gisela trying to avoid there feelings even if i didn't like there stubbornness.

Maybe I'm a good old fashioned romantic but if you love someone, really love someone, then they are most definitely worth the struggle to be with.

Thursday 1 November 2012

My view on the Kindle Fire HD - Coming soon

I've had my kindle fire for a week now and I'll soon be writing my review on it to give everyone on the fence an idea of what to expect. It may take me a while to write since there's a lot to say but I'll get there eventually. Keep your eyes peeled on my blog :)

Sound Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Sound giveaway is Debbie Andrews! Congratulations!

For everyone else Sound (Solid#3) is available at Amazon, which can be found by following these links:

SOUND (Solid #3) in print:
SOUND Kindle Edition:

These will be low priced for a limited time so get in now before the prices return to normal :)

Thanks to everyone who entered and another congratulations to Debbie xxx

Thursday 25 October 2012

Sound (Solid #3) Giveaway Game!

To celebrate the release of the 3rd book of the SOLID series,
Shelley Workinger has put together a giveaway game!
EVERY ENTRANT who COMPLETES the task will win
ebooks of BOTH “Solid” (Solid #1) AND “Settling” (Solid #2).
including “Sound” (Solid #3) just as it hits the shelves on Nov. 1st!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit each blog on the list

2. Leave a quick comment to show you were there

3. Copy the image fragment and paste it into a Word .doc
There are 18 stops to visit, comment on, and collect pieces from;
once you’ve hit all 18 stops and assembled* all of the pieces to complete the image,
email your entry to the author at:

4. Visit the author’s blog: But What Are They Eating?
and leave a comment letting her know you’ve sent in your completed entry.

ALL 4 STEPS are important because she will choose the Grand Prize Winner
from her blog comments (using and then check her email to verify the entry.
*Don’t worry; the pieces are in order, so if you follow the list, it’ll be easy. :)

The Game runs from Oct. 25th through Oct. 31st;
last day to enter is Oct. 31st and winner will be chosen Nov. 1st.

Good luck and get gathering!
Here’s my piece:

And the rest of the stops:

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Oblivion (The Power of Five #5) - Anthony Horowitz

Oblivion (The Gatekeepers, #5)Release Date: 4/10/2012
Publisher: Walker

Pages: 672
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Thriller/Fiction

SynopsisHaving escaped from Hong Kong, the five gatekeepers - Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett - are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world. As they struggle to re-group and plan their next move, the malevolent King of the Old Ones gathers his forces in Oblivion: a desolate landscape where the last survivors of humanity must fight the ultimate battle.

My Review: Wow. Well I'm not even sure where to begin with this book. I waited years to read this and though I sort of guessed  part of the ending correctly, it was no less of a shock when it happened.  I bawled my eyes out  and I felt immensely sad for two characters in particular though there was a happier epilogue to soften the blow.
It was a little disconcerting at first, what with the jumping between Jamie/Holly, Matt/Lohan, Pedro/Scott and Scarlett/Richard and it took some serious getting used too, and that was just the gatekeepers and there companions. There were also some POV shifts to those behind the enemy lines too, but by the end these all came together brilliantly with no loose ends.

The research done for this book must have been immense because, whether the characters were in Rome, Naples, Brazil, Cairo or Antarctica, the descriptions were vivid and very easy to picture. Oblivion was especially well planned out; I could almost feel the empty coldness in the Old One's fortress while I was reading and imagine the swarms of enemy soldiers in the final battle.

Was I happy with the twists and turns? I'd say I was even if I would personally have preferred a happier ending for all involved. Poor Richard is all I have to say, I really felt for that man, and I wouldn't have wished what he was forced to do on any one (lets just say the mystery of the Inca's Knife is revealed). Having said that it wasn't doom and gloom all the way to the end and I have to admit if there was one character I was proud of it was Matt. He proved himself to be strong and determined despite being weighed down with knowledge he should never have had to carry. Scott also impressed me, though I wanted to slap him on several occasions near the middle of the book.

When it came to the epilogue I was hoping for some  relief or maybe just some hope, which is actually what I got. I loved the epilogue and it did provide some sort of closure and I shed a few happy tears whilst reading it, and it was also nice to have a bit more explanation of the dream world too.
All in all I was very impressed with the ending to this series. it was an emotional, frightening and thrilling ride and i'm sure certain scenes from this book will haunt me for a very long time (and no, I'm not exaggerating).  I don't know how Horowitz will match this with what he writes next but I hope he gives it a good go.

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