Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 14

The last Friday of the month means it's time for another Books and Their Theme Songs! For those in know, with most books reviews I write, I have a song at the bottom of the review so you guys hear music that I link and, maybe, show you a song or an artist you might not have heard before.

I like my music. And I like my books. So the two go hand-in-hand for me. Anyway, here's the music for the past 2 months. Enjoy!

DEFIANCE by CJ Redwine
"The Weeping Angels (Doctor Who)" by Sam Cushion

DREAM DARK by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
"Seven Devils" by Florence & The Machine

AFTERMATH by Andrea Cremer
"Just Be" by Paloma Faith

BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan
"Wow And Flutter" by Amy Smith and the Great Picture Show, "You Can't Say That" by Honey Ryder & "Back To You" by Greg Laswell (featuring Elizabeth Ziman)

THE LOST HERO by Rick Riordan
"Playing God" by Paramore

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

GoodRead - Click-Clack The Rattlebag

Wanna hear a short scary story? Of course you do, it's Halloween tomorrow. Well, Neil Gaiman has released an short scary story in audiobook form and IT'S FREE! Well, till the end of tomorrow (so, if you want it, GO GET IT NOW!!!). It's free and, every time it gets downloaded via Audible UK or, 50p is going to charity. If you download your copy from the UK/Commonwealth store, the charity BookTrust will get the donation. If you download the story from the US store, the charity But this will only happen till the end of Halloween itself so GO! 

If you have missed this, rumour has it that this story will be released in an upcoming anthology called Impossible Monsters, though I can't find proof of this so take this with a pinch of salt. 

I'm not going to reveal much about this (yes, I know this is a review!) as it's only 12 minutes long. 2 of them is Neil talking and, oh, his voice! I love his voice. He makes the story have an extra edge of spooky and it's perfect for this time of year. Very atmospheric and almost gothic, and very clever. 

What a short yet deceptive tale this is for when the nights get darker sooner... 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

GoodRead - The Lost Hero

Me having The Lost Hero on my Kindle is a weird story. One day, after hearing goodness knows how many  people on YouTube and Twitter talk about how AMAZING his books are, investigated and found that the first book in each of his series were full priced and yet, the third or last books were £1.99. After questioning this on Twitter (I forget that people READ my tweets), Amazon changed the price of all the first books in his series to £1.99. ACE! Thank you Puffin! Hence me downloading both the first book in the Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, and the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Lost Hero. Several months passed and I haven't read either (Have you not see my To Read piles?!) and, after treating myself to the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Mark of Athena, for a £5 (that's less than a penny per page! And that includes the glossary!), I was going to read this book. You know, guys, I jump into the middle of a series and work backwards. But no, I decided to go back to the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Lost Hero.

When Jason, Piper and Leo go to the Grand Canyon, they have no idea that, within hours, they will appear in Camp Half-Blood, being told that they are demigods and one of their parents is a Greek Gods. Camp Half-Blood is the safest place for a demigod to be. Expect Camp Half-Blood is missing a hero - Percy Jackson - and a scary prophecy. With the three embarking on a dangerous quest, which has to be completed by the winter solstice (which is happening in 4 days!), the three have problems. Jason has happened his memory wiped and keeps calling the gods by their Roman names, not their Greeks and with both Piper and Leo keeping secrets, can the trio succeed?

Am going to be honest: this was a fun and slightly addictive read. Do you know how rare that is? I found myself enjoying clicking through the pages, trying to figure out what happen what's going to happen next. And with Rick writing every two chapters from either Jason, Piper and Leo's point of view, you read the chapters quickly to keep the story going fast-pace and you want to return to your fave character (I liked all of them, but Leo has a place in my heart as he was the book's light relief). Plus, the idea of Greek mythology and Roman mythology clashing together - BRILLIANT idea!

I know some of you true fans will be shocked as Percy's not in this book - THE OUTRAGE!!! But, trust me, it is explained! I promise. It is explained and you guys will then get mad at Rick...

Now, I have to say something before I go on. After I finished The Lost Hero, and tweeted people to say I read it and was excited to read the next book in the series, The Son of Neptune, I made a tiny mistake. I told people on Twitter that The Lost Hero was my first Rick Riordan's book. Oh, the shock on Twitter about this news! Mainly from my booky pals of @wingedreviews, @JeremyWest, @JeffreyWest@livin_thru_arts & @CassJayTuck. They were SHOCKED that I read The Lost Hero without reading the Percy Jackson series. Guys, if I knew you Percy Jackson's fans were so dedicated...!

Ok, I wanted to read The Lost Hero. I just fancied reading it. No other reason! It was that or Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (I read both in the end! Am still reading Beautiful Creatures at the time of writing this, although by the time you read this, I should be finished and writing/editing my review). And while I read The Lost Hero, there was references to the Percy Jackson's series, but I thought I was fine reading. It was very much "Yes, this war happened, but you don't need to worry about that. Worry about the war you're in the middle of now!" so I was fine reading it.

I did promise them that, before I continued reading the Heroes of Olympus series, I will read Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. So, that will probably be my next Rick Riordan book or The Red Pyramid (as that's the first book in the series that tackles myths for Ancient Egypt [which I'm a sucker for!]). So... yeah... I might be a new fan to Rick Riordan if he keeps the writing and story telling as addictive as it was in The Lost Hero!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

James Dawson's New Book Info!

I completely forgot to talk about this! I saw it on Twitter when the news was released and got VERY excited. So, why I forgot to blog about it is ANYONE's guess! 

But now I remembered, James Dawson (the author of the brilliant Hollow Pike) has revealed the title and a tiny amount of information about his new novel, which should be out next summer (TOO FAR AWAY!). It's called... CRUEL SUMMER

And here is the info James revealed: 

A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Jane was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

Isn't it great? It sounds dark and twisted (I like dark and twisted reads) and a tiny part of me thinks it's Hollyoaks and And Then There Were None

But I want this book. I NEED to read this! So, dear UK publishers, are you SURE you want to publish it in August 2013? Could you just push it forward a few months...? 

Cover Reveal for... oh, do I have to say the full title?

Last year (yes, in 2011. Cast your minds that far back), I read a debut novel which had stupidly long title (aka say it in one breath) that was One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite (gasps from breath). Since last year, myself and several other bloggers (mainly Laura from Sisterspooky to name but one) has been annoying Tom Clempson about a sequel. We know he was writing one and the UK publisher, Atom, said the book won't be on sale till mid-2013. 

But earlier today, Tom revealed the cover and some info on the book. Ready? 

Jack Samsonite's Foolish Plan for Being Amazing at Everything
(including getting a life, getting into Film School, and getting into a girl's knickers)
1.Make an amazing(ly bad) short film about zombies... or maybe superheroes... or just three idiot friends. It has to be deep and meaningful and (most importantly) has to have a scene where I kiss a girl on the mouth.
2.Write the world's best university application ever! (Or at least one that doesn't make me seem like a nob).
3.Don't get expelled trying to complete 1&2
It can't possibly fail. . .right?

The Bone Season's Film Rights

Sorry! I got the email yesterday but forgot to upload it. SORRY! (I haven't heard of this book till now, if I am TOTALLY honest with you, but am aware now! I sense good things from this series...)


Performance Capture Studio Founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish secure rights to “The Bone Season” and “Animal Farm”

London, England – October 22, 2012 – London-based performance capture studio The Imaginarium has secured the film rights to the highly anticipated book series The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon as well as the film rights to adapt George Orwell’s seminal novel Animal Farm, it was announced today by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, founders of The Imaginarium. 
“The dystopian world created by Samantha in The Bone Season series offers a fantastic setting for a truly extraordinary and thrilling narrative,” said Serkis.   “We are honoured that she chose to collaborate with us in the adaptation of her work.”
“Samantha has created a compelling and unique world and a gripping story crafted to span a series of novels.  The Bone Season offers the opportunity to create a dynamic franchise with global appeal,” adds Cavendish.
Scheduled for publication on August 20, 2013, by Bloomsbury, The Bone Season was acquired during the London Book Fair in a pre-emptive bid by the publisher.
"Samantha Shannon is an extraordinarily talented writer. The Bone Season is a startling combination of a unique literary voice, a fully conceived, terrifying parallel world and a narrative pace that grips like a vice,” said Alexandra Pringle, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief. 
 “I am thrilled to be working with The Imaginarium,” said Shannon.  “Their name had me from the start: a place devoted to imagination.  There is a strong, visual sensibility to my writing process and I am very excited by the creative possibilities for how The Bone Season could translate from page to screen.  I am confident that all the members of the Imaginarium team are as passionate about the book as I am and I look forward to working with them to make this project a reality.” 
In addition to The Bone Season, The Imaginarium has negotiated the rights for a feature film adaptation of George Orwell’s classic tale, Animal Farm.  
“Both The Bone Season and Animal Farm are perfectly suited to the Imaginarium,” said Cavendish.  “With Animal Farm, we will reinvent this iconic story for a new generation, using the unique storytelling techniques offered by performance capture. The acquisition of these two projects marks an exciting time for all us at The Imaginarium.”
Serkis and Cavendish will serve as producers on The Bone Season; Serkis will direct and act in Animal Farm and produce along with Cavendish. 
The Imaginarium is represented by CAA and Larry Taube, Principle LA Entertainment; publishing and films rights for The Bone Season and Ms. Shannon were handled by David Godwin Associates, UK (DGA, Ltd.).
"We are delighted to officially announce our involvement in bringing this classic yet controversial fable to life, hopefully allowing it to resonate for our times with a combination of a fresh perspective, real emotional heart, a great deal of humor and satire," said Serkis.   "By utilizing performance capture, a deeply talented and committed cast of actors will be able to explore and fully inhabit Orwell's fairy tale world where 'some animals are more equal than others.' "
Established in 2011 by actor/director Andy Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish, The Imaginarium harnesses the power of performance capture to fuel a new generation of storytelling in film, television and videogames.  The Imaginarium’s central London studio base acts as magnet to the international film community as well as providing a development and production base for writers, filmmakers and creative visionaries from all over the world.
The Bone Season begins in 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of London. Paige is a clairvoyant, and in this future world, clairvoyance is forbidden and Paige is committing high treason. Attacked, kidnapped, and transported to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for two hundred years, she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has ever laid eyes on—and he will become her keeper. 

Born in 1991, Samantha Shannon was raised in West London, where she started her first novel at the age of fifteen. She is currently studying for a degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season is the first in a projected series of seven novels.
First published in 1945, George Orwell’s allegorical tale Animal Farm has been hailed by TIME magazine as one of the best 100 English-language novels (1923-2005), is currently listed at number 31 on the Modern Library List of the 20th Century’s best novels and was awarded a retrospective Hugo Award in 1996. 

GoodRead - Never To Sleep

I'm not a Soul Screamers fan. I know that sounds odd, seeing as in the past, I have read the two previous eNovellas that Rachel Vincent has written, My Soul To Lose and Reaper. So, of course, when she and Mira Ink released this, Never To Sleep, I was in two minds before I bought it. I do enjoy reading her eNovellas but for some reason, I don't get on with the series. Every time I try to start My Soul to Take, I seem to lose interest very quickly. But I have heard that the series goes up a gear from book three onwards and I would quite like to, one day, read one of them.

So, for you fans out there, Never to Sleep takes place at the same time as the fifth in the series, If I Die. This eNovella does have a spoiler about If I Die, so my advice is read this AFTER If I Die but BEFORE Before I Wake

This eNovella follows Kaylee's cousin, Sophie, who won't let her cousin's weirdness get in her way. Not after all the work she has done to get the right look, the right friends, the right life. But when she bumps into a new transfer student, Luc, and they both see something so horrible that Sophie scream and, somehow, both of them are transferred into a parallel world. With no way to get back, Sophie begins to panics... is this real? Or does insanity run in the family?

I liked this. A lot. I always enjoy reading Rachel's eNovella but I enjoyed reading about this spoilt, self-centred character who, when faced with something impossible, somehow manages to keep her head and fight back. Sophie is a funny character and there's a lot of inside jokes that am such fans of the Soul Screamers series. One of which is when Sophie thinks that her "insane" cousin, Kaylee couldn't handle the Netherworld. I snorted at that line. 

Oh, if you only knew...!

Luc is an interesting character. This is very much his introduction as, from the other reviews I have read, he's playing a major role in Before I Wake, so I might have to treat myself to that to find out happens. 

This is very much a story for the fans so if you're a fan, enjoy. If not but you're curious, go back to the first book, My Soul to Take or the eNovella prequel, My Soul to Lose, and work your way forward... 

Friday, 19 October 2012

We Are All Important

Dear readers, 

I fear this blog post will turn into a rant so, in advance, I wish to apologise. But I have been sitting on this since last night so I need to get it out of my system. 

Yesterday, a gay couple won a court case. From what I understand, this couple were turned away from a B&B, because the woman realised that they were a couple and turned them away, saying it went against her Christian faith. I'm not talking about this as I don't really understand this case. 

What I am talking about are the tweets from Nick Griffin, leader of the far right political party, the BNP. In a space of two hours, he tweeted the following: "If anyone can give us address of the 2 bullying 'gay' activists who've won case v Christian B&B owners, we'll hold demo … for rights of all home owners, gays included, to rent or not rent rooms to whomsoever they wish." and "A British Justice team will come up to [the couple's address] & give you [the couple] a … bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple's home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!"

Later, he then tweeted "Why don’t left & gay activists confront Muslims instead of picking on meek & forgiving Christians? Bullies are always cowards!" and continued to defend his comments by saying he spoke out for the "silent majority" and "I think people have the right to discriminate."

I'm sorry, but pardon? He thought that his actions were ALRIGHT?! 

Let's talk about his tweets and himself. Nick Griffin is the leader of a far right political party who, until recently (due to a law change), only accepted white men (and then used the term "I have black friends"). This is the man who describled gay people as "creepy" and would ban civil partners while claiming he had made his political party more gay friendly (which doesn't make sense!). This is the man who thought tweeting these words was acceptable, even though it revealed private information, was threatening and homophobic. 

And he speaks for the "silent majority"? Is this the silent majority who were so outraged that they complained to Twitter to have him removed (he was but, strangely, the account seems to be reactivated this morning)? Is this the silent majority who phoned and emailed the Police, demanding an investigation into his words? Is this the silent majority who emailed the Prime Minister (via 10 Downing Street's website), demanding action for, not only did he break Twitter's Terms and Conditions, but he broke the law (I can't remember the act in question, but I know it's dated 2003)?

I know some of you are wondering why this upsets and angers me so much? I live in the UK and I know what the BNP stand for and I am against their views. So why am I so angry over it? 

Because it brings a horrible truth: discrimination still happens. 

In the last 100 years, women were fighting for the right to vote, the right to be seen as equal to any man. 100 years ago, people thought that if you didn't have the right skin colour, you were a second class citizen. 100 years ago, if you were gay, you would go to jail because it was against the law. 100 years ago, if you worshipped the "wrong" religion, then you would go to hell. 

And look where we are now. We have a black President of the United States, Australia has a female Prime Minister. The UK had a woman Prime Minister in the 80s. People have the same rights, despite their gender, despite the colour of their skin, despite their religious beliefs. 

And yet, more has to be done for equality. 

I was bought up, believing that everyone is equal. That everyone is important. It didn't matter whether you were male or female, gay or straight, able-bodied or disabled, whether you are religious or not, etc. 

I could go on with this list I won't as I don't want to waste any more of you valuable time, and I know how busy you all are. 

I still believe in that view. So seeing non-equality really angers and upsets me. I know where still have a long way to go before we all live in a world where everyone in the world is treated the same. As equal. 

So, my dear readers, I wanted to say that. I will be there, hoping for the day this happen. It might take days, weeks, months, years. I might not see it in my lifetime. I hope I do see this before I die. But, I wanted to say this: 


Whoever you are, you are important. You are valued. You are an equal to the person next to you. You have every right to be who you are, and don't let anyone take that away from you. We will change the world to be a better place. Might take a while, but we will get there. So be you. 

UK Cover Reveal for THE LOST PRINCE!

Am a bit late revealing this as Mira Ink revealed the cover for The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa. This is the first book in a new series, Call of the Forgotten, which is (in a sense) a follow-up series to The Iron Fey series. But, I have been told by Mira Ink that, even though it is set in the same world, it's a new series so you can read that without reading the previous.

And here is the UK cover to The Lost Prince:

This is very different from The Iron Fey covers, which the US cover has stuck with as you see below:

Now, out of the two, I much prefer the UK cover. I just prefer it. I think it'ss because of the silver and the magical edge to it whereas the US cover feels a bit... you know... LOOK WHO HIT PUBERTY! It feels a bit like they using the age old "Sex Sells" and my reaction is "NO! You have a fanbase, you don't need to use this tactic!!!"

Now, I do need to read The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen, but am very intrigued over this. And, to wet your appetite, here is the US book trailer... Enjoy. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

GoodRead - What He Wants

OK! OK! I know in Tuesday's review (Whiskey Dreams), I said normal YA reviews will resume in the coming days. But apparently, I was lying. To everyone. Including myself. So yes, we have another ADULT GAY EROTICA! So, if you don't like this kind of thing, BACK AWAY!

Matthew's girlfriend dumped him, using an excuse that can not be true. No way is he in love with his best friend, Aaron. But when she talks to Aaron, putting the same idea in his head, could this be the end of their friendship? Or could Matthew's ex be right?

AVOID! Let me state this again in case you missed it. AVOID!

*sigh* I don't think I have ever written a review using that word before... and probably never will again...

Anyway, now I have that out of my system, I can tell you why to avoid this. While this was a fast read (read it in about ten to fifteen minutes), there was something (pardon the pun) stiff about it. It never felt right. It felt, dare I say it, the outline of a bad porn movie. There was no quality in the writing or how the story went forward.

And the last page. Right, ok, am going to spoil this for you now but the two characters are together after having sexual intercourse, Aaron has confessed that he's in love with Matthew (after realising that he could be gay the PREVIOUS night!) and Matthew, while having enjoyed the sex, says that he's not ready to "come out of the closet" yet he stills "desire women". He can't imagine Aaron being with anyone else or imagining his life without him, yet he says it's "weird and unnatural" when he said "I love you" to Aaron. I'm sorry, but what? If Matthew comes out as bi, fine. I would have accepted that (kinda) but everything else he said, I felt like he was going "Well, I want my cake and I'm gonna eat it."

You can't say "I love you" then say "It feels weird and unnatural" to say that. You can't say "I'm not saying I'm ready for a relationship" then say "I can't think of you being with anyone else". If Matthew wants a relationship with Aaron, SAY IT! If Matthew wanted to have Aaron as a Friend With Benefits, SAY IT! If it was a mistake, SAY IT! Don't contradict yourself several sentences later!!!

I guessing that the author was trying to do a "Happy In The Moment" ending. And it fell flat!


(I promise this time, normal YA book reviewing will resume next week! PROMISE! I think I wanted to review these "naughty" stories as I want to be a little bolder/braver with my reading/reviewing choices...)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

GoodRead - The Viscount And The Witch

You can blame Book Chick City for this. Plus, it was free! How could I resist?

In this prequel short story to the series, The Riyria Revelations, our heroes Royce and Hadrian ride together when a woman rushes up to them, begging them to help remove a drunk man from her barn. And with this, Royce decides to treat his new native partner a lesson about doing good deeds...

Now, I'm not a real fantasy nut. I don't mind it but I always find going into a world of "full blown fantasy" a bit scary (never stop me from buying them or reading them. Or having them on my kindle...). But I hit a problem almost straight away. The length of of short story.

You see, it's very short and you had around 45% of the first chapter to the first book in the series and then you have around 11% of the author's note, explaining why he wrote the series and why he wrote this (and how he became published). So, 44% is short story. If I had bought this, I would quite unhappy over that!

But the story itself... it was ok. But it didn't rock my world. I like the idea of meeting these characters and seeing how where one was cold and ruthless, the other was more native and see how to the two worked together, or in this case, didn't.

But I got the feeling that this was more of an afterthought. I know authors do this kind of thing all the time! But I felt like I didn't really learn anything about the characters or their background or anything, really.

Sorry guys, this wasn't my cup of tea. But if you guys fancy popping this on your eReader, go for it! It's free for the time being so you can read this and make your own minds up.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

GoodRead - Whiskey Dreams

I've been in two minds about writing this review. This is an ADULT read (a "historical M/M romance", according to Book Chick City) so they are SEX scenes. Hence my "Should I do this?" But Book Chick City and Sarah talked to me and said "You should. As long as you say 'This is a Grown-Up read', you'll be fine" (plus, I feel that, as a "book blogger" [again, I don't see myself as one of these people!], I feel I should be fearless with my reading). And seeing as it's Book Chick City's fault that I got this eNovella (for free!), on their heads be it!

Again, this has MAN ON MAN SEX SCENES aka GAY EROTICA! If you don't like these types of reads, DON'T READ THE REVIEW. You have been warned...

So, America is recovering from the American Civil War, and Brom Bones is recovering for the lost of his lover. So when a new schoolmaster, John Crane, arrives to Sleepy Hollow, a spark forms within Brom that he thought he would never have again. And when the pair share a whiskey-filled kiss, Brom knows he wants to be with John. But how can he when the past won't stay in the past? And how can they be together when being in love with another man is dangerous thing?

I read with within two sittings and yes, this is erotica. There are three sex scenes and they are very explicit. But it was a fun, steamy read. I'm not going to say it was excellent but it was a fun fast read. And who can say anything bad about that? 

Of course, this isn't perfect. I know that. I know, as I have listened to the audiobook version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, that the schoolmaster is Ichabod, not John. And yes, I know that in the original that Brom and Ichabod hated each other and wanted Katrina Van Tassel's hand in marriage (and she makes a brief appearance in this story, though she's more in the sequel Haunted Passions). And yes, there was no sign of the Headless Horseman (he, again, appears in the sequel if I read Amazon right...). And I know that there are other erotica novels/novellas based on Sleepy Hollows which will shock you all, no doubt. But this is a quick fun read with some steamy sex scenes. Something to pass the time with... 

While I won't be buying the sequel (a M/M/F erotica novella, just so you know), this was fast, fun and a tad naughty so if you're into gay erotica stories (and free at the time of writing), this might be up your street. If not, avoid. 

Anyway, normal YA reviews will resume next week. I hope... 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cover Reveals!

I don't often do cover reveal posts. I don't do them as book cover designs get revealed so often and so fast, I can barely keep up. But a few covers have been revealed and I thought "Why not?". So, am going to reveal the covers and nothing more (links will be below if you want to know more about the books via Goodreads, ok?). Right, let's start...

Let's start with Sara Grant. Sara's second novel, Half Lives, was revealed and it is completely different from the UK cover of her debut novel, Dark Parties (which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, FYI!). I really like the boldness of the title and how it's shadow verus earth. And we have the infinity logo in the corners. What does that mean? We'll find out in due course...

Now, I admit, when I read Night School by CJ Daugherty, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I expected a standalone and instead, I got the first book in a series. But I do have hope on this series so when the UK publisher, Atom, revealed the cover for the second book in the series, Night School: Legacy, I was quite excited. And, as you can see, they went down a completely different route compared to the first cover. And they did this ON PURPOSE! They wanted to capture the tone rather than keep the same look. And, may I say, that is how I saw Cimmeria Academy in my head so extra points to Atom!

Sticking with Atom, they revealed the cover for the third and final book in Amy Plum's Die For Me trilogy, If I Should Die. They have gone from red to purple and blue to orange and, I really like it. It just fits. And, if you look in the corner, you see a shadow of a man. Is it Vincent or someone else? I haven't read the second book in the series, Until I Die, but I will try and play catch up in the coming months...

Sticking with Atom one more time, Atom has unveiled its new covers for Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy. While I understand why they did this (UK covers of Blood Red Road, anyone?) and I do like the cover for Under the Ever Night, I love the original cover for Under the Never Sky so it will take time before I accept the new cover. Also, I found out that Atom will be publishing (in eBook form) the eNovella, Roar and Liv, so am quite excited over that! I just NEED a date!

And finally, one of my US book bloggy pals Jeremy West (The guy in charge of Novel Thoughts and one of the hosts to This Week In YA) revealed the cover for The Dollhouse Asylum from debut author, Mary Gray. This book won't be out till October 2013, but it has got some buzz. Mostly become Jeremy was the one who designed it. A book blogger designing a book cover?! MADNESS! But as you can see, Jeremy hit the creepy factor on this book cover. I think it's the girls eyes that freak me out the most... Anyway, I need to read this! And have Jeremy sign my copy!

What do you guys think of these covers? Do you like? Do you not like? Let me know as I want to know you honest opinions. 

Anyway, here are all the Goodreads links, if any of these covers made you want to read them! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

GoodRead - Aftermath

As you guys probably know if you've read this blog for a while, I love Andrea Cremer. I can't help it. Nightshade was the first real ARC I was given and it was a delicious read, as was Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. The first eNovella, Treachery, was ok, but I wanted more. So, when I discovered that Andrea had released another eNovella that set after Bloodrose, Aftermath, I knew I would have to read it. I didn't realise that it was released in the UK till a few weeks ago.

So, Aftermath. I don't want to say too much in case I spoil it, so if you haven't read Bloodrose, this has SPOILERS!!! But let me be a vague as I can. This does take place after the events of Bloodrose and looks at the aftermath and how it effects the characters who survived. Well, one character in particular...

Now, if you are like me and love Andrea's writing and want more, then you will read this. There's no two ways about it. But if you read the series and thought the series ended at the end of Bloodrose, then you might want to avoid this. I say this as there's a feeling to this that there's more behind this...

Now, the rest I say this is because of a line a character says that made me go "Oh, clever! Andrea is hinting towards her new prequel series..." but after chatting with Jeremy West (one of the cool peeps behind This Week In YA), made me go "Maybe I'm reading too much into it as my copy of Rift is staring angrily at me". Until Andrea tweeted me going "is hinting towards something new and secret", which, of course, got me excited.

Although, I have a tiny fear that Andrea Cremer is going down the "Cassandra Clare and James Patterson" route of sticking with a series and milking the cash cow dry. But I think Andrea is smarter than that as she doing different things to her fictional world (prequel set at the start of the war, then an adult erotica trilogy & this secret project) so I have faith that she will end the Nightshade world and write new things in the near future...

Of course, I loved the story. I wished it was longer or it was cheaper (it's £1.49) but if you're a fan of Andrea Cremer, this will tie you over till you get your hands of Rift (or till you can actually find time to read it, which is me at the moment of writing this post!)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

GoodRead - Boy Meets Boy

It's actually Jo from Once Upon A Bookcase who got me to read this book. She tweeted about it one day and I, who vaguely knew this title (but nothing else), tweeted back, asking questions. Within seconds, A TON of people tweeted me, saying that I had to read this book (I forgotten who must of you are. Sorry. But I'm pretty sure that @FitzChivalry_, @IanLamb1 & it was either @LizUK or @PortraitofWoman [or was it both of you?] all said "read this!"). When I found that there was no Kindle version, Jo kindly sent me her copy with a small letter that described this book as "sweet, beautiful story."

One of the main reasons why I love the UK YA book bloggers. Everyone is so nice! And happy!

Anyway, Boy Meets Boy. The story follows Paul, a young gay man who had to tackle the joys and pitfalls of high school in a town that really doesn't have a straight scene or gay scene as it got "mixed up a while back" (aka he lives in a town where there is no discrimination against a person sexual orientation). He has two best friends, Joni and Tony, and is close to Infinite Darlene (homecoming queen and star quarterback). He has an ex - Kyle - who refuses to talk to him. So when Paul meets Noah, a boy that makes his heart skip a beat, he knows he want to be with him. So when his life goes nuts (Joni starts dating a jerk, Tony [who lives in another town] having quite religious patents who think being gay is the work of the devil, Kyle suddenly starts talking to him and Paul makes a mistake that could ruin everything between him and Noah), Paul has to makes sure he gets his Happy Ever After...

Am going to try and keep this short: this is one of the best YA LGBTQ books I have read in a very long time! It's was refreshing and fun. It was like watching a chick-flick where you knew how the story was going to end and yet, you were hoping that it would end with a happily ever after!

I know I should talk about the book as a whole, but I wanted to write briefly about two characters: Tony and Infinite Darlene. Tony, to me, is one of the bravest characters in the whole story. I just wanted to take him out of the book and hug him.

And as for Infinite Darlene. When I first met her (I'm making her sound real, aren't I?), I first thought "She's going to be a characterture, isn't she?" but within pages, I fell in love with her (as Jo will tell you from our tweets!). I kinda wanted to be her friend, yet not tell her any of my secrets. Not sure if I could trust her...

Yes, there are flaws. But I think the author did these to show the characters as people with flaws who make mistakes. The amount of time I mentally wanted to strangle Paul... But this is what made the relationship between him and Noah more real and endearing.

I really liked this book! And I do hope that if you can lay your hands on a copy, you treat yourself into this book's wonderful love story (because is first and foremost, a love story)! And now I can not wait to get my hands on another David Levithan novel...

(And again, thank you Jo for lending me your copy!)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

GoodRead - Homecoming

As you are probably aware, when I read Scott Tracey's debut novel, Witch Eyes, I kinda went gaga over the book. I LOVED IT! So, when I discovered that he wrote a prequel, Homecoming, I got excited, downloaded it on my kindle... and forgot to read it for several months.

I know. I do this ALL the time!!!

So, what is Homecoming about? Set a year before the events of Witch Eyes, all Braden wants is to have a friend or two. But being a witch in training that has to be homeschooled... well... that makes having friends hard. So, what's the worse that could happen if Braden uses a small charisma spell?

Now, seeing as I got a bit of a crush on Braden, of course I'm going to love thiss short story. I loved how the voice was still the same and to see more of his interaction with his uncle as we only got a few chapters of Uncle John in Witch Eyes.

The story was a short, fun story to get to know Braden before you dived headfirst into the world of Witch Eyes (and there are the opening chapters in this - as it clearly states on the cover).

I suppose I better say the bad thing. Oh, I have a bad thing. This isn't the author's fault. I paid £1.33 for this story and I am a huge person, as you know, about getting what you paid for. I love this series so I am happy to pay this, but surely, it could have been a tad cheaper... just a wee bit cheaper.

But I like this book and it tires me over till Demon Eyes, the sequel of Witch Eyes, comes out (just seen it was out on the first of this month)... so, when I rear in gear and read it!

Friday, 5 October 2012

GoodRead - Diamonds Are Forever

Until a few days ago, I didn't know that today was Global James Bond Day. And to celebrate 50 years that Dr No came out in cinema, AudioGo is releasing all James Bond books as audiobooks (007 Reloaded), each read by a world-class actor, ranging from Bill Nighy, Hugh Quarshie, Jason Issacs, Rosamund Pike and David Tennant. And, out of nowhere, the lovely people at AudioGo HQ emailed me asking if I wanted to listen to one.

I, knowing Bond from the movies (and a friend has given me the first James Bond novels [I read half of Casino Royale and then lost interest with it]), said yes. I looked at the actors and made a small list of Bond that I thought "Sounds cool" and asked them to surprise me. I was given Diamonds Are Forever, read by Damian Lewis (Emmy winner for TV drama Homeland - which I haven't seen. Shhhh!).

Diamonds are being smuggled from Africa to USA, via Britain. Bond has to assigned the mission to get inside the smuggling ring and smash. But to do that, Bond has to do something he's not very good at: he has to be patient...

Now, Damian's voice. I love his voice. Once I finally got into the story, I really enjoyed listening to his voice. There was one or two times when he made a character's voice a bit cartoony. And another time (twice, I think), you could hear that he was in a small recording studio because I thought I heard his voice bounce off the walls. But I'm nit-picking, me thinks.

The story itself. Now this is where I get a tad unsure of myself. I'm not sure what I was expecting but Bond being patient wasn't one of them. I think the movies were my problem. I kept thinking that, any moment now, he's gonna jump into action. Nope, that didn't happen. Plus, with Bond being all patient and waiting, he seems to make a ton of mistakes, which for a secret agent, seems a bit odd. An odd looking man holding only a toilette bag is watching you funny? Don't you think that's odd? Don't you think that there might be a camera in that toilette bag, taking photos of you? And then you see a second man who's sucking his thumb where days earlier, you are told that there's a hitman/assassin in the ring who sucks a wart on his thumb when nervous or stressed? And the fact that this man is seems to be paying close attention on you, doesn't ring any alarm bells? Come on James, you're meant to be smart!

And it very much of it's time. Some of the terms used wouldn't be used today. It just wouldn't be acceptable.

While I am intrigued over James Bond and I will probably try and read the books, I think that the movies have clouded my view on the original stories. So, if you're going into the book series, you have to throw the movies out of your head. Might be great as a starting point, but when you have a book that is COMPLETELY different from the movie...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

GoodRead - The Casual Vacancy

I only finished this yesterday so am still in this weird haze of "Oh my God!" and "What the hell happened?" and "Why do I have this weird achy feeling in my chest, like when I finished Maggot Moon?" (not read that? *gasps* here's the review... then come back and we can talk...)

Right, before I go any further, I feel like I need to state the following: THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER NOVEL!!! If you think this is a "grown up" Harry Potter, then you better put the book down and move along. Also, this is an adult novel so the language used and the subject matters are only suitable for adults. So DON'T give this to your child! I will state this several times in this post, so you have been warned!

Right, ok. Still with us? Right, here we go...

The small county town of Pagford is in a state of shock when well-liked Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, leaving his seat on the Parish Council vacant. A Casual Vacancy. With the town secretly at war with itself, and with the hot topic for the Parish Council being the local council estate, The Fields, and the addiction clinic, the Bellchapel, the reader has to ask itself: is this seat worth it? And how well do we know our neighbours?

So, light reading, right? Wrong! This book tackles very dark issues - self-harm, domestic violence, rape, drug abuse, mental health, child neglect and poverty to name a few - and with there being swear words (oh, the SHOCK!), this isn't a light read. When you are going to read this, you are going to read something dark and quite dense.

Now, I completely get why some people have dislike this book. It is a marmite read. You're either going to love it or hate it. There's no middle ground about this!

Now, oddly, I liked this. This isn't my cup of tea in reading, but I enjoyed reading these characters. I found the novel very interesting. It felt like I was reading about the human nature. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we stay when the situation is so out of our control and, when it is, how do we get control back?

This also tackled the issue of responsibility. Who is responsible for those who are less fortunate than ourselves? And when do we realise our responsibilities? Early in the day, or until it is too late?

In my honest opinion, I found this book very dark and very dense (some people have compared this to a Charles Dickens novel - I can't say this as I haven't read any Dickens' novel). And yet, this is a very powerful novel (I read parts 6 and 7 with my hand over my mouth and, when I finished the book, chatting to my other half on the phone, trying to get over the horrible feeling that weighed down on my chest).

This won't be everyone's cup of tea. I say this to you so you can decide for yourselves. I am glad I read it as I think JK Rowling was very brave to write this. This won't suit everyone but, after a hugely successful series like Harry Potter, she wrote it anyway. And for that, I thank you. She has proven that she is not a "one series" wonder.

PS - if you haven't read my blog post about seeing JK Rowling live at the South Bank Centre in London, you can click here to read about it!

PPS - I never liked the Rihanna song Umbrella. And now, thanks to JK, I can never listen to it again without thinking of this book/one or two characters. Thanks, JK.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

GoodRead - Ocean Of Blood

As you guys are probably aware, I have read a few Darren Shan novels in my past. I have read the first five books in his The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque Du Freak series if you prefer) and then, randomly, the eighth. I read the first five books in the Demonata series (my fave in this series is Lord Loss and Bec, though Demon Thief unnerved me the most!) and I read his short story for World Book Day 2006, Koyasan. I even reported one of his book signings last year (not read it? Here you go!)

At the event, I bought myself a copy of Ocean of Blood, the second book in The Saga of Larten Crepsley and now, over a year later, I actually decide to actually read it! (yes, I know I haven't read the first book in the saga and, technically, I should be reading his new series, Zom-B... Oh well... Read it now!)

In this, the second book about the past of Larten Crepsley, Larten is away from his master, Seba Nile, and is enjoying his freedom with the Cubs - wild young vampires with a taste for mindless fun, whether that be with gambling, women, or going to be the middle of battlefields in the middle of the night and enjoying the bloodbath. But fate has plans for Larten and continues to throw his life in a spin time and time again. But by the end of the book, what kind of vampire will he become? True to himself and his master... or lost forever in death and destruction...?

As I said earlier, I have read a few books in the Saga of Darren Shan, and there were times reading those books (mainly book four and five, Vampire Mountain and Trials of Death) where I felt that there was more the Crepsley than met the eye. So, to have this series and this book is awesome as it explains him better, whether you know of him via the Saga of Darren Shan series or you read The Saga of Larten Crepsley first. For me, it felt like going back and meeting an old friend.

But, saying that, it did feel like I met an old friend and there was distance between us. The book almost felt clinical, and I think that this is because it was written in third person. I was never close to Larten Crepsley in the Saga of Darren Shan, but I thought this series would make me see what make the man tick. But I was kept at arm's length and that bothered. So was the time jumps. How many times did we jump several years forward? I know vampire age slowly so several years to us is nothing to them, but we did jump several times and that bother me.

And how long did it take for the Ocean to make an appearance?!

Now, what I'm going to say will probably get me attacked from all you true Darren Shan fans, but I didn't feel scared or creeped out by Ocean of Blood. In all his previous books, I can remember scenes that creeped me out or, in one case, had me exclaim "Oh God!" on a bus (Demon Thief, in case you're wondering). But this didn't scare me. Maybe I'm too old for the scares of Darren Shan (good grief, I hope not!)

While I do want to know what happens in the third book in the saga, The Palace of the Damned (which I don't own), and the finale, Brothers to the Death (which I do own), I'm not going to be in any hurry to return to them. I want to keep my return to them like meeting an old friend. But I do hope that, when I do, they scare me just a wee bit...

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

GoodRead - The Bone House

The only reason I knew this short story of a eBook exist is because of my blog-pal Laura (aka SisterSpooky). You see, the author Barry John Hutchison (aka Barry Hutchinson, author of the popular Invisible Fiends series) made Laura the main character in this little tale of terror. As soon as I discovered this fact, I knew I had to get my hands on this, to find out what Barry did to Laura...

So, The Bone House. School's broken up for the six week holiday and Laura has plans. Kinda. Well, Skyrim and, if she finishes that, a Batman marathon. So, when her next door neighbour (and long time crush) Cethan says he discovered something cool in the woods, she goes to see what it is...

Shame this discovery take a terrifying twist...

Am going to be honest, you guys will read through this incredibly quickly. I read this in two sittings (and both of them were around 20 minutes long). The first was a six in the evening and the other was around 11 o'clock at night. And... er... I had an AWFUL night sleep because of this story. IT'S CREEPY AS! The first few chapters are very much foreboding but the last few chapters are awfully creepy.

I can't think of any other word for this short story. It's creepy! I was planning to read more creepy stories for the next few weeks, but because of this story, nope! Am going to finish the book am reading now and then HAPPY stories about love, unicorns and fluffy things....