Friday, 30 August 2013

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 19

Wow! This is the 19th edition of Books and Their Theme Songs! I really need to figure out what I'm going to do at the end of the year as that's when the 21st edition comes out. The end of December...

So, you know the drill by now with me. I like reading with music in the background, and some songs stick to a book, making them my theme song for that book. And as I love sharing and discovering new music, I share these songs with you! I do hope you like!

PROS AND CONS by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
"One Day" by Caro Emerald


BONES OF THE LOST by Kathy Reichs
"Mouth 2 Mouth" by Kate Havnevik


BURN BRIGHT by Marianne de Pierres
"Start A Riot" by Jetta


TIMEPIECE by Myra McEntire
"Tea And Sympathy" by Beverley Knight [Unavailable on YouTube at this time]

CRUEL SUMMER by James Dawson
"Electra Heart" by Marina and the Diamonds


NIGHT SCHOOL: FRACTURE by CJ Daugherty
"Flatline" by Mutya Keisha Siobhan

Thursday, 29 August 2013

GoodRead - The Son of Neptune

Last year, I read my first Rick Riordan novel, The Lost Hero (not read my review? Here you go!) and I said I would read the first book in the Percy Jackson series before I dare return to the Heroes of Olympus. Well... I lied. Not on purpose as I read The Son Of Neptune because the mood took me to my kindle and this title called to me. I know some of you Percy Jackson fans will try and hunt me down because HOW DARE I! But... please, I am planning to read the series, I am. Not sure when but I am planning to...

So now we have that out of the way, let's talk. Around 8 months after The Lost Hero, Percy Jackson finds himself running from gorgons that refuse to die. He has no memory bar one - Annabeth. But before long, he finds himself in the safety of Camp Jupiter, camp of Roman demigods, and friends with Frank and Hazel. And then, we discover the Prophecy of Seven and, would you believe it, but Percy, Hazel and Frank must go to Alaska, rescue Death and return to Camp Jupiter in several days or everyone at Camp Jupiter will die...

No pressure! No pressure at all when the enemy is Gaia - aka MOTHER EARTH!

Before I go any further, I want to talk about the UK cover. I LOATHE the UK cover. I'm sorry if you like it/love it, but no. It just makes me a little furious at I'm not sure why. I much prefer the US cover (see below). But, weirdly, saying that, I much prefer the UK cover to Mark of Athena, the third book in the series, compared to the US cover.

*takes deep breath* Right. Now I have that out of the way...

I really liked this book. It was fast pace, fun and slightly addictive read. Very much like how I was when I read The Lost Hero. Plus, it was cool for me as this was the first time I met/read Percy. And I enjoyed him. I get why you PJ fans LOVE him. But I do think I need to backtrack and read the books in the Percy Jackson series to fully understand your love for him.

It was interesting, seeing as how in The Lost Hero (and in the Percy Jackson series), we have been at Camp Half-Blood and dealing with the ins-and-outs of Greek mythology and now, we are attacking Roman mythology and seeing how the two camps have NEVER met (good job, by the way, Rick) and how the Gods from one camp affects the other camp (Again, good job). And we saw the differences with these camps, also. There were characters in Camp Jupiter which saw very Ancient Roman traits to them (the power-hungry, backstabbing, etc) which you won't see in Camp Half-Blood because they're not very Ancient Greek of them. We saw this in the character Octavian, a character WE ARE MEANT TO DISLIKE! And yeah... I did not like him...

I did have one problem with this book and I know I am going to get shouted at because of all you Percy fans but, here goes. As someone who hasn't read the previous Percy Jackson and has dived right, there were moments I just went "Wait! what?" in this book. I know this is linked to Percy's history and, if I have read the previous, I would get that. But I don't, and I can imagine some readers doing what I am doing and going "Wait! How does Nico know Percy?", "Wait. Why isn't Percy bowing to Mars?" or "And why doesn't Percy like lightening?". These are titbits to all you Percy Jackson fans out there, but if you haven't... you'll be scratching your head going "Huh?"

But I am enjoying this series. I am. I have Mark of Athena in my To-Read pile and I plan on reading it in the next few months (or next year so I read 3 Heroes of Olympus books is one quick-ish go!) so... yes... am going to try and read Mark of Athena soon (if not, Lightening Thief)!

Oh, for those of you wondering which Camp I belong to...


I think I would prefer to go to Camp Half-Blood, but I am going to be excited over how each of them (4 from Camp Half-Blood and 3 from Camp Jupiter) are going to get on... LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

GoodRead - Fortunately, The Milk

It begins with milk. Well, the lack of milk, actually. Dad pops out to get some and, after a long time, he returns with milk and a story on how he got the milk. A story involving pirates, aliens, wumpires, an angry volcano god and time-travelling dinosaur. ... what? Don't you get that when you go out and buy some milk?

When Bloomsbury, the UK publisher, sent this to me, I was kinda excited to read it as it's not the "typical" Neil Gaiman book that I have read. I've only read a few Neil Gaiman novels (so am still a newbie to Gaiman's writing) and 2 of them were for teens (Coraline and The Graveyard Book). So, reading this was going to be interesting for me... But I guessed I would enjoy this because the UK cover is SHINY! For those of you who have magpie eye, you will love this book just for the shiny cover only!

This was a short and fast read for me. This wasn't aimed for my age group - I get that, I do. This is younger than my typical YA reading range but it was refreshing to read this and there were moments that I actually sniggered with laughter, mainly with lines from Professor Steg (aka the Dinosaur that's on the cover). One of my fave lines from this book was from page 41 and went like this:

"Dinosaurs are reptiles, sir," said Professor Steg. "We do not go in for milk."
"Do you go in for breakfast cereal?" I asked. 
"Of course!" he cried. "Dinosaurs LOVE breakfast cereal. Especially the kind with nuts in."

Why this is my favourite line, I have no idea. But it just made me smile and snigger into my cup of tea.

And the illustrations in this book - flawless. I adore Chris Riddell's drawing. I just loved all his drawers (though the Dad, I SWEAR, looks like Neil Gaiman himself!). My fave is the one on the right. I just LOVE this drawing. I want/need a framed drawing on this. Please, Bloomsbury/Chris Riddell. Please. I will love you LOADS if this happens.

I enjoyed this because it's like a nuts version of Doctor Who. Imagine if Matt Smith regenerated into a stegosaurus (now THAT would be AMAZING!). This was a tiny nod to time-travel but made it fun, silly and smiling while reading it.

Monday, 26 August 2013

SMILE - You Spin Me Round



Not sure where I saw this (Russell Howard's Good News, maybe?) but wherever I saw this, THANK YOU!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

GoodRead - Night School: Fracture

When Midas PR asked if I wanted to be involved in the Night School: Fracture blog tour, I didn't even really think about it. I immediately replied, saying "YES!". I'm not sure why I enjoy reading this series, but I do. I thoroughly enjoy reading these books so it, to me, seemed like a no brainer.

So, Fracture (as I'm going to call this book from now on) is the third book in the Night School series by CJ Daugherty. So, while I do try VERY HARD not to write spoilers, you have been warned that I might let something slip by accident. So... where to start?

After the shocking events at the end of book two (Legacy), Allie has kinda fallen apart. And her safe haven of Cimmeria Academy is no longer safe. For, within the walls of the school, there is a spy. Someone, who is working for the nefarious group, is trying to destroy everything Cimmeria stands for. But soon, paranoia grows...

I am going to admit it here and now. This isn't much of an action book. I wish it was as, while I enjoyed this book, I found myself wanting to throw this across the room, cursing CJ Daugherty in the same fury I do with Steven Moffat. But this book isn't action because it was a character book.

As I have previously stated, after the shocking events at the end of book two, Allie has kinda fallen to pieces. This book is about her rebuilding herself and reclaiming herself and her life back. So, while there was some action near the end of the book, this is a character-building book and, I sense, this might be important to the future two installments.

So, let me chat pros and cons of this book (which is going to be hard as I can't talk spoilers!).

One of the pros (and one of the main reasons I think I enjoy reading this series) is CJ's writing. She knows how to write a slow-burning thrillers. And that fact that this series is set inside an conspiracy theory makes the plot interesting. CJ explains everything in a way that makes perfect sense and makes it plausible, and then, just when you have things set in your own mind, CJ adds a further layer or a question that makes you unsure of the information you've just been given.

There was one or two moments that I didn't completely trust the book. But, saying that, I completely CJ in telling the story. Odd, I know, but I do.

Now, I have two cons with this. And both of these are story related. I think I touched on one of them in my review of Night School: Legacy. The first is security. I'm sorry but I had this issue with Legacy. We are told throughout this book that there is a high level of security at Cimmeria, and yet, things happened that shouldn't have happened! Something happened almost immediately  at the start of this book and there was no one in sight. I know this is probably because CJ wanted the story to move forward (and oh, it did. In a big way!) but still...

My second issue is answers. If you have been reading this series since the first book came out, you have questions that you want to be answered. Some of these questions do get answered and there are others that... well... aren't. I have one huge question that I need an answer to and I still haven't got it. I know CJ will probably reveal this answer in book 4 or 5 but, still, it's frustrates me that I don't know or have a hint of an idea of the answer.

I think, out of the series so far, this is probably my fave. But, I kinda need book four (which has the title of Night School: Resistance [oh, it's might all be hitting the fan now!]) and I am not sure if I can wait till June 2014 (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!). Maybe I should try and kidnap CJ and force her to write where I can see her so, you know, I don't get upset or angry while reading the next book...




PS - what to know what was in the letter? Click the video below to find out...

Monday, 19 August 2013

Night School: Fracture Blog Tour


Why, hello! Today, it's my turn to continue the Night School: Fracture blog tour and here we have part 5 in the short story that CJ Daugherty wrote especially for this tour (and am thrilled I'm taking part in this!). So, if you haven't read the previous installments, please go back to the previous blogs, read and then come back.

This story, in case you aren't aware or are unsure of where this story fits in the Night School series timeline, takes place during the first ball (so the end of book 1) and is told from Carter's point of view. And now, with that out of the way, enjoy.

*

As Allie neared him, though, he didn’t move. He could have slipped away without her ever seeing him. But he stood there.
Despite everything he still felt drawn to her. Something connected them. She was the only person he knew here who was like him – an outsider. The only one who really got him. Even though he was still angry and hurt … He also missed having her in his life.
She was so close now he could almost touch her but she hadn’t noticed him yet. Like a ghost, he watched unseen as she picked up a crab cake, studied it then put it in her mouth cautiously.
Something about the way she did that, the innocence of it, made up his mind.
He moved towards her. He’d almost reached her side when she turned suddenly, running directly into him.
‘I’m sorr …’ they both started to say, then she realised who she’d run into. The words died on his lips as he met her stormy gaze.
‘Allie …’ was all his lips would say then.
He couldn’t seem to talk. To think.
Their eyes locked. Colour flooded her pale cheeks. She looked horrified. For a moment that stretched too long neither of them said anything. Finally, Carter opened his mouth to tell her how lovely she looked. Just as he did she turned away with a jerk, as if she wanted to escape. As if she couldn’t bear even to look at him.
Despair ran like ice water through his veins. How had they managed to ruin everything so completely?
Without another word, he fled, letting the crowd close behind him.
He had to stop fooling himself that anything could be resurrected between them. That they could ever be together again.
He had to let her go.
Weaving through the crowd he ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
But when he knocked on Jules’ door seconds later, his hand quivered. He tightened it into a fist.
Jules opened the door immediately. ‘Bad news,’ she said. ‘We can’t stay long. Isabelle wants me downstairs for speeches. We have ten minutes.’
With that, she grabbed his lapel and pulled him into the room.
Carter almost smiled. Jules was so uninhibited. So sure of what she wanted. Maybe this was what he needed now in his life. Something uncomplicated.
Someone uncomplicated.
He closed the door, leaning his back against it as he looked around.
Her room was neat and smelled pleasantly of her perfume. One wall held a framed poster of an old
man with a guitar all painted in dark blue hues. A soft, white rug covered the floor. The bookshelves were stacked with photos, books and knick-knacks. It felt comfortable.
She’d draped a scarf over the bedside lamp, giving it all an ethereal glow. The scarf fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window. The icy air felt good – cooling the perspiration on his skin.
It occurred to him it felt cold enough to snow.

She took a step towards him. Her skin glowed in the light.

*

Wanna know what happens next? Go to Fluttering Butterflies tomorrow and the story will continue there...

Thursday, 15 August 2013

GoodRead - Cruel Summer

As you guys are probably aware, I'm a bit of a fan with James Dawson. Last year, he wrote one of my fave books of 2012, Hollow Pike. And this year, his second novel is out. And that is called Cruel Summer.

But does it live up to my high expectations?

Janey fells to her death. Suicide, the Police said. One year later, her friends - Ryan, Katie, Ben, Alisha, Greg and his current girlfriend, Erin - go on holiday in Spain, all bar Erin (who met Greg months later) hoping to put the past behind them. That is, until Roxanne Dent crashes the party and throw out a shocking confession: Janey was murdered and she has proof.

The events that follow throws doubt on everyone in the villa. One of the them is a killer and not all of them will survive the Spanish sun...

I loved this book. I think this, dare I say it, is better than Hollow Pike. A huge statement to make, I know, but I devoured this book within 3 or 4 days. It was addictive reading!

Does anyone remember Point Horror from the 90s? Well, imagine that with a teen drama (The OC, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, etc) and make it British, and you have what Cruel Summer is about. I'm not sure how else to describe this. Although I haven't watched it, am pretty certain you guys who have watched the Scream movies will love this book because it's very similar. Murder! Doubt! Chatty humour! Even cattier characters! Tongue firmly in cheek!

So, did I guess who the killer was? Kinda, but I was always unsure of myself. I kept jumping between two and three characters. But when it was revealed and why, I was SHOCKED! I was speeding through the last 100 pages going "WHAT?! HOW?! GET THE HECK OUT OF THAT VILLA!!! RUN!!!"

This book would be PERFECT for a movie (hint hint Film4/Kickstarter). And as someone who HATES reading/watching horror, I would go see this!

Oh dear, this is turning into one of those gushy review but I loved this book! If you are a fan of Scream or like the idea of a "What if Point Horror had a child with TV's Gossip Girl?", this is the book for you.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

GoodRead - Bones In Her Pocket

Another day, another Kathy Reichs review. This time, Tempe's first short story/eNovella - Bones in Her Pocket.

Dr Temperence Brennan has seen a lot of disturbing things in her line of work. But when she's asked to the foothills of North Carolina, she goes thinking she's going to find bones. Expect she has a bone of a young woman on her hands. And then she discovers something weird in the dead girl's pocket. Discovering this will set off a chain of events that will make Tempe discover something truly disturbing...

I liked this. Of course I'm going to say this. I like Kathy Reichs and I manage to read this over the course of two days (from some readers on Goodreads, they read it within an hour) and it was interesting to have a story move this quickly.

As weird as this sounds, I would have liked a tiny bit longer. Just so we got a little more detail. But the story is good. And we have no subplot - we are focused solely on the case. None of Tempe's lovelife dramas. And when we touch on the subject, it's very brief and... well... Tempe shoots it down. Like she would in the novels, but at least with the novels, they are there and make themselves known to the readers.

I think the eNovella might confuse some newer readers to the series as Kathy doesn't spend time introducing characters but this would be a good thing so new readers can read this and see if they like Reichs's writing style and Tempe's dry humour.

And with this, series fans can read this and enjoy something tying them over till the next novel, Bones of the Lost, comes out (I reviewed this last month - here's the link for you guys!).

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

GoodRead - The Dark

You think I would find writing this review of The Dark by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen quite easy? It should be a walk in the park. So why it is so hard to write?!

The story about Laszlo, a boy who's scared of the dark. But with his nightlight, he should be safe. Then, one night, his nightlight fails. This is the story of a boy and how he stopped being afraid of the dark.

I adore the illustrations. I can not fault them. There's something very simple about them that's lovely and I know younger readers will love them. It's not all BRIGHT SHINY COLOURS! Bright colours won't work with a story about the dark and as most the story is black pages with white writing.

Now, the story. I know most people will buy this because it's Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events and All The Wrong Questions. He's known for his dark (pun not intented - well... not on purpose) humour. And we do see it come up... on really one page. The rest of the story was very simple and gentle, perfect for younger readers.

For adult fans, they might find this lacking. But for young readers, I think they will love reading this and confronting their own fears of the dark.

Monday, 12 August 2013

SMILE - Your Offerings...


I have no idea how I discovered this! I think I was googling Grumpy Cat and this came up. So, now you know what I'm like most days when food is offered to me...

Oh, tiny headsup. Next week SMILE post will be up not next Monday 19th but will be posted on Friday 23rd. Thought you ought to know...

Friday, 9 August 2013

#MurderOnTheBeach - In Defence of Suspense

WELCOME BACK TO #MURDERONTHEBEACH! So, you guy have read James Dawson's Defence of Horror (if not, why not?) but now, it's Kate Harrison's turn and here, Kate is fighting in defence of suspense.

So, take it away Kate!

*

Here’s the thing.

I don’t know what horrifies you. I only know what scares me:

  • Plane crashes.
  • The Returned.
  • Wasps.
  • Extreme temperatures.
  • Things that squelch.
So. I could write a horror novel in which our heroine finds herself in a crashed plane in a strange French town inhabited very stylish zombies. She could run away from the tres chic zombies into a swarm of wasps, before finding ‘safety’ locked in a pitch dark sauna surrounded by unidentified squelch.

It would scare me. But there’s quite a high probability you might just get a fit of the giggles…

That’s my problem with graphic horror. It’s all or nothing. It’s the big close up on blood and gore.

Whereas suspense is all about what lurks in the dark. Your own private fears, waiting for you down that dark alleyway, or under the bed. In horror, what emerges is covered in snot and makes a gurgling noise… but sometimes it’s scarier if the frightening thing stays put.

For now…

The perfect example for me was the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s Luther.

A hand appeared from under the bed. Terrifying.

I’d have cut the shot right there. But no. This script was as subtle as a werewolf on the 5:2 diet.  By the middle of the show a guy had destroyed his hands in a whirring blender to avoid being fingerprinted. The end of the episode featured a man being slammed down so hard against the attic floor that his body broke through the ceiling where his wife was on the bed below. I jumped, for sure, but I also felt irritated. The scariest bit in the whole show came before that, when ceiling man was rummaging around in the loft, not knowing what was there.

It’s why I’ve never gone for gore in Soul Beach. Sure, my dead characters have been through the mill, with murder, plane crashes, kidnapping and the rest. But I portray them as beautiful –  it’s up to the reader to imagine what Guests might have suffered, to tune into their own emotions and fears.
And as my heroine Alice is stalked by her sister’s killer, I focus on the murderer’s state of mind, not their violent visions.

Horror serves up the details, like a slithering bowl full of entrails.

Whereas suspense makes your imagination do the work, summoning up personal terrors that will last long after you’ve put the book down…

#MurderOnTheBeach - In Defence of Horror

HELLO! Today, the #MurderOnTheBeach tour has come to my little blog and I am THRILLED that I am taking part!

Today, authors James Dawson (Hollow Pike and Cruel Summer) and Kate Harrison (the Soul Beach trilogy) will be battling it out, answering the question that is on everyone's lips! The question - which is better: suspense or horror? Both authors are taking over the blog in two posts. James will be fighting in defence of horror (down below) and Kate will be fighting for the defence of suspense (this will be up at 1pm UK time).

So, without further ado, let James talk to you about horror.

*

‘Horror’ is such a dirty word at the moment. If you go into any branch of Waterstones, you’ll see that the ‘Horror Shelf’ is little more than a collection of weighty Stephen King doorstops. I think the genre got a bad name for itself during the late eighties and early nineties which saw clich├ęs such as man-eating animals, rape, misogyny, gore and excruciating torture become commonplace.

But while the novel had a makeover and became ‘psychological thriller’, horror was doing better than ever at the cinema. Franchises such as Scream, Saw, Hostel and Paranormal Activity rake it in at the box office proving there is a hungry market for scares.

It’s simple: people want to be scared witless. The adrenaline is the same rush you’d get from a rollercoaster or work-out. There is a thrill in ducking behind your loved one’s shoulder as someone’s having their eye gouged out. What’s more, the loathsome Human Centipede went to show that if a concept is shocking and grisly enough, people will watching out of morbid fascination.

Morbid fascination, in fact, is a good way of describing what brings fans back to horror. We all have a monster inside and the creature is baying for blood. At the start of a horror film or novel, we earmark characters for death and then revel in their ultimate demise. It’s part of the agreement between the author and reader: ‘it’s OK, this is brutal, but we all know it’s fantasy so enjoy all the maiming.’ Horror is, in many ways, related to fantasy – we KNOW the contents aren’t especially real world so we can enjoy the torture in the same way we enjoy dragons and wizards.

This is why I’m confused by attacks made by censors on violence and gore, especially in YA. Katniss, for example, lives in a fantasy world and she kills people with MUTANT BEES – literally no one thinks this is non-fiction. The end of Cruel Summer is violent, I can’t deny that, but the novel isn’t set in the world of you and I – it’s YA world – the teens are glamorous and riddled with juicy secrets. The final showdown is so over the top I find it hard to believe anyone is going to think it’s a particularly real-life situation.

The horror genre, with its flesh-eating slugs steers clear of reality for our comfort. When the horrors become real – murderous sons (We Need To Talk About Kevin) or abusive relationships (Gone Girl) we refer leave the horror tag behind and call it psychological thriller. These horrors are actually too close to home – but look at the thriving market for misery memoir. I find that far, far darker than Freddie Kruger or Jason Voorhies. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

GoodRead - Timepiece

After reading Hourglass, the first book in the series by Myra McEntire, a few years ago (I reviewed Hourglass in October 2011), I have been meaning to keep reading the sequel of Hourglass, Timepiece, when the book was released. But, of course, my To Read pile is big and continues to grow without me being aware (or having it under control!) and so, I finally read Timepiece now as the third book in the series, Infinityglass is nearing its release date.

And because of the time between me reading Hourglass and Timepiece (under 2 years), you will have to forgive me if I forget details.

So, Timepiece. After the events of Hourglass, Kaleb takes over the story from Emerson. After Emerson broke the rules of time-travel to save Michael (and her refusal to work with Jack Lander, the man who tried to murder Kaleb's father), Kaleb and the other members of Hourglass can see rips - cracks in time. This isn't a good thing. It shows time is slowly unraveling. And now Jack's back. And before they can't get their heads round this shock return, Hourglass is given a ultimatum: find Jack and the research he stole or time will altered, rewound... and this would have a devastating results on the people Kaleb love the most.

But can Kaleb and the other members of Hourglass use their special gifts to find Jack? Where does Emerson's best friend, Lily, fit in all this? And Kaleb stay out of the bottle long enough to do some good?

Right, where to start? First, you have to read Hourglass before you read this as this follows on almost immediately and with the character switch, some of you guys will go "Huh?". And because of the plot is so complex (we are dealing with time-slip), you have to be on the ball while reading this.

However, I really enjoyed reading this. I think it's Myra's writing style. She makes reading this book easy, even though the whole time-slip and all the rules are quite confusing. And as for Kaleb, Myra writes a character who has flaws and yet, is still interesting and you get why he acts the way he acts.

And his relationship with Lily and how it grows and evolves.

But, I do fear that because it has been so long that I have read Hourglass, I can't give you a full and proper review. But I liked this and I plan to read the third book in the series, Infinityglass, as soon as I can get my hands on it, so I can give you guys a true review of the book sometime this month! Well... will try to...

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

GoodRead - The Rithmatist

For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about diving back into the world of audiobooks. But the problem is I seem to be a bit hit and miss with them. So when Stefania from Midas PR emailed and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the audiobook of The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (a New York Time bestselling author who I have never heard of but I know most of you guys have), it came at the right time. And, also, a story that felt fantasy/steampunk and yet the most powerful weapon in this story was a piece of chalk... Ok, I had to find out why!

At the Armedius Academy, the chalkmaker's son Joel wishes he was a Rithmatist. Sadly, that will never happen. He can only watch while other students learn the art of Rithmatics. But students are disappearing. Rithmatic students. They disappear at night, with tiny drops of blood found on the floor. There are also Rithmatic drawings on the floor, as if the students wearing dueling, fighting for their lives. And a new, unknown Rithmatic drawing is found on the walls. Assigned to a professor who is helping the investigation, Joel and his new Rithmatist friend, Melody, find themselves inside something that could change their world forever.

But has happened to the Rithmatic students? Were they kidnapped? Murdered? Or has something more sinister happened? And who - or what - is behind all this?

I enjoyed the audiobook and the story. I liked how the narrator, Michael Kramer, read the story and I liked the mystery of the story of what was happening with these disappearances. I liked how the world, though quite fantasy and steampunk, was mainly driven by chalk. I liked the mystery side of the story and the twists! Oh, I very much liked the twists and how the story didn't answer everything at once. Even when I was listening to the last hour of the story, things were still being revealed and twists still appeared that will make the reader/listener go "WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!" and "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!" as this book is meant to be standalone (though with how the book ended, there could very easily be a sequel, though I like the idea that this stays a standalone).

I kinda like the main characters of Joel and Melody, though at times they did feel a tad 2D. But the more I listened to them, the more I liked them. Joel wishing he was a Rithmatist but can't so he studies it secretly (and with his Maths skills being almost off the charts) whereas Melody is a Rithmatic student but feels the pressures of being a Rithmatist-in-Training and, at times, doesn't want to be a Rithmatist because she feels she isn't good enough. These two characters complement each other and I like how their friendship grew and developed.

I have two faults. They are not huge faults but these faults do make me think that, if you are unsure to read the book or listen to the audiobook, I feel I should say read the actual book or have a copy near you, just in case. The first fault is Part 1. After the prologue which was dark and exciting, Part One... well, wasn't. Part One felt very much like an introduction to the world, giving us the rules, explaining what Rithmatics is, get the characters into the right places so they could be involved in the main story, etc. Part One set everything up and, while I understand this is important to the story and is needed to explain the world that we're in, I couldn't help thinking "And when are we getting to the main story?"

My second fault was this: at the end of every chapter, there is a Rithmatic diagram. Here, you see a range of diagrams to explain things that are referenced in the story (ie, what a Line of Vigor is, what a Line of Warding is, how you use these in combat, etc [see right]). Now, as you are aware, I listened to the audiobook and this is where the problem lies. If you are reading the book, you can see the diagrams and you understand what they look like and how they work. However, if you're listening to the audiobook, while these are explain, you have no real idea what they look like. So, if someone mentioned "You need a 9-point circle of Warding with an ellipse", as an audiobook reader, you have no idea what this looks like, no real idea why this is important (when drawn correctly) and therefore, this distracts you from the story. While some of the Rithmatic diagrams are important (it helps to understand what exactly a Line of Vigor, Line of Forbiddance, Line of Warding and a Line of Making [aka Chalking] is), the others felt like a pointless footnote.

So, while I did enjoy the story once I got into it, my advice would be maybe get the book or borrow a copy from your library so you can understand the diagrams. But if this story sounds right up your street, go for it! And if you're on the fence, the prologue and the first five chapters are free to read at Tor.com.

Monday, 5 August 2013

SMILE - Jogging


Says nothing, but totally agrees. This is from Pinterest and you can follow my Smile Board on Pinterest. If you want. No biggie either way...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Night School: Fracture Tour

That's right, I am taking part in another blog tour... oh, don't groan! It's rare that I take part so I am quite excited. Today, I am announcing that I am one of the blog hosting the Night School: Fracture tour!


This is for the third book in the Night School series, written by CJ Daugherty. And I'm not the only taking part in this special tour. These peeps are too!


That's right. From Thursday 15th to Tuesday 20th, us six blogs (I Want To Read That, Atom [the Night School UK publisher], Planet Print, Serendipity Reviews, yours truly and Fluttering Butterflies) will reveal part of a Night School short story that CJ Daugherty wrote exclusively for the tour! Wanna know what Carter really thought of Allie that fateful night at the end of book 2? Think you know where it all went wrong? Think again.

And, if all goes to plan, my review of Night School: Fracture should be up sometime that week also...

And now, hopefully, under this paragraph, you should see a book trailer for Night School: Fracture!



Well, the ending seems... odd. Almost as if there's more to be revealed... (if you are curious to know what was in that letter, click here to find out!)