Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Me and my lazy self

So, it seems that school has resumed, and I will be bombarded with homework, assessments and assignments, not to mention Exams. Ack.
I will probably reduce the number of "proper" reviews that I do. A lot. GAH! the picture took SO long to load...
anyway

Or maybe this is just me making up an excuses (which it is) for being lazy


Yep, that's a dog. sliding down the stairs. hehehe

GAH. Well, I am attempting to write a review, oh wait, correction: was attempting, but I'm falling asleep.
darn school, it's ruining my nocturnal sleeping patterns...

Hopefully I'll have another review up sometime this week. Maybe not...
I'm so sleepy--ZZZzzzzzz

UPDATE
Grrrr the picture didn't work!!
If anyone knows now to upload .gif images... let me know.
GRRRRRRRRrrrr

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Agency: The Traitor and the Tunnel by Y.S Lee


Mary Quinn returns in another intriguing novel overflowing with suspense, scandals and romance...

After nearly 2 years with the agency, Mary is allocated her first real assignment: to discover the culprit behind petty thefts in Buckingham Palace. Disguised as a domestic, Mary must work quietly and efficiently without alerting anyone of her true agenda. Unfortunately, her kind hearted intentions leaves her noticed by none other than the Prince of Wales.

When one of the English Elite is murdered in a shifty opium den in the Prince's company, a Chinese sailor is accused, but things take an entirely different spin when Mary discovers the murderer shares the same name as her father, someone whom until recently, she assumed to be dead. In order to learn more information on the matter, Mary must gain the Prince's trust without revealing too much.

Beneath the palace, James Easton of Easton Engineering is at work on the old unstable sewer tunnels. When Mary stumbles upon a secret tunnel leading into the sewers, she finds herself in need of help from James, but in order to work successfully together, they must either accept their passionate feelings for each other or completely deny them, something that neither party is willing to do.

Dangerous schemes are being put into action, and Mary's role in uncovering them is more important than ever, one minor slip could be the end of not just her, but the entire royal family as well...


------------o_O----------


This was yet another completely riveting and undeniably enjoyable book by Y.S Lee, the story was one that was completely unpredictable, but it it's not one of those books that makes you feel lost and confused. Another thing is that The Traitor and the Tunnel is very original, Y.S Lee approaches different subjects in her own unique way, she incorporates her own style of writing into the story, making it a must-read!

The stories are beautifully written in a style that very much suits the time and era. I especially enjoy the prologues of Y.S Lee's books, they are undoubtedly mysterious and enthralling. If the reputation of these books alone isn't enough to convince one to pick up the book, the prologue will. I was completely drawn in from the very first page, as cliché as that may sound, but it's true! :)

The characters are all so carefully planned out, everything about them is fitting, if a person has a moustache then it's for a darn good reason :)
But seriously, things that may seem trivial at the start become more than essential to the plot and its success, it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Mary Quinn is a brilliant protagonist for such an inspirational series, third book in and she still manages to impress me with her boldness, innovation and intelligence. Mary isn't afraid to take risks if it's for a good cause and she's brave but also a witty and empathetic character, a radiant combination.

As I've probably mentioned before, I love books that feature a strong, and independent female character especially in times when women were expected to be meek and compliant.
haha. I am woman, hear me ROAR!!!

I feel that Mary doubts herself and her abilities sometimes, even in previous books, she's always afraid that she's not doing the best that she can and this is something that many people can relate to. Mary eventually gains more confidence and finds strength in others. She's also willing to sacrifice a lot, Mary feels a huge sense of debt to the Agency because they saved her and gave her everything. Yes, I agree that she does owe a lot to the Agency, but I don't think it's fair that she feels as though her life is theirs to control and in the Traitor and the Tunnel she finally has the power to make her own decisions, free from the feelings of debt.

The Traitor and the Tunnel is a lot more emotional and personal than the previous books, and the stakes are higher than ever. Mary finally has a chance to find out if her father is alive, and if she should risk everything to help him and the choices she's presented with in this book are ones that definitely change the course of the books in the future.

I'll admit I didn't want to read this book and have left to the last minute, only because I didn't want to have to wait another year for the next book. :D I can tell you now, I don't regret reading it, and never will. The Traitor and the Tunnel is a magnificent book that will keep you glued to the pages for hours on end.

5/5 stars!

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver


Alera is now Hytanica's newly crowned queen, a person with the title, but no real power. Her only concern is to run the household and raise the children... her forced marriage with Steldor is becoming more and more strained, especially when he discovers her past relationship with Narian, who is still nowhere to be found.
When Alera's sister, Miranna, is abducted right from the palace by Cokyrians, Alera believes that nothing could be worse... Only to discover that the Cokyrians are preparing to launch a full scale attack, and the man that will lead: Narian

Under Narian's direction, Hytanica will fall...


------o_O--------

Allegiance was a huge improvement compared to Legacy, it retained its unique ideas and themes but the writing was a lot better, there was far less unnecessary description (phew what a mouthfull) and more focus on what was important, rather than discussing each very-boring item in a room, Cayla Kluver directed her attention onto the characters and the current scene that is taking place.

The story was better developed and there was a lot more action than in the previous book, although there were several gob-smacking twists, it all flowed very nicely. The plot was once again very unpredictable, with people dropping dead like flies and others fighting for justice! (hahaha that sounds so cheesy). The enemies were closer than ever, and the threats were very real. There was also the appearance of magic in this book, in Legacy, the characters were only hinting at such a force, but you actually get to see it in action in Allegiance.

I found that Alera actually puts her money where her mouth is, and is useful (occasionally). Hmmm... She's willing to step up to new things now for the sake of others and (dare I say?) is actually growing a backbone. Still quite naive, and stubborn. Alera is a little too soft, and is unwilling to sacrifice some things/ people for the good of others. She seems to hold onto some things(as useless as they are)for dear life whilst dropping others carelessly. I can give her the credit for trying to help, and yes as mentioned before, she sometimes does. I like to think that Alera is growing a little more with each book, gaining more experience, becoming stronger, and hopefully this is the case :)

I'm really liking the members of the elite guards, they're all so unique and I reckon they're more interesting than Alera! London, is of course my favourite, why wouldn't he be? he's mysterious and loyal, he's been through much but still pushes on, and he's always the one that ends up saving the others, even if it means giving up his own life.

The romance, ah the romance...
I was without a doubt curious about the marriage between Alera and Steldor, but it wasn't how I quite expected it, sure they have their jabs at each other and their little childish spats but Steldor is actually quite nice.

**dun dun duuuuuuun** Signalling the end of the world :)

But seriously, Steldor is far nicer a character, and he's changed so much. It makes the way Alera acted seem completely cruel, like kicking a little puppy, because in Allegiance, Steldor reveals a kinder more compassionate side. I was actually hoping that Alera would turn to Steldor and just forget Narian, who was absent for much of the book, but no such luck **sigh**, it would have been a nice change to see Alera with Steldor...

Overall, a very intriguing read, and now I really want to learn what happens in Sacrifice, the turn of events in Allegiance is astonishing!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Red Riding Hood Movie


So, I've just finished watching Red Riding Hood, the movie.
I read the book before the movie, and for those of you who haven't read my review, it's just here

^^^^^^ read before continuing :)

Ok. I repeat. ON. A. HUNCH!
I still can't get over that, and I probably never will.
Gah! I just can't believe she did that! She just--wait. I better stop or the majority of this post will be on Valerie's stupidity/ rashness/ brainlessness **deeps breaths**

So, I'm not sure which came first, the movie or the book... but I just want to say that half the book was cut out from the movie or the other way around if the book was adapted from the movie... I understand that in order for the movie to fit within the time limits, it needed to cut out stuff from the book. Yes. that is wholly acceptable. I wouldn't say that I liked the movie a lot, but i sure do prefer it to the book.

The movie was alright I suppose, though I found myself admiring the scenery more than the actual actors and acting.
But let me just say, the sets were gorgeous! the end credits were breathtaking! I absolutely love how the vivid red of Valerie's Hood contrasts with the snow, and the length of the fabric twisted in the wind. **sigh** gorgeous.
Me wants a red cloak :)

The acting was pretty average, nothing that would make your eye-balls pop out. But then again, this is coming from someone admiring the sets. :)
I do like how it all comes together in the end though, much more tidy than the endless-book. The flashes of memory, the ominous music, the gravelly voice of the father, these are things that the book couldn't quite show.

ok. that is all, if you have read the book I recommend watching the movie to compare.
If you've watched the movie, how'd you feel about it?

Black Heart ARC Contest

So, Holly Black is holding a contest for 3 signed ARCs of Black Heart, of the Curseworkers series.
You can learn more here

so. um... I've decided to have a go, it's not much, but... I had time on my hands
I drew a poster thingy... the quote on the side(which doesn't show up properly on my picture) says:
"It feels like the whole world has turned upside down. There aren't any more rules. "
That's from White Cat, the first book of the series.

so... Voila!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Legacy by Cayla Kluver


16 years ago, the bloody war between the Kingdoms of Hytanica and Cokyri ended abruptly, but not on peaceful terms. The ruthless Cokyrians unexpectedly withdrew from battle, but not without a final act of coldblooded murder, 49 newborn boys were taken from their cradles, their lifeless bodies strewn outside the city walls. But a mystery surrounds the story for only 48 bodies were returned.

17 year old crown Princess Alera, lives in peace and safety within the castle walls, knowing nothing of the hardships of war. But her father, the King, feels the strain after 30 long years on the throne and demands that Alera find a man, a husband, fit to rule, though it seems he means one man in particular, a man Alera detests: Lord Steldor.

It seems that fighting off the unwanted advances of Lord Steldor is Alera's biggest problem, but when a series of confusing and confronting events leads to the arrival of Cokyrian raised Narian, Alera finds herself challenging everything she's known.

A war draws near with the Cokyrians, and Alera, with her heart divided between duty and love, must make a decision before the Kingdom is destroyed.


----------------o_O-------------

Legacy was a very captivating story, woven with great artistry and imagination. The idea behind the story was one very different from books I've read before, and it just kept on giving, just when you think you've got it all worked out... BAM!!! something jumps out and crushes your theory into a bajilion smithereens. I found myself really enjoying the story, though I thought the pace lagged a little in the middle. The writing was good, but I found that the descriptions piled on top of one another, and often repeated themselves, it was a tad overwhelming.

I was completely enthralled by the prologue though, it was simply put, brilliant. The first couple of lines had my eyes glued to the page. Cayla Kluver managed to use the right combination of words and setting. it was darn creepy, as (hopefully) was intended, but it also left an air of mystery.

Alera was a very fitting protagonist, as Princess she is obviously very privileged but she doesn't take advantage of her wealth or status (much :D hehehe) So no, she's not too spoilt (although she's a little whiney).
I like how she's eager to challenge the positions and jobs associated with women, and embrace new things. Alera is rebellious by Hytanican standards and refuses to bow under the pressure of her father, or at least tries to. Though she maybe be a rebel, she can also be loyal. At times she seems a little misguided, though her intentions are always honest and noble. Her curious nature often gets her into trouble, but she's stubborn (in a good way) and doesn't back down easily.
Alera's love life is a jumble! It seems that though she may be in love with Narian, she has some sort of mixed feelings for Steldor, because though she may say she detests him, she still likes his smell :) hehehehe
Reading about Alera was undoubtedly fascinating and entertaining.

The other characters were very well written. And Alera's two suitors couldn't be more different which makes the story just that little bit more interesting.
Steldor is arrogant, big headed, narcissistic... whatever you want to call it. But the trouble with him, is that he has a nicer, more charming side to him... Whilst Narian is an enigma, his past is a mystery... everything about him is unknown but he's thoughtful and gives his full undivided attention to Alera, doesn't treat her like an inferior woman.
Ah! decisions decisions decisions...
Alera's relationship to her bodyguard London is also very different, and I really enjoyed being introduced to all the different members of the Elite Guard.

I can't wait dive into the unique fantasy world once more in Allegiance!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Fairy Letters by Kailin Gow


A short Novella consisting the letters Prince Kian wrote to Queen Breena during their separation.

They were intended for each other at birth, but fate placed them on opposite ends of the battlefield.
Prince Kian of the Winter court had once believed that his childish love for Princess Breena of the Summer had faded with time, but all it took was a single glance of Breena to bring all the feelings back, ten-fold.

Love is a dangerous thing, the most dangerous of all magics and forbidden as well, and when the love of a winter prince and summer princess unfurls, the consequences will be dire.

For their own safety, and the good of their kingdoms, Prince Kian and Queen Breena have parted, but Kian's love for Breena remains strong and he finds himself craving her presence...

They ignored all the warnings, and now Kian's about to find, the hard way, how dangerous love can be...


--------------o_O------------


That wasn't really a blurb, it was more a quick overview of what has happened, really quick :)
The Fairy Letters, are basically just that, it consists of letters from Prince Kian to Breena and in it he shares his memories, his hopes, his wonderings and basically his heart (cough, cheesy anyone?)

I welcomed the perspective change, it was actually very interesting, being able to see and hear things from Kian's point of view. This short novella complements the previous and most likely following book, filling in missing details and adding in more depth.

I enjoyed Kian's letters, as cheesy and almost sickeningly sweet some of the lines may be. The stories of his past were especially interesting, as well as the history or at least beliefs of the fey, which until now has been rather vague. The memories that Kian had of Breena and himself when they were younger were quite adorable, and it showed their bond even from such a young age. Kian's memories really give you a different view on things, and a lot more understanding.

The letters, though often a little repetitive, soon reveal a story of their own, at first telling us Kian's feelings of their separation, and his longing, then gradually morphing into doubt, anger and feelings of betrayal as events unfold.
You can really hear and feel his passion through the poetic and honest way that he writes, and then as you continue you can see the first threads of anger and madness weaving their way into his correspondence. And then his desperation... It's all very clever.

Shasta also features briefly with letters of her own, recalling her own memories of Rodney, you see her in a way that isn't present in the actual books, here, she's kinder, more relaxed. But there's also a desperate note in the way she writes, her frustration at the Court for their separating her from Rodney. She also reveals her plan for them to escape into the human world and her words hint at something a little sinister, of something that could have been the reason for the cliffhanger that concluded book 3, Silver Frost.

That's all :)

I actually really want to read book 4, Frost Kisses, now, Kailin Gow really knows how to write a cliffhanger!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scarlet by A.C Gaughen


They rob the rich to give to the poor...

Robin Hood and his band of merry men are well known throughout all of Nottinghamshire, protecting the poor from the corrupt and greedy Sheriff. Robbing carriages by day, and hunting in Sherwood by night, everyone thinks they know these charming men who provide them with food and money... or so they think.

In an attempt to run away from her past, Scarlet joins Robin Hood's merry men disguising herself as a shy, but fierce boy, Will Scarlet. Only the Hood and his men know that Scarlet is a girl, but even they don't know her full story, Scarlet can't risk revealing too much for her sake, and the sake of the others.

But her past comes back to haunt her when the Sheriff hires a thief-taker to capture Robin Hood and his friends. The thief-taker is none other than Lord Gisbourne, someone who will brutally and mercilessly kill anyone in his path... especially if he knows Scarlet is hiding among the villagers.

As tensions and romances run high in the crew, Scarlet has to decide where her loyalties lie, and if some things are worth sacrificing...

------o_O------

ta-da! My blurb.
Let me just say... I LOVED SCARLET!!!

Why? Because the story is one that is magnificently studied and meticulously planned, allowing the story to be told from a fierce, feisty and enigmatic girl by the name of Scarlet, and changing the story of Robin Hood as we know it.

Scarlet was one the best retellings I've read, and please, take my word on it. The story was one filled with action, betrayals, ruthless killings, mystery and to top it all off a beautiful romance. It was amazingly written, the dialogue as well as the scenes, all of which showed a massive amount of care on detail. A.C Gaughen has definitely done research on the matter, which only adds to the awesomeness of such as awesome book.

The mystifying girl with a secret past. Scarlet releases a morsel of information now and then, but it keeps you guessing. Some bits you can (or think you can) guess but nothing can prepare you for how it all comes together.

Now, the characters. It could be said that I am being a tad biased due to the brilliance of the female character, and hey, I'm not denying it. But boy does she deserve the praise. Scarlet was the character that had the power to make the story great, or shoot it down in flames. She definitely didn't do the second because she put simply, she was awesome. Scarlet was this smart, witty, charming but a little stubborn 18 year old heroine that just kept the story going throughout the entire book. She wasn't an infallible character but I don't think she was intended to be, everyone has their weaknesses and omitting them would make the character unrealistic.

Scarlet was a brave character, but there were times when her flight instinct took over, you could call her a coward... or you could also call her smart. I'm betting on the latter. Despite her history, Scarlet loves her current life more than anything, I wouldn't say she enjoyed helping the unfortunate, I believe she'd rather everyone was well off enough that they didn't need her help but needless to say she would help them if just so they could survive the day. Loyalty is another of Scarlet's qualities, she'll fight for her friends, even if it means giving up her own life, and that is something that is undoubtedly brave.

One other thing. Her weapon of choice? Throwing knives. YEEESSS!!!!!! yes yes yes!!!
If there is one thing I love, it's knives... If Scarlet hadn't already broken my awesomeness-meter, this would have sent it soaring.

Now that I've finished (actually, I'm not finished but I'll move on because I can go on about Scarlet's awesomeness for ever) I shall move onto the others. The main-ish characters other than Scarlet consist of Robin Hood (Captain obvious, anyone?), John Little and Much. You've also got Tuck and the Sheriff etc.

Their crew is a small one, but always very lively. The characters are all very well written, each has their own personalities... I'd challenge you to find a character that's like another in this book (excluding the greedy nincompoops because they're the same in every book) but I don't think there are any. Robin Hood, is portrayed younger in this novel than in most retellings, he's only 21 but is still the clear leader. He practically sweats hope and inspiration :) He's caring and protective of his crew and will protect them with his life, he's a tad brooding and quick tempered which makes the story that much more entertaining.

At the age of 18, John Little, is a flirty bear of a man (young man?? boy??) who is also very protective of the crew, Scarlet in particular. He's funny if not a tad pesky at times, but it really does suit his character. He is also very persistent, and I found myself screaming at him several times. "Gah. he's gonna ruin everything!"

Much doesn't play as much (hahahaha get it? ) of a major part in the crew as the others, his story is that he's the miller's son and had his hand chopped off by the cruel Sheriff and was recruited by Robin and Co. He's a sweet boy and the youngest of them all at 16, don't underestimate him though, he's got a lot of fight in him.

I felt that A. C Gaughen was very, very clever in using the classic male character of Will Scarlet and converting him into a girl. It was pure genius. And the name! Scarlet. It's just so dang fitting, I love love lovie love it! I wouldn't and probably couldn't have chosen a better name for heroine such as this. Dang! I seriously don't know why no one's picked up on this before!

A fact that even a clueless fool like myself knows is that there is a beautiful, young, tame, defenceless, damsel-in-distress maiden by the name of Marian (at least this is what I learnt from the cute Disney version) who Robin ends up loving. Gah. All throughout the story I was waiting for this-this thing to jump out and ruin the story.

I could see it in my head:

"Oh help me Robin" She would cry from her window, waving her lacy handkerchief daintily in the wind, big eyes watering and looking oh-so -tragic.
eugh. **shudders**

But what's this? YES!!!
The radiant author that we know as A.C Gaughen would never allow such an abomination into the story. Let us all join hands in praise!!! Oh how could I have ever doubted you? A.C Gaughen wrapped it all up beautifully with a gorgeous bow on top.

Scarlet was an incredible story that now has me seriously doubting history, could Will Scarlet have been a girl? It could be true you know... :)
The story was absolutely enthralling and I have no doubt it will keep readers captivated for the years to come.

5/5 stars!
READ IT!!! I COMMAND THEE!!

The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge


The review of The Nightmare Garden I promised several posts back:

Aoife Grayson is on the run, not just from her mistakes, not just from her Iron madness, but from the rivalling influences that each want to use the unique powers of her Weird for their own sinister reasons. When she destroyed the Lovecraft Engine, Aoife had no idea what she was getting herself into, and now she will pay the price.

The worlds are becoming unstable, her destruction managed to somehow uproot them and it won't be long before the worlds come crashing down. Creatures from other worlds are already slipping through to the Iron Land and Aoife has to find a way to turn back time, to stop herself from ever believing the words of the manipulative fae, Tremaine.

When Aoife hears whispers of a mysterious Nightmare Clock, it's almost too good to be true but the lies and secrets that are twisted around the rumours make it impossible to discern truth from lie. Time is working against her, and Aoife must find the Clock before it all tumbles down...

-------o_O---------

ok. So, Book Two of the Iron Codex series.

It took me a while to remember all the details and happenings of the previous book, but that's the good thing about the Nightmare Garden, it gives you some of the details of what happened in the Iron Thorn, but it doesn't bore you with exhaustive details. It gives you enough so that it all comes rushing back and as you go through the book, you pick up on more things and basically add that to the image formed in your head.

The idea behind the Nightmare Garden, and the entire series, is very intricate and also very original, Caitlin Kittredge really does know how to write a book :) It's different and will keep you reading, wanting to unravel all the secrets it holds.

I enjoyed the characters, and what they had to contribute to the story. They were all very complex, though I found that some characters, whilst prominent in the first book, weren't as important in this one. Cal, for example, played a huge part in the Iron Thorn but wasn't really essential to the story in the Nightmare Garden. Dean is still present and as confident as ever though, so that's a bonus :)

Aoife was a little irritating at certain parts in this book, at least she was to me, she seemed to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I mean seriously, shouldn't you learn from your mistakes? She was rushing things and running from people who genuinely wanted to help her. She was brave, I don't doubt that, but she was also very stubborn. She is a very realistic character though, she's not perfect and she's not invincible but she still manages to get around.
One thing that can be said about Aoife is that she is loyal and determined, she has a lot on her plate for a 16 year old, and you truly can't blame her for some of the things. I can't say I agree with some of Aoife's decisions but I'm sure she will find a way to fix what she has broken.

At around 430 pages, the Nightmare Garden is quite thick, but don't let the number of pages discourage you, because before you know it; the pages will be gone. There is always something happening within the pages of the Nightmare Garden, never a dull moment when Aoife Grayson is around. The writing style is easy to follow and it manages to draw you in, so that you feel connected to the story.

Now. beware the massive bombshell at the end. It will blow you away. It will.
**sobs**
I'll be reading the third book when it's released and I will report!

The Nightmare Garden is a spectacular package of steampunk action, with scheming fae and flesh-eating monsters. It will stun you with its action and enthrall you with its magic!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Live Chat with Becca Fitzpatrick

Watch live streaming video from goodreads at livestream.com

WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT.
I'm so sorry that this is up so late...
I just discovered that you could embed the video :)
hehehe

Hush Hush Book 4 Title!!


Ok.
Currently watching a LIVE chat with Becca Fitzpatrick and the title was revealed!
wait for it...
**drum roll**

Finale

oh it's perfect!
It fits with the whole musical theme thingy

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

AND the fourth book will be the last, if you haven''t caught on with the title.... :)

Soooo excited. Words cannot express my excitement. eeeeeeeeeeeee

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

I'm currently reading this as a galley and won't be able to post the review until January 14, but I'd like to share with you all a chapter sampler of the Nightmare Garden, book two of the Iron Codex series.

The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott


We know you are here, our brothers and sisters.
We will, one day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace.
For now, we watch from afar, benevolently.


The Detonations changed everything. The searing bright lights destroyed homes, lives, the world as we knew it. The small fraction of people that survived live with the consequences, their bodies are fused with whatever it was they were close to during the Detonation... concrete, furniture, animals... and even other humans.

Pessia Belze spends her days dreaming about the Before, about a carefree life with a myriad of bright colours and hopes. She'll turn sixteen in a few days, but instead of the gifts and parties that those from the Before were given, Pressia will be taken away to be trained as a soldier, and if she's too weak... to be used as a live target. Her only hope to survive is to run from her life, from all she has known.

Patridge Willux is one of those privileged enough to reside in the Dome, and escaped the Detonations unscathed. Those inside the Dome live an easy life, almost unaffected by the Detonations, their bodies are still healthy and perfect... they are Pure. When Patridge discovers an intricate web of lies and schemes, he begins to challenge all that he's been taught, including the death of his mother, who may still be alive... outside of the Dome.

The mystery surrounding the Detonations are slowly unravelling, but one thing is for sure, it will end in a Bang.

------o_O-------

yep. that was my blurb :)

Let me just say that this was Pure brilliance! There was action, there was action... and there was action. Did I mention there was action? :) hmmm... the thought must have slipped my mind. :D

Ok. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, Pure was magical, the way it just manages to incorporate in all the things that make a book. The story was one that I could not put down with twists and turns running wildly throughout the book. Pure was unique, the ideas that Julianna Baggott came up with were, simply put, a tad scary.The details that she managed to put in honestly makes one shiver at times, and downright scream (in your head though) at others. One could argue that the idea of mutants or domes have been used before, but it's the way that Julianna Baggott writes about them, in her own style, that makes the ideas her own. Having said that, Pure was also beautiful, the way the writing just seemed to flow poetically, the words complemented each other, it was a pleasure to read. The story was fast paced and as aforementioned, action packed.

The story is told from a range of characters, each introduced into the story at the appropriate times, I've probably said this in my others reviews, but I love it when a story has multiple perspectives, it just gives the book more freedom to develop and to change dramatically without warning. There are some books that are completely destroyed because of the unnecessary use of perspective changes, but Pure isn't one of them. Yes, once again the name of the character you're viewing the story from is shown at the beginning of the chapter along with the chapter name except for riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight at the end, but by then it's pretty clear who it is.

The characters were brilliant... Pressia. She's not that fake too preppy, too perfect heroine that so many stories have. No, she's a survivor and she has her own strengths and skills. She's also very selfless and caring which is of course is a very nice thing to be :D
Overall, I think she was the ideal character for Pure.

Then you've got Patridge, Bradwell, El Capitan, Lyda and the other characters in between. They all have their own stories and they're all completely essential to the plot. Remove one, and the story just isn't complete. They're all so unique, Julianna Baggott has done an amazing job creating these characters.

I'd also like to mention the extensive research, it sounded professional and really helped to develop the story. It's always good if an author knows what they're writing about :D

Pure was absolutely riveting, and I can honestly say, it's one of my favourit-est (I don't think that's a word :3 ) books of this year.

Loved it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges


A world created by Robin Bridges where the supernatural resides among the normal and clueless. There you have Katerina Alexandrovna, a young debutante and Duchess of Oldenburg. Her gift is one she considers a curse, for she can raise the dead. After having kept this fact a secret for many years, a small slip-up to protect a member of the Imperial family plunges Katerina into a world she's never known.

Her necromancy attracts the unwanted attention of several rival parties, each wanting her gift for their own agendas. Lies and schemes surround her, and Katerina no longer knows who to trust. The increasing number of deaths of the Tsar's guard causes rumours and theories to swirl through the courts: someone is hunting these men, and it's up to Katerina to find who.

Faced with the ultimate decision, Katerina must decide who she will aid and who she will turn to.

--------o_O----------
Well, what can I say?
The Gathering Storm was simply fascinating, a magnificent blend of supernatural, romance and intrigue. Necromancy is something that has always enthralled me, it's dangerous but it's got this spark about it. One that can make or break a book.

At first, Katerina doesn't want anything with what she considers her curse, but as events occur, she realises that she doesn't really have a choice, for others have made it for her. And then she's faced with a terrible decision, one that could completely alter, not only her life, but the lives of many.

I think it's safe to say that Katerina is a reluctant heroine, she doesn't want anything more in life than to become a doctor and discover the cures to many diseases. She's a very considerate character who is selfless but not without her moments of courage. and without these, the book would cease to be half as excellent as it is.

Despite her upbringing in a society where girls are bred only to be shipped off to a rich aristocrat with a flashy title, or to form an alliance, Katerina has a bit of a rebellious streak, wanting to marry for love, wanting to become a doctor, and this makes her a very admirable character. Her determination, although she may be a little reckless at times, is another admirable trait.

The other characters in the book, were all different with various roles and personalities. They all had different parts to play and I had different reactions to all of them, the "villains" to be precise. Wow. They were eeeeeevvviiiiiiillllll. I think my skin is crawling from just the memory, the way they were described, their voices, appearance, all this added up to their overall image.

The plot of this book could only be said to be original, and unpredictable. I'll admit, I found myself a little lost with all the long names and the twisting plot, it was a tad overwhelming. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing though, I found the different style of writing to be all the more interesting.

With a taste of the first book, I can't wait to delve into the second... as soon as it comes out :)

Cover of City of Lost Souls


oh snap
this looks good... really good.
the cover. ooooooooh pretty cover.
**strokes laptop screen**

This is gorgeous!!! drool-worthy. And if the cover says anything about the actual story, it should be good.

I repeat: oh snap

Ok. I've read City of Fallen Angels, Book 4, and I have to admit, it didn't find it as amazing in comparison to the previous books.
It was still pretty good, but not as good as the others.

I really, really hope for the sake of millions of fans out there that this book will be good, and not just average good, scream-like-a-banshee and run-a-bloody-10km-marathon-in-a-duck-costume good.
So yes, my expectations are high, but I think, if Cassandra Clare puts her mind to it, City of Lost Souls can reach them.