Friday, 19 September 2014

Forsaken by Jana Oliver

Alternate Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter (USA)
Series: The Demon Trappers, Book One
Publisher: Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Published: 7th January 2011
Number of Pages: 448
Book: Bought
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopia, Futuristic, Magic, Action-Adventure, Thriller-Suspense, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 13+
Contains: Swearing, Violence, Death, Drug and Alcohol References
Author's Blog: Jana Oliver

Riley Blackthorne.  Kicking hell’s ass one demon at a time…
Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she’s already following in his footsteps as one of the best.  But it’s tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated:
Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he’s God’s gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her life.
One thing’s for sure – if she doesn’t keep her wits about her there’ll be hell to pay…
For Older Readers

Riley Blackthorne is the only child of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne and is now following in his footsteps.  She's good too - not that the patriarchal idiots in charge of the Trapper's Guild appreciate that.  But with more and more demons coming into our world, they’re willing to let this girl into their all-man world.
Even after she totally screws up.  On a routine assignment, a Grade Five Geo-Fiend attacks.  In case you don't know, this is bad.  For one, Geo-Fiends are the highest level of demons under the Archdemons.  Two: demons don't work together.  Ever.  A Geo-Fiend shouldn't be helping a stupid little Grade One Biblio-Fiend out; it doesn't make sense.  But third, and even more worrying: why is the demon interested in Riley?  What does it want from her?
Trying to deal with necros, demons, the Guild, three hot guys and a sudden, devastating loss leaves Riley spiralling out of control.  
Who can she trust?  Who can she love?
And can she prove her worth - prove that she should be a Trapper?  While keeping her life - and her soul...?  While fighting the hardest damn battle the Trappers have ever faced?  When their most trusty weapon might be even less use than a fluffy little bunny?
And, more importantly, will her self-appointed keeper, the hot and infuriating Beck, let her do anything by herself?  Like, ever..? 
I’m going to start off by saying that I adored the setting of Forsaken.  You have so many hunter books now, thanks to Buffy and Supernatural.  And yes: this was a book about a demon trapper.  But it was set in the future – in a horrible world where much of society just seems to be falling apart thanks to a really serious economic crash that has left only the super-rich able to afford things like college or gas cars.  And then, of course, there's the whole demony-side...  Yeah, it was awesome.  I loved it!  It was so freaking cool!  And so different!  Basically, Forsaken was a book that was sure to win my heart before I even read the first word.  And man it succeeded.  It won my heart so damn quick and hard that I needed the next book.  Like, right now.  I'm hooked!  
Is it obvious that I loved Forsaken?  No?  Whoa.  Maybe I should expand...
Let's start with the characters.  I loved 'em all.  I especially loved how I could hear all the accents – I especially loved Beck's Southern drawl!  But, accents aside, my favourite character had to be Riley. She was just so brilliant – her witty quips and snarky comments were just hilarious and really reminded me of one Buffy Summers, AKA my fave kickass heroine ever!  Her habit of talking to herself was brilliant too – and so funny!  And she was strong as nails, tough as steel, but vulnerable too.  She was a totally kickass demon trapper, but she still had relationships problems, still got picked on.  She just felt real.  One-hundred-percent real real real.
And my joint favourite was without a doubt Denver Beck.  I adored Beck.  He was hot.  He was also such a sweetheart: the kindest, most caring guy ever.  He too was the perfect blend of steel and heart – he was one seriously epic fighter and Trapper, who took alcohol to meetings, wound people up (especially Riley) and acted pretty damn goofy.  But he was also so very vulnerable and broken.  I just loved all the hidden sides of Beck and he is definitely a huuuggee part of my needing to read on!  Team Backwoods Boy, people!  
The other guys in Riley's life were all very varying.  First off, Simon – such a sweetheart; so kind and good.    But he's a bit... I don’t know, too good?  Too... safe?  Ok, I admit.  I'm totally biased.  I like the snarky, bad-boy types.  So, basically, I'm a Beck girl through and through.  Sorry, Simon.  It's not your fault.  With Beck, you just didn't stand a chance with this girl. 
As for Ori... I kinda thought he'd have a bigger role, judging by the blurb.  But he only came in like over half way through.  However, he did have that whole mysterious-hot-type thing down.  He intrigued me.  I have two theories about him...  I can't wait to see which is right...
One of the guys I didn't like?  Harper.  I wanted to punch him.  Hard.  And yet... I don't know.  He had his redeeming factors.  Kinda.  Occasionally...   I don't like him by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn't shove him at a Five just for the hell of it.  High praise.  Kinda...
Enough of the characters and onto the world.  It was... well, terrifying.  It was just so gritty – even for urban fantasy.  I think it was the whole disintegrating society thing.  That added a whole other layer of grit.  And also just all the paranormal stuff too.  The demons... Well, I'd quite like a little Magpie.  They were cute.  But Geo-Fiends?  Grade Threes?  Um, no thanks.  Scary.  And Biblio-Fiends?  HELL NO!  Peeing on my books and destroying them?  I think I'd rather have a Grade Five in my house!  Of course, that's just the book addict talkin', not the, like, survival instinct part of me...  Speaking of: The necromancers terrified me...  But what was with the no-girls-in-trapper-club thing?  I mean, hellooo, sexist much, Trapper dudes?  And given how utterly kickass Riley is, you could do with a few more gals like her!  
Oh, but it’s good to know that McDonald's survives the demon apocalypse/collapse of society.  I've always been dreadfully, dreadfully worried that I won't be able to have a McFlurry one day.  My fears, it seems, are unneeded, though.
And yes.  That was all sarcasm.
But moving on... to the writing.  I freaking loved it.  Why?  Because the POV was split between Riley, who I loved, and Beck, who I freaking loved!  It was also really interesting – seeing his motives, seeing the world from his perspective.  Also, he's older than most YA narrators – more mature too.  Ergo: much more interesting perspective!  Kidding, kidding: I love Riley.  Love her to pieces.  But Beck... he was older, war-damaged, mature(ish) and... I just loved him, 'kay?  But seriously: loved the writing.  And the plot: I freaking LOVED the plot!  It was so awesomely... awesome.  So righteous and butt-kicking (I think they're two of Riley's favourite words).  I was totally hooked, start to finish.  And that ending!  Ohmigod!  Evil!  Gimme Forbidden.  Like now
With one kickass girl, a whole bunch of hot guys (hottest of all Beck) and a world to end all other paranormal worlds, Forsaken was one hell of a start to a series I just know I'm gonna love.  And to all you paranormal junkies out there?  Pick this up.  Right now.  It's so freaking awesome and unique and awesome.  And I know I said awesome twice, but it deserves two awesomes.  So pick it up!  It's freaking amazing and I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on Forbidden.
Dammit, where's a Magpie when you need one?

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Fire City by Bali Rai
Carnival Of Souls by Melissa Marr
Billi SanGreal by Sarwat Chadda

Happy Reading


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Series: Teardrop, Book One
Publisher: RandomHouse
Format: ARC
Published: 24th October 2013
Number of Pages: 464
Book: For Review*
Genre: Dark Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mythical, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 13+
Contains: Swearing, Death, Alcohol and Suicide References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Lauren Kate

Never, ever cry…
Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain.
After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning.  She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.
And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea.  Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense.
Can everything you love be washed away?

“Never, ever cry again…"
Ever since she was a little girl, Eureka Boudreaux's mother has been told that she can never, ever cry - no matter what.
But now Eureka’s mother Diana is gone, killed in a freak accident, and Eureka feels as dead as her mother.  She feels broken, empty, and secretly wishes she'd died alongside her mother.
And everywhere Eureka goes, there's Ander.  Ander, the mysterious boy who knows all kinds of things that he shouldn't know.  The boy who is the first person since the accident to worm his way past her defences, the boy who brings her closer to tears than she ever has been in her life.
And then, at the reading of her mother's will, Eureka is left an old book in a language no one she knows can read.  And Ander carries on following her, warning her, protecting her...
Behind the secrets and confusion lies an ancient story, one that ended in pain and death.  Can Eureka escape fate?  Or will everything she's ever loved just... wash away…?
I must say, I really did enjoy the Fallen series.  And therefore I just knew I needed Teardrop - ASAP.  I was even more intrigued once I read about the concept behind the book.  I've got to admit, I preferred Teardrop.  I just adored the uniqueness of the mythology and found myself one-hundred-percent hooked from the beginning.  
I also couldn't help seeing the similarities between Luce from the Fallen series and Eureka.  Both are pretty damaged, drawn to the mysterious types, have weird pasts/destinies...  For some reason, this kind of muddied my feelings towards Eureka for a while.  But I do prefer her to Luce, I think.  Even though Eureka is so very broken and distant, you can still feel her pain.  Anyone who's ever lost someone close to them will be able to relate to Eureka and what she feels for her dead mother.  So even though there were times when I could literally smack the back of Eureka's head, I still found her a compelling and thoroughly interesting character, albeit not always overly loveable.
Then there’s Ander...   I'm not entirely sure what to make of him.  I didn't love him or hate him.  He did the whole stalker thing, which I'm not a fan of (hello: felony?) but he was doing it for a reason, unlike certain other characters.  I just don't think he was really in it enough for me to get a proper read (no pun intended).  There was also the whole sorta insta-love – on Eureka's side, at least.  It was more understandable for Ander.  I'm really interested to see where the two of them are going...
As for the other characters, I absolutely loved her best friend Cat: she was brilliant!  And Eureka's younger siblings were too cute!
But I've got to admit, the whole best-friend-being-in-love-with-female-protagonist-causing-a-love-triangle is beginning to really bug me.  It's just so, so overused now.  I mean, why can't a boy and girl be friends without one being in love with the other or one being gay?  Seriously: people of opposite genders can really just be friends!  I know, I was shocked by this too….   Ok, sorry for the rant.  It’s not even overly justified here, because the before-mentioned love triangle wasn't what it first appeared to be...  
The plot: well, I found it damn near impossible to tell where the book was taking me.  I may have guessed a few twists, but I was just so drawn in by the story.  It may have started kind of slow following the prologue, but it added to the suspense, the mystery.  
And there's no denying that Kate's writing is amazing – both in Teardrop and in her other books.  I must say, I loved the kind of pained-angsty feel to the writing – it really fitted in with Eureka's personality.  However, perhaps due to the third person and Eureka's withdrawn emotions, I did find it a little hard to really connect with her...  The subtle(ish) religious undertones bugged me a bit, too.  As someone who isn't overly religious, I do get a little annoyed when religion is thrown in so often – although again, I guess it's to be expected given the mythology and setting...  But distance and religion aside, it's really hard to fault Kate's beautiful writing.
Especially any of the bits that referred to the Book of Love and the love story within.  I mean, the mythology in Kate's book is one of the most unique I've ever come across.  It's just so freaking cool!  Seriously cool!  Seriously!  And after that ending... well, I can't wait to see what happens next!
All in all, I loved Teardrop.  The story and mythology were both so utterly unique, the writing beautiful and the characters interesting.  Whilst certain aspects did bug me a little, I am desperately awaiting the second books – my mild annoyances were completely overshadowed by the bits I really like about this book.  

Star Rating:
3¾ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Revenants by Amy Plum

Happy Reading
* This book was received from RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review
** Quotes used are from a proof copy and may have been changed in the finished book

Monday, 15 September 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave, Book One
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Published: 7th May 2013
Number of Pages: 480
Book: For Review*
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Thriller Suspense, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction, Science-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Rick Yancey
Series' Site: The 5th Wave

The 1st Wave
Took out half a million people.
The 2nd Wave
Put that number to shame.
The 3rd Wave
Lasted a little longer, twelve weeks…  Four billion dead.
In the 4th Wave
You can’t trust that people are still people.
And the 5th Wave?
No one knows.
But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.  Runs from beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.
To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker.  Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.
Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

It’s taken me forever to get this review done, in no small part because I loved The 5th Wave so much I couldn’t find the words…  Also, once I found them, there were just too many words!  I rambled – a lot.  I’ve done my best to cut back…  I don’t think I was overly successful…  Enjoy the gushing!
"1st Wave: lights out.  2nd Wave: surf's up.  3rd Wave: pestilence.  4th Wave: Silencer.  What's next, Evan?  What is the 5th Wave?"
The 1st Wave killed all electrical items – everything run by a battery or electricity or an engine.  Everything.
The 2nd Wave created huge tsunamis that destroyed all cities near the sea.  Goodbye London, New York, Sydney...
The 3rd Wave created the Red Death, the Blood Plague, the Fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  It killed almost four billion people...  
The Fourth Wave created the Silencers – things that look like humans, act like humans, until you get too close.  Then, they kill you.  The 4th Wave isolated the survivors – made sure they couldn't trust anyone.
The 5th Wave?  Well, no one knows.  It hasn't happened yet.  But it will.  The Others want the humans dead.  They want Earth.  And they won't stop until they get it...
Cassie is a survivor.  She is alone, on the run, trying to avoid Drones and Silencers.  To do that, she needs to be alone.  The only way to stay alive is to stay alone.
But then she meets Evan Walker.  And he might be her only way of staying alive and finding the one thing she needs more than anything...
Meanwhile, a resistance is assembling.  But are their aims true – and if they are, how can they alone possibly defeat the Others – the ones who killed seven billion in the blink of an eye...?
The 5th Wave’s prologue drew me in completely and I just was hooked from the word go!   Right from the start, I loved it and knew that it would be my favourite alien-dystopian-sci-fi this year - maybe even ever!   I mean, I'm a huge alien-apocalypse fan.  Heck, I was watching Prometheus and Independence Day earlier this week, the latter while reading this book.  And while Independence Day is a truly brilliant film, all I kept thinking was: ‘Bleh.  Shut up, silly movie aliens, and let me go back to The 5th Wave.’  And that right there is how I know The 5th Wave should be seen as the best freaking alien dystopia out there right now.  
But now onto one of my favourite bits of the book (other than the alien stuff).  And that was Cassie.  She was brilliant – hard and vulnerable, kickass and broken.  And so so funny!  She was such an awesome character!
And Evan... oh, I just instantly fell for him!   He was just so... yum.  So perfect.  And I swear, it's just impossible not to love him.  Evan Walker has now been added to my list of book boyfriends...  But am I the only one who suspected, like right from the beginning…?  
Other characters: loved Zombie.  Loved Sammy.  Loved… in fact, all the characters were brilliant, be they human or alien.   They all felt very real, be they human, Other, or something… else...  They had the best and worst traits of humanity, both the strengths and weaknesses.
And the romance was brilliant.  Not too fast, not too slow.  Not too much, not too little.  Just perfection – making me one very happy little blogger!
I also loved the writing - Cassie's voice in particular.  She sounded completely real and like any other teen girl - horrible world and all aside.  But I just loved her sense of humour - it was kinda twisted and dark and wry, but it often made me smile.  I love a girl who can joke in the face of death. 
I also loved the split perspectives in this book.  It did confuse me to begin with but I soon fell even harder in love.  I love split POVs – they are my favourite style of writing.  And we had so, so many scrummy perspectives to gobble up, ranging from Cassie and Evan, little Sammy and even a Silencer.  Each of the chapters had a kind of distinct feel to them: amazing!  
And, oh, how completely hooking the plot was!  It was a mile a minute.  Just non-stop action, suspense and twists.  I loved zooming through it all!
I also really liked that despite the sci-fi setting there were still so many real issues involved - humanity, what's important, trust, love, family, strength.  And the world was really amazing!  It was like I was right there with Cassie – so terrifying!  And I loved his take on the alien genre - these were clever aliens, not the stupid kind that launch a human war.  As Stephen Hawking said...
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."
Oh, and I loved that Yancey's main character was a girl.  I hate it when authors feel they need to stick to their own gender – this is an all-audiences book.  It has something for everyone and is so un-stereotypical and fresh it's untrue.  Yay to Yancey for ignoring stupid gender norms!
The 5th Wave is insanely fun and addictive and exciting and I loved it to pieces.  And I must say, there was something truly masterful about the way Yancey linked all the stories together, making me doubt everything I thought I knew about a million times over and surprising me even more often.  It was so much fun and was such an easy and quick read – one you're going to want to read in a single sitting, food, work and sleep be damned, so be prepared to take a large chunk from your day to devour this book!  
Oh, and be prepared for the insane desperation for book two, the very second you put thus one down. It's all consuming, maddening, and yet The 5th Wave is so worth it.
Still.  Don't say I didn't warn you...

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
 Earthfall by Mark Walden
Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
Billi SanGreal by Sarwat Chadda

Falling Skies
The Walking Dead

Happy Reading

* This book was received from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Locked by Eva Morgan

Series: Locked, Book One
Publisher: Self
Format: Kindle
Published: 10th February 2014
Number of Pages: 219
Book: Sent For Review*
Genre: Romance, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Action-Adventure, Re-Telling, YA, NA
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol, Drug and Sexual References
Available On: Amazon, Barnes&Noble
Author's Blog: Eva Morgan

WARNING: This review will be an excited rambling of a fangirl. 
You have been warned…

Eighteen-year-old Irene Adler hasn’t cared much for living since her sister died. 
Until Sherlock Holmes moves in next door.
Sherlock is a conceited, sharp-cheekboned nightmare—and Irene’s first real friend in ages. Within a day, he’s partnered with her to solve their school's mysteries. Within a week, he’s saved her life in more ways than one. 
Within a month, the whole school thinks he's a murderer.
When Sherlock is found alone with a dead girl, he and Irene must crack the case under a hailstorm of hate—before the killer comes after the genius who gave Irene her life back. 

This is a modern-day reimagination of the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. 

“Great.  Apparently it's my fate to be frequently alone with Sherlock Holmes.  Fate has it out for me…”
Ever since Irene Adler’s sister died, she’s been just going through the motions.  Going to school, going home, and at night, sneaking out to solve problems for her fellow students under the alias Ares.
And then Sherlock Holmes moves into the house next to hers.
Sherlock is… different.  Ok, he’s a know-it-all, obnoxious, socially-impaired lunatic who gets bored far too easily and gets into fights far too often (though, really, what does he expect when he goes around pointing out everyone’s secrets and talking smack about their mothers?). 
He’s also Irene’s first friend since her sister died.
Before long, he’s become her partner in crime – or, more truthfully, partner is solving crimes. 
He also saves her.  He makes her feel alive again, makes her care again, deeply.  He protects her.
But then Sherlock is found standing over the body of a classmate – a classmate who hurt Irene.  The whole school is certain he’s the killer.
Now, it’s Irene’s turn to protect Sherlock, all the while trying to solve the case – before the killer comes back to take it all away, to take away the boy who saved her…
Team Sherlock Edit!  TheBookAddictedFanGirl at work! ;)
I am a major Sherlock Holmes addict.  So much so that I really ought to go to SA (Sherlockaholist Anonymous) meetings – Hello, my name is Megan and I am a Sherlockaholic – I am Sherlocked.  Seriously though, I've read the books, watched loads of the movies (old and the new ones with Robert Downey Jr – those are my favourites!) and, of course, watched Sherlock and even Elementary (it's my between-Sherlock-series hit).  Therefore, when Eva Morgan offered this book to me, I jumped on the chance to review it.  And, even though I had two books for my English Lit that really needed reading, I couldn't resist opening Locked up on my Kindle.  And damn if I wasn't hooked from that very first chapter!  So hooked, in fact, that I was still reading well into the wee hours.  I think it was like five am when I finally finished the book – in one sitting, I might add – and finally managed to calm myself down enough to get some sleep.  Ok, I didn’t calm down.  I was still crying.  I just kinda passed out.  And my brain was still totally Locked-obsessed when I woke up.  Yup, guys.  Seriously that freaking good.
Ok, I’m gonna start with my favourite thing about this book: Sherlock... I've always adored how utterly terrible he is at social interactions.  He's a freaking genius, but he's also an utter sociopath – especially in Sherlock, much of which I believe this book is based on.  And Locked brought me my favourite version of Sherlock Holmes in a teenager's body, with a teenager's attitude and Sherlock's terrifying intelligence.  The combination was brilliant, hilarious and utterly hot.  He was also so broken and vulnerable, in his own obnoxious way.  And he has been added to my list of Top Five Book Boyfriends.  Yup, he's made Top Five.  I've always loved Sherlock's various incarnations but Eva's?  The best by far.   I mean, how can one read this quote and not totally fall in love with Sherlock:
“How much longer will this last?
“Estimate: Not long.  Days at most.  Something will happen to break through her loyalty.  I'll do something to ruin it.
“I always do something.
I loved Irene too – how she could hold her own against Sherlock's insanity, her sense of humour.  She was a brilliant foil to his mildly-crazy ways, but she was a great character in her own rights and I loved her.
But I've got to say, what really made the book was the relationship between the two of them.  They had this connection, this bond, that was hilarious, beautiful, insane, touching and impossible to resist.  I loved the two of them together, even more than I loved them apart.
And this book... Sherlock... it totally broke my heart.  I mean, seriously.  I was an absolute bloody wreck by the end, sobbing my eyes out.  I'm not kidding.  I was literally pleading with the book for I don't even know how many pages: 'Please, no.  Please...  Just no, please...'  I may have forced myself back awake at 5am to finish it.  I couldn't leave it where I left it.  So thank you, Eva, for completely wrecking me!  I’m crossing literally everything hoping that there’s a second book – and soon!
Oh, the writing was amazing as well.  Most of it was written by Irene, but there were these little bits, these notes, that were written by Sherlock.  Sometimes his notes were funny, sometimes confusing and sometimes they were heartbreaking.  I really loved Sherlock’s bits – but Irene was an amazing narrator.  I’m just a bit Sherlocked – especially on Locked’s Sherlock.  Sorry: I’m totally biased!
So if you haven’t gathered, I adored Locked.  I only rarely get the time to read self-published books now, but I am so glad I made time for Locked.  It’s actually one of the best things I’ve read this year – and I want all Sherlock fans to go buy it!  Even if this is, kind of selfishly, because I want a sequel really really soon!
So Sherlock fans: go, read Locked.  Come back and gush.  I swear to God, you will not be disappointed.  There are just… no words for how good this book was and no end to how much I could gush over it.  I just loved it so much!  And I need a sequel – please Eva!

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Empty Coffins Series by Gregg Olsen
Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy Reading
* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review