Wednesday 31 August 2011

Sorceress by Celia Rees

Series: Witch Child, Book Two
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Published: First: 4th March 2002
This Edition: 6th July 2009
Number of Pages: 320
Book: Bought
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Fantasy, YA, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 11+
Contains: Violence, Death, Sexual References – Nothing Graphic
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Celia Rees

Sequel to the bestseller Witch Child.
Alison Ellman is still searching for information about Mary Newbury.  She has a diary and some scattered information about Mary’s life, but Mary has disappeared into the forests of New England and Alison has no way of following her across the centuries.
Then Alison meets Agnes Herne, a descendant of Mary’s who has a special skill that allows her to contact Mary in the spirit world.  Now at last we hear Mary’s story after her ill-fated time in Beulah – a story that takes her across the New World in an epic search for a home.

Mary Newbury was a witch.  She was discovered, and had to flee from the village in which she was living, but in the process was forced to leave her diary behind.  Nothing more is known other than that she escaped the village with her life.  Back in our time, Alison Ellman is desperate for more information on Mary, to find out what happened to her after the events of her diary.  And, just as she’s about to give up, Agnes shows up.  Agnes knows of a white woman who lived with her Native American ancestors’ tribe, and she believes that this woman is Mary.  Agnes also thinks that she is descended from the witch, and has her powers of sight.  With this, Agnes can live Mary’s life; see it all in her head.  She knows what happened to Mary and Mary wants her story told.  So.  What did happen to Mary Newbury?
I adored Witch Child and was desperate to know what had happened to Mary.  Sorceress was a very worthy sequel, in my opinion.  It was told by Mary, through Agnes, with the occasional chapters told in 3rd person about Alison and Agnes’ research.  The writing was just incredible, as it always is with Celia Rees, and even better than in Witch Child– though the triple narrative could be a little confusing at times. 
Mary was just as strong as she was in the previous book – more so, actually.  She had matured a lot, gotten used to her gifts and even become an ever so powerful powwaw, sorceress, shaman – whatever you wish to call it.  Mary had had to go through a lot of pain, a lot of hardship, but instead of weighing her down, it just made her stronger and more vibrant.  Also, she got some amazing new skills: incredibly cool.
Agnes was equally strong, and was a powerful girl, much like Mary in her determination and will power.  She was just the kind of character you could like and trust instantly, as well as having a kind of air of mysterious magic surrounding her…  Fellow research-partner Alison was the most determined character I have ever read about.  Not in a bad way, just in an unwavering, focused manner.  She would do anything – anything – to find out what happened to Mary.  Warm, kind, enthusiastic and intelligent, I liked her just as quickly as I did Mary and Agnes.
While these were all amazing characters, what I loved most about Sorceress was the Native American ways of life.  I just loved learning more about all the rituals, the beliefs, how close they felt to the earth.  I hated the “white men” for trying to take their land: What right did they have?  None, in my opinion.  They could have all lived peacefully alongside one another…  Also in my opinion, the “white men” were more savage than the so-called “savages”.
This was a great book, full of history, family, loss and finding yourself.  I just loved the storyline, and all the characters, even though at times it was rather confusing.  It was wonderful to see what happened to all my characters, how they had changed.  I really love Celia Rees: she’s brilliant and all her stories feel so very real.  I honestly felt like I travelled back in time as I read.
I also learnt what true courage is, true bravery, true goodness.  And, I found the answer to my question from the previous book: magic really does exist.  In this world, at least.  Can but hope, right?

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
 Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading

Waiting on Wednesday (#22)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's a weekly meme all about the books that are coming out soon that we really can't wait to read.

What I'm waiting for this week is easy-peasey.  Next-in-series-books.  And they are...
The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)The Golden Lilly
Series:Bloodlines, Book Two
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: 19th June 2012
Published By: Razorbill
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis On Goodreads
I am LOVING Bloodlines, so you can understand why I am literally DESPERATE for the next in the series!  And isn't the cover GORGEOUS?!

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)A Million Suns
Series:Across The Universe, Book Two
Author: Beth Revis
Published: 10th January 2012
Published By: Razorbill
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis On Goodreads
I adored Across the Universe, and so I am absolutely dying for this one!  I NEED to know what will happen next!  AND I just love, love, love this cover!

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)City of Lost Souls
Series:The Mortal Instruments, Book Five
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: 8th May 2012
Published By: Margret K. McElderlly
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads
City of Fallen Angels ended on the.worst.cliffhanger.ever.  And the way this one is described... one sentence.  One that's making me go: "ARGH, I WANT THIS BOOK!  NO: I NEED THIS BOOK!!!"  I am desperate for this book.  *sigh*  Desperate.

Well, that's me for the week.

What are you waiting for this week?

Sunday 28 August 2011

In My Mailbox (#27)

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a perfect way to see who's reading and review what.  Awesome!

For Review:
Vampire Academy: The Graphic NovelBloodlines
Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel (Book One) by Richelle Mead, Adapted by Leigh Dragoon, Illustrated by Emma Vieceli (Goodreads | Amazon)
OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!  I got this the other day, and I read it in an hour - less even.  It was so good!!  And it had all my favourite characters, and quotes and it was just so Vampire Academy!  Thank you Penguin!
Bloodlines (Bloodlines, Book One) by Richell Mead (Goodreads | Amazon)
Love and Loyalty Run Deeper Than Blood
Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay, YAY!!  I have been waiting for this one for so, so, so, so long!  And it's finally out!  And Penguin were nice enough to send me a copy - Thank You Penguin!  I've started it, and it's brilliant so far, and I can't WAIT to see what happens!  And I'll stop talking now.
Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)Arizona (Beautiful Dead, #2)Summer (Beautiful Dead, #3)
Jonas (Beautiful Dead, Book One) by Eden Maguire (Goodreads | Amazon)
Will Leave You Restless...
Arizona (Beautiful Dead, Book Two) by Eden Maguire (Goodreads | Amazon)
Will Leave You Restless...
Summer (Beautiful Dead, Book Three) by Eden Maguire (Goodreads | Amazon)
Will Leave You Restless...
Loved the first in this series, so when I saw these on offer, I bought them.  Isn't the 3rd one's cover beautiful?
Well, that's me.  I had rather a good week.  :)
What was in your mailbox this week?

She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens

Series: Spirit Guide, Book One
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Format: Kindle
Published: 19th August 2010
Number of Pages: 178
Book: For Review From Author*
Genre: Ghost Story, Paranormal, Dark Romance, Urban Fantasy, Murder Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Available On: Amazon (Paperback, Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Paperback, Nook), Smashwords (eBook) and The Book Depository (Paperback)
Author's Blog: From The Shadows

Synopsis From Goodreads:
It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.
The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.
Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

Yuki’s more-or-less your average girl: she has great friend Emma, she has a crush – who doesn’t crush back on her – and awesome boots.  Except Yuki can smell the dead.  Yeah, that’s right.  It’s not glamorous, and it makes it a lot harder to figure out what the spirit haunting you actually wants.  Now it’s senior year, and Yuki is being haunted by someone who smells like vinegar.  But that’s not the worst part.  She’s suddenly got strange feelings for Calvin Miller, her other friend and is having prophetic dreams at night.  And she knows – knows – that something odd is going on with Calvin…  Can Yuki save Vinegar Man?  Before she loses herself?
I loved this book!  It had action, romance, humour, dead-smelling: everything a girl wants in a paranormal book.  And – more importantly – it was wonderfully written with great characters and plot.  Thanks E.J.!
Yuki (her real name’s Vanessa, but she changed it because of some unfortunate nicknames) was just a character I instantly liked. I liked her habit of exaggerating, her sarcasm, her brilliantly mad fashion sense: everything.  Especially that her spirit animal is a dung beetle.  I laughed so much at that one.  All her strange, unique little sayings made me laugh, too.  How can you not at things like: “son of a dung beetle”, “holy heck”, or “this sucks eggs”?  She was just awesome, from the way she dealt with her gift – in a great, sometimes-funny and always relatable way – to the way she always called Cal by his full name to the habit she had of saying things like: “crow dude” or “doctor man”.  I loved her!  (Did she remind anyone else of Abby from NCIS?  Abby is my favourite TV character ever!)
Calvin Miller was sort of New Agey, into mystical, um, stuff…  He was just adorable: strong, cute, forgiving.  I loved him!  He really made me laugh.  Although, his big secret was kinda obvious.  To me, anyway.
Emma was the best!  She was a vegan and always laid into Calvin for eating meat.  As a vegetarian myself, I loved her: “Can you taste its fear?” comments.  She was really into human rights for everyone – people in the dark ages, bees.  Also into the whole herbal remedies, she was practical, cute, and funny.  She was awesome!
And Calvin and Yuki were really cute.  Their relationship was easy, natural, and oh-so sweet.  They constantly teased one another, and had funny conversations with words like “Smellavision” and “Technosmellor” in them.  However, their friendship changed lately.  Suddenly Calvin was flirting and interrupting Yuki’s daydreams about the studded, Emo-ish guy she was crushing on.  That’s what I liked most about this couple: the fact that they were friends first.  It wasn’t a love-at-first-sight connection, instead being a sweet and one-hundred-per cent believable romance.  Plus there’s the whole adorable: “Beetle Princess” and other nicknames as well.  I can’t wait to see where this couple goes!
I have to mention E.J.’s writing once again: it was amazing.  Easy and funny, I completely felt like it was Yuki talking, not an author writing as her, if that makes any sense.  It sounded like a teenager speaking, without having to try too hard by using irritating words such as too many “like”s or “totally”s.  It was believable and completely addictive.
Now, I have to admit something.  Before I read this book, I just assumed it would be a ghost haunting a girl, who would give him peace and everyone would be peachy.  I was wrong.  Yes, there was murder mystery, but it was so much more than that.  There was a whole other side, one that was so new and so amazing: a brilliant new take on many popular folklores.  I adored She Smells the Dead, and have only one major fault: it was too short!  And it had a terrible cliff-hanger.  I’m over the moon that I have the rest of the series so I can get my ghostly fix and find out what will happen next!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from author in exchange for an honest review

Friday 26 August 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Series: Paranormalcy Trilogy, Book One
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildrens’Books
Format: Paperback
Published: 6th January 2011
Number of Pages: 352
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Dark Romance, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Kiersten Writes

Evie’s always thought of herself as normal.  Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shapeshifter and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still.  Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies.  She begins to suspect there is a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths, and even worse, that she is the centre of a dark prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

Evie’s an IPCA agent and at the centre of a world-wide treaty.  Why?  Because she can see through paranormals’ glamours.  This is unique only to her.  And while she’s parentless, she does have a rhinestoned-pink Taser called Tasey and a mermaid best friend.  However, recently, she’s been having weird dreams with two lines of a poem, repeated over and over.  When she takes down a shapeshifter unlike anything anyone’s seen before, Evie finds out what her dreams mean.  They are a prophecy.  One about a grey-eyed girl who will kill, kill, kill.  And it seems to be all about Evie
Now, I’ve read a lot of paranormal books in my time.  This one has got to be one of my favourites.  It was funny, scary, sad, sweet, action-packed and mysterious.  The world was just… wonderful and totally believable.  Ok, so it’s full of vampires and faeries and werewolves, but it all felt absolutely real to me.  As did the characters.  Myself, I love characters I can connect with, and from Evie’s very first line: bam!  Instant connection.  And – big bonus here – the supporting cast was just as fantastic.
Evelyn, or Evie as she prefers to be called, was the best.  Ever!  She was funny, bubbly, vibrant and kick-butt-awesome.  While she could be really strong with her job, she was also the most amazing girlie-girl, what with her pink Taser and addiction to soaps.  Plus her fixation on the ability to raise one eyebrow was hilarious.  And her habit of saying: “Oh, bleep!”  A habit I have now picked up and annoy my friends with.  And her obsession with the silliest, most mundane things was adorable.  A few on the list are lockers, dates and humans.  Though she did grow up in complete isolation from human teenagers and normal routines.  What more do you expect from a girl?
Lend was wonderful!  Adorable, sweet, loving, warm and strong, he was just absolutely loveable.  He was a shapeshifter – the one Evie’s crushing on, and I could really see why.  Plus, they made the cutest couple!  And a believable one: none of this love-at-first-sight business here.  Their relationship was slow, sweet and oh-so romantic.
Reth, Evie’s ex, was a psychotic faerie.  Manipulative and kinda creepy, I knew I should have hated him…  But there was just something there…  I can’t quite figure it out…  I’ll have to wait until the next book to decide about him.
I have to mention Evie’s best friend Alisha (Lish) who was a mermaid – who do not have sea-shell bras, thank you very much: they have scales and webbed fingers… so there.  Going back on track, while they may be completely different species, the two had a really special bond and it was plain to see that they loved one another.  As for Raquel, Evie’s boss, I had rather a soft spot for her and her sigh-speak.  So Raquel kept things from Evie: doesn’t everyone have to hide something?  At the end of the day, she loved Evie.
Finally, the ‘bad guy’, who was… unhinged.  And hilarious.  And lonely.  I felt sorry for her, as well as laughing at and with her.  I’m not sure if that was how it was meant to be, but that’s just what I thought.
And as I read, I just couldn’t help smiling, even as I was being terrified out of my mind.  There was an aspect to Paranormalcy, something I’m not sure how to describe.  It was almost… I don’t know, life affirming?  That sounds so strange, especially about a paranormal book.  But it just made me grateful for everything I have: a family, a home, a last name.  The ability to raise one eyebrow.  Plus, I will never be able to look at a locker the same way again.  They are very, very special.
So, we have action, romance, wonderful characters and an unbeatable plot.  I honestly couldn’t stop reading.  It was just so addictive!  Evie was amazing, and again, so addictive.  Her voice was wonderful, and it made me want to just read and read and read.  So…  I did.
I loved this book!  It has to be one of the freshest, funniest and most awesome book I’ve read this year.  And it left me with so many questions, wanting so much more.  I’m counting the days until Supernaturally is released now! 

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading

Sunday 21 August 2011

In My Mailbox (#26)

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a perfect way to see who's reading and review what.  Awesome!

Hi!  I missed last week's IMM 'cause I was on holiday, but there were no books there anyway -   :(   - so I didn't buy anything.  But I did make the mistake of popping into town.  And then into The Works.  As you can imagine: book heaven!  Therefore, this is what I got this - and sorta last - week -s -:
For Review:
Legend of Witchtrot Road (Spirit Guide, #3)Lorelei and the Sirens (The Sirens, #1)
Legend of Witchtrot Road (Spirit Guide, Book Three) by E.J. Stevens (Goodreads)
I've just finished E.J.'s first book, She Smells the Dead - I loved it and my review should be up soon - and started her second.  This one will come out in October, so be on the lookout for my review!  And: isn't this just the most beautiful cover ever?  Thanks E.J.!
Lorelei and the Sirens (The Sirens, Book One) by Aaronni Miller (Goodreads | Amazon)
This one sounds great!  "Lorelei's first taste of love will either set her free from the lies of her family or it will kill her and the boy she loves."  How amazing?  Thanks Aaronni!
Oriana's Eyes (Great Oak Trilogy, Book One) by Celeste Simone (Goodreads | Amazon)
This one looks brilliant too!  It's about two completely new species, and a forbidden love...  I can't wait! 
Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, #10)SecretariatPoison Study (Study, #1)
Beautiful MaliceRogue (H.I.V.E, #5)
Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, Book Ten) by Rachel Caine (Goodreads | Amazon)
Once again, buying in advance.  I think I'm gathering all the books out before starting the series.  I have a little Morganville Vampires nest now!  ;)
Secretariat by William Nack (Goodreads | Amazon)
The True Story That Inspired A Major Film
I saw this movie and I was amazed by the horse, Big Red, AKA Secretariat.  So when I saw this book in The Works, I bought it straight away.  I can't wait to read it!  I love horses.  :)
Poison Study (Study, Book One) by Maria V. Snyder (Goodreads | Amazon)
Magic, Excitement and Adventure You Can Almost Taste...
Can't wait!  I've wanted this for aaages!  :D
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (Goodreads | Amazon)
Friendship Can Be Deadly
I love the look of this one!  It was on my Wishlist!  Yay!  ^.^
Rogue (H.I.V.E., Book Five) by Mark Walden (Goodreads | Amazon)
Evil Just Got Nasty...
Yes.  This series is for 9 year olds.  And yes.  It's about supervillians.  And yes.  It's awesome!  I love this series.  Guilty pleasure? :D
Witch Light by Susan Fletcher (Goodreads | Amazon)
This was an impulse buy.  It looks awesome!  Kinda like a more adult-y version of Witch Child by Celia Rees.  (:


Cold KissDeviantLegacy (Legacy, #1)
SpellboundBlack, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey (netGalley | Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks brilliant!  Romantic, slightly creepy, haunting...  Amazing!  And the cover's gorgeous!
Deviant by Adrian McKinty (netGalley | Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks ace too! A thriller-mystery-suspense type novel.  Yay!  :D
Legacy (Legacy, Book One) by Cayla Kluver (netGalley | Goodreads | Amazon)
Love the look of this one!  Magic, princesses and romance.  Does it get any better?
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz (netGalley | Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks ace!  It was actually on my wanted list, so: yes!
Black, White, Other by Joan Steinau Lester (netGalley | Goodreads | Amazon)
A wonderful, wonderful looking book.  It looks like a bit of a To Kill a Mockingbird style book.  I can't wait to read it.

That is my very, very, very, very long IMM.  Sorry if I bored you all to death!  ;)

What was in your mailbox this week?