Monday 27 August 2012

Eye of the Storm by Mark Robson

Series: The Devil's Triangle, Book Two
Publisher: Simon&Schuster
Format: Paperback
Published: 2nd February 2012
Number of Pages: 400
Book: For Review*
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action-Adventure, Thriller, Fantasy, Mystery, YA, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 11+
Contains: Violence, Death, Mild Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Mark Robson

The Legend Comes To Life…
Sam Cutler and his best friend Callum are stranded, having crossed to a strange parallel world through a rift in the Bermuda Triangle.  At first, Sam is desperate to get home, but then events take a dramatic twist and he discovers there are things he must do before he can return…
Meanwhile, back in Florida, Sam’s twin sister, Niamh, is still trying to uncover the truth about the boys’ disappearance.  She can sense that her brother is still alive… somewhere.  With her father under arrest, accused of murdering the boys, Niamh must solve the mystery, before her dad is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
Time is running out.  Can the twins’ bond bridge the gulf between the two worlds before it’s too late?

Sam and Callum are still stuck in a bizarre parallel world, having entered via the Bermuda Triangle.  Sam is desperate to get home... until he finds his mother, who has been lost for nine years, and discovers her cause.  Suddenly, he and Callum are needed desperately - there is something terribly important they must do before they can all come home.
Back in our world, Sam's twin Niamh is desperately trying to unravel the mystery behind her brother's disappearance - and trying to clear her father's name, who has been accused of killing the two boys.  She has to prove his innocence and evade the cops - if she isn't there to search, she knows no one will be able to find Sam...
But Sam's facing troubles of his own.  The Imperium are after the band of rebels, and they are determined to make an example out of them...
After reading The Devil's Triangle, I just had to read Eye of the Storm - ASAP!  And it did not disappoint, not even one little bit!  I was pulled straight back into the action, the world – I literally couldn't stop reading.  Once this series gets its hooks into you, it just doesn't let go!  It's so darn addictive!  I quite frankly need Book 3! NEED it!
I love all the main characters so much.  Sam: athletic, smart, a survivor and now a rebel against the communist raptors.  Gotta love it!  I loved how snarky and brave he was – he was a great leader and kind of an adrenaline junkie!  The ‘New Sam’ is a real rebel – hardened and just… changed, though...  As for his sister Niamh, she was determined, resourceful, crafty and desperate to get her brother back.  I loved how logical and matter-of-fact she was – the snarkiness and how she made me laugh was a bonus!  Callum is just the funniest thing, though!  He always manages to make me laugh with his sharp wit and great sense of humour.  His enthusiasm doubled with his sarcasm was addictive and very funny and he was also a complete genius!  I love Cal, and his brains never ceased to surprise me.  Again, I have to mention the supporting characters.  Matt, Claire, Archie…  The latter was a bit of a posh twit to begin with, but he was actually ok and really funny.  Plus: evil genius alert!  Oh, and I have to mention Nipper, the raptor, ‘cause I just loved him.  He was loyal and protective and so, so brave!  Human-wise, I especially love Carrie. Over enthusiastic, sweet and cheerful, she was just so darn cute!  As for her brother Tony: yum!  And I loved that all the various raptors and rebels all had such distinct personalities.
I loved this world so much.  Mainly ‘cause of the raptors: highly intelligent, advanced and pure animal.  And Communists too!  See why I love it?  It’s just so creative and new and scarily brilliant.  I loved learning more about all the raptor traditions and rules.  Well, I just love the world.  But, uh, I don't think I really wanna go there...
Oh, and I just adored Mark's writing: descriptive so I can see the whole world in my head, and not at all heavy. Also, I love how it jumps from Niamh in our world to Sam in the parallel world. As cool as the jump perspective is, the fact that we got to see into Nipper's mind was SO MUCH COOLER!  I loved seeing into the raptor's head, especially as I have a real big soft spot for Nipper!  As for the plot, it was just awesome 'cause it was pure action!  There were twists and turns galore!  I really couldn't tell where it was going.  One twist in particular... yeah, I really didn't see that one coming.  Not in the least.  And as for the end... Well. I. Must. Have. Book. 3!
A parallel world, a psychic link and a family torn apart on either side, Eye Of The Storm was a brilliant adventure - one full of mystery, suspense and communist dinosaurs! I loved every single second, was totally addicted, and I can't wait to get my hands on Book 3!  I recommend it to boys, girls, reluctant readers and bookworms alike!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Devil's Triangle by Mark Robson
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

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

Sunday 26 August 2012

In My Mailbox (#56)

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! 

I've had lots of fun at bookshops recently!  Yay book shops!!  ;)
Anyhoo, this is what I got...

For Review:

The Diviners (Diviners, Book One) by Libba Bray (Goodreads | Amazon)
Bright Lights Are Hiding Dark Secrets...
I'm reading this one at the moment - it's amazing!  I am seriously loving it to absolute pieces!
After (Once, Book Four) by Morris Gleitzman (Goodreads | Amazon)
So Much Was Lost - Can Hope Survive?
This looks amazing - I can't wait to read it!

Gods and Warriors (Gods and Warriors, Book One) by Michelle Paver (Goodreads | Amazon)
I've started this - amazing!  I love Michelle Paver so much!
Knock Down (Street Duty, Book One) by Chris Ould (Goodreads | Amazon)
Now this, this one just kicks butt!!  It's amazing!!  Gotta love police books!
What's Left of Me (Hybrid, Book One) by Kat Zhang (Goodreads | Amazon)
Who Would You Give Up To Stay Alive?
I can't wait to read this one - it sounds brilliant!
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr (Goodreads | Amazon)
Enter The Carnival Of Souls
As does this - and it lives up to its hype from what I've read!
Geekhood by Andy Robb (Goodreads | Amazon)
Close Encounters Of The Girl Kind
I won this from Sammee (I Want To Read That): thank you so much Sammee!  I can't wait to read it!! :D

Magic and Tech: Book of Elements (Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure) (Amazon)
Official Sticker Book (Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure) (Amazon)
The Machine of Doom (Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure) by Onk Beakman (Goodreads | Amazon)
These all look like fun - though my sticker book has already been swiped!! :)


Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (Goodreads | Amazon)
Author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Yay yay yay yay!!  I can't wait to read this!! :D
Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake (Goodreads | Amazon)
A Novel
This is a brilliant movie, and I just couldn't resist the book!
The Forsaken (Forsaken, Book One) by Lisa M Stasse (Goodreads | Amazon)
No Rules.  No Refuge.  No Escape...
This one looks ace!  
The Name of the Book is Secret (Secret, Book One) by Pseudonymous Bosh (Goodreads | Amazon)
This is kind of like Lemony Snicket meets Anthony Horowitz - what's not to love?
The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, Book One) by Frank Beddor (Goodreads | Amazon)
I love Alice in Wonderland, and this looks like it might be even better!!
The Storm Begins (The History Keepers, Book One) by Damian Dibben (Goodreads | Amazon)
It's Time For A New Hero...
Yay!  I can't wait to read this! :D


Jar CityThe Apprentice (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles, #2)

Jar City (Reykjavik Murder Mystery, Book One) by Arnaldur Indridason  (Goodreads | Amazon)
Brilliant book.
The Apprentice (Rizzoli and Isles, Book Two) by Tess Gerritsen (Goodreads | Amazon)
Amazing - can't wait for my next Rizzoli & Isles book!

Well, that's me.  Hope you've all had a great week! :)

Thursday 23 August 2012

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles)Series: The Drake Chronicles, Book Four
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Published: 3rd October 2011

Number of Pages: 304
Book: Bought
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Romance, Paranormal, Thriller-Suspense, Humour, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Smoking
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Alyxandra Harvey

It’s not easy being the new girl in town, and Christabel Llewellyn is certainly that.  She’s new to Violet Hill, new to country life, and new to vampires.  Which, considering she’s Lucy Hamilton’s cousin, is going to be problematic…  Lucy’s boyfriend is one of the Drake brothers, her best friend is a Drake princess, and all of the Drakes are vampires.
But they aren’t the only undead to reside in Violet Hill.  The town is infested with a very different and entirely more dangerous type of feral vampire, the Hel-Blar.  And when Christabel is kidnapped by their leader and held to ransom, the Drakes are forced into action.

Bleeding Hearts                                                                   Review:
"I got that feeling again, like there was a layer under everything that I wasn't quite seeing."
Lucy’s cousin Christabel has just moved to Violet Hill.  Being a new girl is seriously hard in a town full of vampires, and Christabel can't understand her aunt and uncle's curfew obsession.  After all, how dangerous could a tiny, "backwards town in the middle of nowhere" be?
As it turns out, very.  Not only are both Lucy's boyfriend and best friend vampires, the whole Drake family is too. 
And it gets worse.  Violet Hills is also overrun by the bad kinda vampire.  The deadly, evil, dangerous, wild vampires, the Hel-Blar. 
And no matter how bad Lucy wants to keep the Drakes secret hidden, there's no stopping the Hel-Blar. 
Especially when they kidnap Christabel. 
In Violet Hill, not knowing can be deadly...
Oh, how I adore this series!  It's just so much fun, so awesome, so addictive, so good!  I was in a tired-brain mood and suddenly had the most intense need to read Bleeding Hearts.  The wonderful Alyxandra did not let me down!  From the first page onwards I jumped from barely concealed hysterical laughter to gasps of shock to melty bones from yummy Drake boys.  And I can't tell you how ridiculously overjoyed I was to find that Lucy was a narrator!  Happy dance time!
I love the vamp stuff in this book, but what really makes this book series incredible is the characters.  How unique and loveable and 3D they all are, how each Drake has a distinct uniqueness, how I feel like I know all of them so well they're my brothers or boyfriend or best friend.  It's awesome.  And, oh, Lucy Hamilton is just my favouritest person ever!   She's so funny and mad and quirky and strong.  Best Lucy quote: "I totally love this.  Who can I punch next?"!  I just love the new, fighting-genius, even-more-kickass-than-before Lucy!  And her cousin Christabel was just as awesome.  How can I not love a girl who's as addicted to books as I am?  And you could so tell she was related to Lucy!  "Thus, no boyfriend.  Also, I use words like 'thus'."  LOL!  For such a poet-loving geek, she was a real badass!  And Connor Drake?  Oh so cute and geeky and hot – he’s my second favourite Drake boy!  Nicholas is my absolute favourite – he’s just so darn yummy.  I love him THIS MUCH!  And he is the best book boyfriend in the history of ever.  Solange, however, was being weird.  Even by Drake standards.  And more importantly, by Lucy standards, which is really saying something!   Oh, and how I love all the minor-ish characters too!  Fierce Helena, Lucy's friend Nathan, all of my other main characters from the previous books, Isabeau, Hunter and Quinn in particular!  I adore Lucy's parents: they absolutely killed me!  Her mom was awesome and so funny: leaving condoms everywhere!
But, damn Alyxandra Harvey for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that fictional boys are a million times better than real ones!
No offence to real guys, of course.  But you're just not Drakes
I just love the writing and the split POVs.  They all have their own unique voice - something of a minor miracle if you think of how many characters have narrated the books!  The most awesome thing, though? Lucy's a narrator again!  Yess!  As for the plot?  Well, pure awesomeness.  I love the blend of romance and action, love how there's enough love stuff to make you fall for the guy hook, line and sinker, but not so much it takes away from the super-fast-paced and suspenseful plot.  And, to add a cherry to the cake of awesomeness, the humour!  But the ending?  Worst. Cliffhanger. EVER!  God, I am SO glad I have Blood Moon
Y'know, I don't think I've read a vamp series that has me cracking up quite like this one.  Sometimes, I laughed so hard I cried.  But don't for a minute think that's the only think the Drake Chronicles has going for it, 'cause it isn't.  This book was also spooky and gripping and twisty.  It also has totally romantic kisses that turns your insides to mush!  And while this may be the fourth in the series, Bleeding Hearts proves that the Drake Chronicles is just as addictive and amazing as it ever was.  I love this series and am so glad it's untrue that I already have Blood Moon!  Guys, if you haven't read this series yet PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!  Read it!  It's pure awesomeness and my second favourite vampire series EVER!  Actually, after this...  Well, The Drake Chronicles may have to be bumped up to Spot One...  Sorry Vampire Academy!  It was just that good!

Star Rating:
4¾ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Benedict Series by Joss Stirling

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

Happy Reading

Thursday 16 August 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

 Series: Throne of Glass, Book One
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: ARC
Published: 2nd August 2012
Number of Pages: 432
Book: For Review*
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Action-Adventure, Paranormal, Murder Mystery, Magic, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Swearing, Death, and Bundles of Assassin Action!
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Sarah J. Maas

Meet Celaena Sardothien.  Beautiful.  Deadly.  Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, a seventeen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence.  She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake.  She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice.  Celaena must represent the Prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land.  Live or die, Celaena will be free.  Win or lose, she’s about to discover her true destiny.
But will her assassin’s heart be melted.

 ‘[Prince] Dorian steepled his fingers.  "I have a proposition for you." 
"I'm listening," was all she said.'
Celaena Sardothien is known as Adarlan's Assassin.  She is the most skilled, deadly and infamous assassin in all of Erilea and in all her time she made but one mistake.  She got caught.  
Celaena may only be eighteen, but she was charged with a life sentence at the saltmines of Endovier.  She was only expected to last a month, to be broken by the dreadful work and abuse and die a dreadful death.  But one year into her sentence, she is still alive and strong as ever, even though she has been scarred by her dreadful work.  
And then she is offered a deal. 
Her freedom will be returned to her - if she agrees to be the Prince's champion in a fight to be the official assassin of the King.  
Celaena must fight thieves, murders and assassins in a battle to the death - literally, it appears, when dead bodies start popping up left right and centre.  
As she desperately tries to catch the killer and win the competition, she slowly realises that her freedom might not be her only motivation any more...  That her cold, assassin's heart may just be melting...
I can't even describe to you how excited I was to read Throne of Glass.  There's been so much hype and excitement and I've seen so many amazing reviews of it.  Ergo, my expectations were super high going into this book.  And y'know what?  Throne of Glass lived up to every single one!  It was one of those rare books that outshone all the hype.  It was the most amazing debut and one of the most addictive books ever.  It's got to be one of favourites of the year and I'm now desperate for another book in the series!  I seriously can't wait for more, ‘cause everything just blew my socks off!
I loved all the characters, 'cause they were all so 3D and there were just so many to love!  Celaena was totally badass: ruthless, clever, snarky, hilarious and always planning her next move.  I loved that she wasn’t perfect and that she was this little teenaged girl who could kick everyone’s butt and leave them all dead, should she so desire.  It was awesome.  What I loved most was that she was so human too, so loving and kind.  Prince Dorian was just too cute – I loved his mischievous side: it was irresistible and so, so funny!  He was the cutest, sweetest thing – I could just take him home!  And Chaol was totally hot too: he was kinda serious-soldier and I loved how Celaena constantly exasperated him!  He was strong, silent, honourable and yummy.  But the supporting characters were just as brilliant.  Take the Princess Nehemia Ytger of Eyllwe, for example.  She was brilliant and just as strong willed and feisty as Celaena!  And the bad guys - so well done!  They were oh-so easy to hate! 
Now, thanks to the two totally yummy guys in this book, there kinda was a love triangle.  Why the 'kinda' you might ask.  Well.  Besides being both utterly yummy, the boys are also best friends and obviously respect each other a lot.  Ergo, no fighting over the girl, nada unhonourable.  Somehow, Maas wrote a love triangle manages to be a triangle without really being one.  Amazing!
The writing just really, completely let Celaena get into our hearts and us into hers.  I loved being in her mind - seeing her mental calculations, how she could take someone out by planning ahead.  And I really loved how we got to see the story from everyone's POVs - it rocked!  The blend of action and romance, humour and suspense was just perfection and I can honestly say I was cracking up many, many times throughout the book!  And I just adored this plot!  It found that perfect balance between world building and action - and I do so love my action!  The plot was brilliantly twisty and utterly unpredictable.  And, HALLELUJAH!  An ending that leaves me wanting more, with just the right number of unanswered questions without an evil cliff-hanger!  The world itself was so well built and rich, like I was there myself.  I loved the court life mingled with assassin action and really hope that there will be more of the magical side in the series!
I think Throne of Glass might just be one of the best debuts I've ever read.  It's definitely one of my favourites in 2012.  There is basically nothing bad I can say about it.  The only thing would be I want to know more about Celaena’s past – and that’s literally it!  And I seriously just can't even put into words how awesome this book is.  I could ramble on forever, but as that would probably bore you, I'll shut up now. 
But seriously.  Read this!  It is epic - one of the best books of 2012 by far!  I am now preparing myself for a long wait 'til Book Two - and, of course, the withdrawal and insanity that will therefore follow.  Woe is me!

Oh, and side not: I also learned the plural of sarcophagus is sarcophagi.  So there ya go!  Informative too!

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

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

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Haunting of Tabitha Grey by Vanessa Curtis

The Haunting of Tabitha GreyPublisher: Egmont
Format: ARC
Published: 2nd April 2012

Number of Pages: 240
Book: For Review*
Genre: Paranormal, Ghost-Story, Mystery, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction,  Suspense, Horror, Action-Adventure, YA, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 10+
Contains: Alcohol and Drug References
Author's Blog: Vanessa Curtis

“I look up at the dark, unblinking eyes of the house and I get the weirdest feeling…  It’s the feeling of being pulled into something and being unable to stop it happening…”

Tabitha is used to changing schools and moving house.  But when her family move into Weston Manor, something is different.  It’s as if the house has been waiting for her.
There are lavender smells which come from nowhere and the old servants’ bell ring in the night.  She can hear crying in empty rooms.  Tabitha’s always been imaginative.  Even her best friend Gemma knows that.  But this time, could she actually be telling the truth?

Tabitha Grey and her family are moving into Weston Manor house, where her dad is to be Keeper.  Tabs should be thrilled - after all, the house is gorgeous and a real piece of history.  Only she has this feeling, like something's wrong with the house.  Like something's waiting for her.
Tabitha's creative, but she isn't imagining the chills, the people no one else can see, the sounds only she can hear.
But no one will believe her.  Even though she's sure she's right this time.  Can she convince her family before it’s too late, before they fall apart?
I do love ghost stories and The Haunting of Tabitha Grey was a great one!  Full of suspense, ghosts and mystery, I was just sucked in and couldn't stop reading!  It was spooky, I just felt chills as I read, felt terrified for Tabitha.  Although it wasn't that fast to begin with, that really just cranked the suspense up.  I loved this - I couldn't stop reading.  It was so chilling, so vivid, so real and so utterly creepy.  Oh yes: This book was spooktastic!
The characters were all really believable and real.  Tabitha was so very teenagery – snarky, stubborn confident and brilliantly odd.  With her need to know everything, all the time, she kinda reminded me of me – I’m the embodiment of ‘curiosity killed the cat!’  But back to Tabs, she was the strongest person ever and I felt seriously furious when no one believed her, left her to be terrified on her own.  Ben, Tabitha’s little brother, was really shy and sweet and innocent…  Her mum was a little head-in-the-clouds – she was depressed in the past and we didn’t find out why for aaggeess…   Tabs’ dad was shockingly unobservant and very logical.  Now her Gran I really loved, even though she wasn’t really in the story!  And all the family relationships wee rather dysfunctional, though you could see they all loved each other very much. Every single member seemed to have one issue or another, be it depression, over-active imagination or whatever. All the members were also so real, all their own people, like real live family members.
And I adored Curtis’ writing – it was beautiful and so utterly teen.  I could see everything in my head (and loved the creepy, beautiful and mysterious setting), but the writing wasn’t overwhelming and didn’t slow the pace in the slightest.  And the plot, in one word, was creepy!  I was drawn right in from the first page and just was never let go!  I loved all the spooky, ghostly going ons and all the family issues too.  And while I had suspicions about how everything would end, I really and seriously did not see that last twist coming! It left me reeling!
One haunted manor house, a family on the brink of collapse, a girl seeing ghosts with no one who believes her... The Haunting of Tabitha Grey was amazing, shocking, twisty and just plain spooky! I was addicted from start to finish. I can't wait to read something else by Curtis! I love her writing and imagination!

Star Rating:
4¼ Out of 5 

Read this book if you liked:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

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