Monday 17 December 2012

Prodigy by Marie Lu - Trailer, Extract and Giveaway!!!!

I don't know if you guys have read Legend, but I LOVED it!  It was amazing.  And now I can't wait for Prodigy!!  To make me even more excited, the lovely people at Penguin sent over these teaser trailers for both the book and the online game it has inspired, as well as a sneak peek at the first chapter.
And for all you guys who live in the UK, guess what?!!?  The lovely Penguins have offered two giveaway copies!!  Enter now - this book doesn't come out until the end of January, so get your hands on a copy right this second!!!  
And make sure you check out the two trailers and teaser!  And ENTER if you live in the UK!!  This series is awesome and I think you'll love it!  Plus, what better Christmas/New Year prezzie? :D

Prodigy by Marie Lu Extract

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Fated by Sarah Alderson

Series: Fated, Book One
Publisher: Simon&Schuster
Format: Paperback
Published: 5th January 2012
Number of Pages: 320
Book: For Review*
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dark Romance, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Sarah Alderson

If you can't choose who to love, how do you know who to trust?
Lucas Gray is half Shadow Warrior, half human, and a member of the Brotherhood - a group of assassins tasked with killing the last purebred Hunter on Earth before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy. That Hunter's name is Evie Tremain.
Evie is seventeen-years-old, a waitress, and has just discovered she is the last in a long line of demon slayers - and an unwilling participant in a war between Hunters and Unhumans that has raged for the last thousand years.
When your fate is already determined, can you fight it?

"Her name is Evie Tremain.  She's seventeen years old.  She lives in Riverview, California.  Now go and kill her."
These are the orders Lucas Gray is given.  Lucas is a member of the Brotherhood, whose only aim is to kill Hunters - demon slayers, the killers of the Unhuman.  Lucas is an Unhuman - well, half: he's half human, half Shadow Warrior. 
Evie Tremain, as a Hunter, is his natural enemy. 
Trouble is, until she was attacked by Kucas and his band, she had no idea she was a Hunter, or even what a Hunter was. 
She doesn't want to be part of this war, this endless struggle between the humans and the Unhumans.  Especially when the Brotherhood decide to shake things up and change all the rules. 
But with an ancient prophecy hanging over her head and the heavy weight of her future on her shoulders, Evie doesn't know who she can trust. 
Love, loyalty, blood, trust and deciet wind together as Lucas and Evie enter the ancient battle of Hunters versus Unhumans. 
With fate and expectations crushing them, can Lucas and Evie escape destiny?
Can you ever escape fate...?
I've never read anything by Alderson before, but I've heard so many amazing things about all her books.  So when I was sent Fated, I instantly began reading.  I gobbled it all up in a single sitting.  I've always loved paranormal and demon hunter stories, so obviously I loved Fated for that aspect.  But Fated was so different -the good vs evil thing blurred and I wasn't sure who to trust.  We were thrown in the deep end - just like Evie - and I loved watching the world build around me, learning about all the different beings.  I just loved ALL of it - most of all Lucas, obviously.  I can't wait to read Alderson's other books.  And I desperately, DESPERATELY NEED a sequel to this.  ASAP!  I NEED to know what happens next!!
Lucas, oh how I loved him.  He amused me: I absolutely adored his sense of humour.  His two conflicting natures meant he had a constant battle inside – poor thing, always torturing himself.  God, he was just heart-breaking.  And my god, was he hot! He had that irresistible bad-boy edge and that adorable protective streak as well.  He was so, so swoonsworthy.  And yummy.  He just totally made me melt inside...  Sigh.  I could talk about him for hours.  I think I already have...  Can I have one?  
Evie was totally kickbutt.  She was also so, so broken and therefore very defensive and protective - she hid her hurt behind snark and cold indifference.  She was such a strong heroine - snarky and brave and determined.  
 The relationship between Evie and Lucas?  Wow.  They had so much chemistry it was like being back in my GCSE science room.  Only so, so much more interesting.  My God, whenever they were together... Stand back or be burned, people.  It was that hot.  I oh-so badly want more of the two of them. 
I really loved all of Alderson's characters, Evie and Lucas especially.  But the secondary characters were brilliant too.  Sure, much of the book revolved around our lead couple, but I did really love some of the others.  But I couldn't decide which of the Hunters I could really trust, if I'm honest.  Bad guys, you can assume are bad.  The good guys?  Whole other story.  
Speaking of 'bad guys', then there were the guys from the Brotherhood, who I didn't necessarily like, but who I did find intriguing.  The dynamics between Lucas' band was hilarious.  You had so many different personalities - all very conflicting, obviously.  They really weren't in it much, but those first few chapters with them all we just really amusing.  And some of them didn't seem necessarily evil, not like you'd expect anyway.  
 Alderson's writing was amazing and so, so addictive.  I absolutely loved that we got to read from both Lucas and Evie's POVs because we got all the different perspectives and feelings. It gave us such insight into both sides.  I do so love dual perspectives, but especially when 'good' and 'bad' are narrating.  Plus, Alderson's writing was just so, so lyrical.  And often very funny too!  The plot was so freaking addictive!  Right from the word go, it was like nonstop action.  The pace never gave up.  I loved the tension, the suspense and the action.  I didn't know what was coming next, what turn was around the corner.  I had no idea who to trust or who not to trust.  I was constantly on the edge of my seat, not sure what was going to happen next.  I didn't even know whether or not my two leads were gonna kill each other, which is a totally new experience for me!
Oh my God, I loved Alderson's world building.  All the different kinds of demons - sorry, Unhumans - were just so freaking cool!  And don't even get me started on Hunters! 
I love that the whole good and evil thing was kind of blurred.  There were so many shades between black and white, just so much grey.  Ok, so there is the Brotherhood who kill Hunters and the Hunters who kill Unhumans.  But the loyalties and vengeances and emotions meant everything became tangled.  I loved that Fated was a black and white story that had just as much grey as it did the other colours.  
Fated was also addictive, action packed, suspenseful and just purely amazing.  I read it all in one go and was left aching for more, more, more.  I need the sequel.  I need more of Lucas - and to know what the hell happens next!  Alderson will most definitely be on my look-out-for list from this moment on - as well as my favourite author list.  If Hunting Lila is even half this good, I simply must read it.  Like, ASAP!

P.S. One of my favourite quotes.  I just had to add it!  LOL:
'Humans couldn't get inside the old Mission.  There was a huge security gate at the top of the road down to it with an Enter at own risk: Trespassers to be shot sign stuck on it.  Which always made Lucas laugh, as it so badly undersold the treatment.
'What it
really should say, he thought, was something like: Enter at own risk: Trespassers may be shot, drunk, eaten, poisoned, sliced or attacked by a wild animal.  The psychic will tell you which.'

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Medusa Girls by Tera Lynn Childs
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Charmed Novels and TV Show
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

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

Monday 10 December 2012

In My Mailbox (#60)

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 got some great books over these past weeks.  Made the mistake of goin' to the library - why haven't I learnt?!  Anyhoo, this is what I got. :)

For Review:

Hot Blooded (Wolf Springs Chronicles, Book Two) by Nancy Holden and Debbie Viguie (Goodreads | Amazon)
Every Town Has Its Secrets...
This book looks awesome!  Like, seriously!  Can't wait to read it!
The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine (Goodreads | Amazon)
I love Jenny Valentine and can't wait to read this!
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine (Goodreads | Amazon)
I've read this ages ago: amazing book!  Still one of my favourites to this very day.
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton (Goodreads | Amazon)
A Nightmare
Really very nightmareish...  Weird but good.
Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Freemantle (Goodreads | Amazon)
Can't wait to read this!  Looking AMAZING!
Saving Daisy by Phil Earle (Goodreads | Amazon)
Losing Love.
Fighting Guilt.
Seeking Hope.
Adore this book!  Amazing contemp - a must read!
The Shadow of Death (Thirst, Book Four) by Christopher Pike (Goodreads | Amazon)
Deepest Desires.  Instant Remorse.
I've read the first book in this series and loved it.  Must read the rest - and this one, of course! :)

Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book Three) by Rick Riordan (Goodreads | Amazon)
Percy Jackson and Annabeth Return...
LOVE this series!!  Can't WAIT to read it!!!  :D :D 
Aldo Moon and the Ghost at Gravewood Hall by Alex Woolf (Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks brilliant - like, really brilliant!  Think psychic Sherlock! Cool or what! :D
The Cloud Hunters by Alex Shearer (Goodreads | Amazon)
Love the look of this too - can't wait to read it!
Reached (Matched, Book Three) by Ally Condie (Goodreads | Amazon)
SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!! :O :O :D :D
I'm a little exicted, if you didn't notice... ;)
The Declaration (The Declaration, Book One) by Gemma Malley (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Resistance (The Declaration, Book Two) by Gemma Malley (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Awesome Sequel To The Declaration
The Legacy (The Declaration, Book Three) by Gemma Malley (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Stunning Final Book In The Declaration Trilogy
I've read the second in this series - can't wait to read the others!! :D  And aren't these new covers GORGEOUS?!!?
Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, Book One) by Morgan Rhodes (Goodreads | Amazon)
Choose Your Side
Brilliant, brilliant book!!  So totally epic it's untrue.  I NEED the next in the series!! :D
Oh, and check out the post Morgan did for her blog tour: Here! :)

Arcadia Burns (Arcadia Awakens, Book Two) by Kai Meyer (Goodreads | Amazon)
Amazing series!  Can't wait to read! :D
Deceit (Wickedness, Book Two) by Deborah White (Amazon)
Who Can You Trust When Wickedness Returns?
This looks amazing!  I don't know if you guys have seen the cover - it's gorgeous!!
Me, Suzy P by Karen Saunders (Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks brilliant - so, so, so funny!!! :D
Ferryman by Claire McFall (Goodreads | Amazon)
A Love Story Like No Other
Another gorgeous cover!!  Can't wait! 
Shadows (The Rephaim, Book One) by Paula Weston (Goodreads | Amazon)
Love.  Nightmares.  Angels.  War. 
Oh.  My. God.  This.  Looks.  Amazing.  I.  Cannot.  Wait!!!!!!!
Hidden (Avena, Book One) by Marianne Curley (Goodreads | Amazon)
Three Hearts,
Two Worlds,
One Secret
Another angel book - so excited!! 
Blood Prophecy (Drake Chronicles, Book Six) by Alyxandra Harvey (Goodreads| Amazon)
Between Love And Power, A Queen Must Rise...
Already read this.  One word?  AMAZING!!!!!!!!  I LOVED it!  Perfect ending!  So sad it's over though! 
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (Goodreads | Amazon)
This looks great!  And so me - I am such a geek as well!! :D
Sister Assassin (Sister Assassin, Book One) by Kiersten White (Goodreads | Amazon)
Trusting Your Instincts 
Could Break Your Heart...
Thsi book?  Yeah, it broke my heart.  It was so so sad and sweet and amazing and thrilling and incredible and brilliant.  Could I have the next one now please?  I think I'm gonna go insane without it!  P.S., this is known as Mind Games in the US. :)


Time Between Us

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Goodreads | Amazon)
Oooh, this looks SO GOOD!!!  I can't wait to read it!  Thank you SO much Sammee!!!


The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan (Goodreads | Amazon)
Return To Percy Jackson's World
Read this one for a second time - loved it just as much!  I read it ages ago when it first came out, but thought I should read it again to get back into the series!
The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, Book Two) by Rick Riordan (Goodreads | Amazon)
Percy Jackson Is Back
Top of my TBR pile - love the series to pieces and need more!

Borrowed From Library:

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint, Book One) by S.J. Bolton (Goodreads | Amazon)
Who Will Be Next?
This was... terrifying.  Amazing, twisty and so, so unpredictable.  An amazing book - can't wait for more!
Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar, Book One) by Harlan Coben (Goodreads | Amazon)
This was a brilliant book - so funny and fresh and new.  My review went up on Wednesday!


Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book Four) by Derek Landy (Goodreads | Amazon)
Don't Lose Your Head
Impossible by Nancy Werlin (Goodreads | Amazon)

Bought From Library For £2 - Altogether!

Hell's Fire (DI John Spicer, Book Four) by Chris Simms (Goodreads | Amazon)
There Will Be No Forgiveness
American Devil by Oliver Stark (Goodreads | Amazon)
He's Stalking The Streets And He Wants To Play...
The Loveday Conspiracy (Loveday, Book Ten) by Kate Tremayne (Goodreads | Amazon)
Out At Night (Grace Descanso, Book Two) by Susan Arnout Smith (Goodreads | Amazon)
Never Mess With Nature
The Flood by Ian Rankin (Goodreads | Amazon)
This Is Rankin.  Before Rebus.

Well, that was me.  Hope you're all having a great week and enjoying the runup to Christmas!  Man, I can't wait til Christmas!!  I'm all in a Christmassy mood! :D
Happy reading everyone! :)

Thursday 6 December 2012

Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Q&A With Morgan Rhodes

I was lucky enough to recently read the amazing epic fantasy that is Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.  It was a book I loved to pieces, that had me guessing all the way through and had me staying up way too late to gobble it up.  And now we have Morgan (AKA Michelle Rowen) here doing an interview with me for her amazing blog tour.  I hope you enjoy it - and buy the awesomeness that is Falling Kingdoms!  I'm already desperate for Book Two - shame it doesn't come out for ages!!  But until then, check out Falling Kingdom's Site and Facebook Page, as well as the Spinebreakers site for a chance to win a fantasy book bundle that includes Falling Kingdoms!
Now, enjoy the interview...

Hi, great to have you here today, Morgan!
Thank you so much! Great to be here! :)

Firstly I want to ask where you got the idea for the amazing world of Falling Kingdoms?  All the very, very different lands with such varying scenery, personalities and beliefs, they all blew me away!
I have always loved high fantasy—movies, TV, books…you name it! And I’ve always wanted to write a “big” YA book that follows many different characters and their stories in a time of war and intrigue and badassery (it’s a word!). When I found out my publisher (whom I’d worked with on Vampire Academy:The Ultimate Guide, written under my other pen name) wanted the same thing, Falling Kingdoms was born in a blaze of glory!

The plot line (or should I say plotlines?) were all so twisty and complex.  How did you cook them up - all the court intrigue and sabotage and what not?  
Thanks! Once the characters were created, it was almost like magic (LOL) how their individual and collective plotlines got all deliciously twisty. I loved writing about the backstabbing and intrigue and it was a fun challenge to keep all of those subplots and characters in order. I can promise you much more twistiness in book two! 

Yay!  And now could we be really, really cheeky and ask where the plot may be heading in book two...?
LOL! Nice try! I can’t reveal anything about the plot for book two other than its title: Rebel Spring…but I can say that book two picks up very shortly after book one ends. Also, you will meet a couple new characters who impact everyone you’ve already met and take things to the next level of…well, twistiness! Book two is as much of a wild ride as book one!

Oh well – worth a shot! ;) So excited for it!  
Now, during the book I must have changed favourite characters a million times.  Did you have a personal favourite?  And who was the most interesting to write?
Honestly, this was what I call a real “tapestry” with many fun and interesting characters. But, of course, even I have a certain character that I enjoy writing slightly more than the others, and it’s one I know readers are either going to love or hate! Prince Magnus never fails to surprise and entertain me (and sometimes break my heart!) and his scenes are always great fun to write—I think I could write an entire book focused only on him.

Magnus was my favourite all the way through!  
Was it difficult to go from writing modern day paranormals to an epic fantasy novel set in an old world?  And which, if you have one, is your favourite to write?
Is it difficult going from contemporary paranormals to medieval high fantasy? OMG, YES. I’ve never really had to do much research in the past, since I’m normally able to just make stuff up (within reason!). While Falling Kingdoms is still a fantasy novel, rather than a fact-based historical, it still requires a believable medieval feel, which hopefully paints a vivid picture in readers’ minds. It’s more detail-oriented writing than I’ve done in the past, that’s for sure. While writing high fantasy is certainly a challenge, it’s one I fully embrace and enjoy. Do I have a favourite between paranormals and high fantasy? Can’t say that I do… I love both!

For all those budding authors reading this, what advice can you give about writing books - like do you have any specific rituals or habits for writing?
My first piece of advice would be to really study the books that you love—like look at the sentence structure and the paragraphing, as well as how the writer made the character and setting come to life on the page. Read as a writer, not just for entertainment. Soon, you’ll absorb that enough to be able to emulate it in your own writing and find your own voice. Second, don’t give up! Books take a while to write, and can be hard work and not “a gift from the muse,” but if you give up and go on to something else, it’ll never get finished!

My rituals for writing include needing complete silence so I can get “in the zone.” I do, however, make a playlist in iTunes for my virtual soundtrack for the books I’m writing. For Falling Kingdoms, instead of regular Top 40 songs, I downloaded Two Steps From Hell’s Invincible album, which is super epic movie soundtrack music that sets a fantastic mood for high fantasy. The song Heart of Courage is particularly awesome.

What's your favourite book (or books) of 2012 so far?
I adored The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead and sent her a fawning fan letter after I finished it. I seriously can’t wait for The Indigo Spell

Love that series!  
Onto a couple of bonkers questions to finish off, I think!  If you could have any superpower ever, what would you choose?
Since I’ve been known to be chronically late for just about everything in my life (except for my book deadlines! So far!!), I’d love to be able to teleport.

And if you could live in any of your three kingdoms from Falling Kingdoms, which would you choose and why?
I would definitely choose Auranos since it’s basically the perfect kingdom with nice temperatures, great scenery, and friendly people. Limeros is too cold, and Paelsia too barren! It’s a no-brainer!

Thank you so much for answering all our questions, Morgan, and good luck with the rest of the blog tour!  I can't wait for the second in the Falling Kingdoms series!
Thank you!


Previous Stop on the Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Realm of Fiction
Next Stop on the Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Tatty's Treasure Chest

Guys, hope you enjoyed this as much as me!  It's been such fun having Morgan here and reading the book!  It's so awesome - if you liked Games of Thrones or Throne of Glass or The Gathering Dark you will love this to absolute pieces!
Ooh, and don't forget to check out the Falling Kingdoms Facebook Page - there will be lots of fun stuff going up on there!  And, as I mentioned earlier, there is a giveaway of Falling Kingdoms and other awesome fantasy books on the Spinebreakers site!   Check it out - you really don't wanna miss this book!  It's epic!