Thursday, 27 December 2012

Throwback Thursday 2012 Review

This is a great feature that Melissa at My words and pictures has been doing for a while which looks at those wonderful books that are ALREADY on my shelves that we haven't got round to reading yet. I've spent quite a few Thursdays looking at books I own but haven't read and I thought it would be fun to look back over those books I've highlighted and see how good I've been at actually reading them! Last year I only read two books, but since I introduced the monthly poll I fully expect 2012 to be better!

2011 Throwbacks
The Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay: Still Unread

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires 1) - Rachel Caine: Still Unread
Magic Lost, Trouble Found - Lisa Shearin: Read in 2012! Reviewed here
The Reincarnationist - MJ Rose: Still Unread
Black Magic Woman - Justin Gustainis: Still Unread
The One Kingdom - Sean Russell: Still Unread
Hunted By The Others - Jess Haines: Read in 2011! Review here
The Angel's Game - Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Still Unread
Memoirs of Cleopatra - Margaret George: Still Unread
The Iron Duke - Meljean Brook: Read in 2012! Reviewed here
Ghost Ocean - S.M. Peters: Still Unread
One Foot In The Grave - Jeaniene Frost: Still Unread
Room - Emma Donoghue: Still Unread
The Edge of the World - Kevin J Anderson: Still Unread
Blood Oath - Christopher Farnsworth: Still Unread
Angel Time - Anne Rice: Still Unread
Gone - Michael Grant: Still Unread
Lord of Silence - Mark Chadbourn: Still Unread
Curiosity Thrilled The Cat - Sofie Kelly: Still Unread
Deadline (Newsflesh 2) - Mira Grant: Still Unread
Under Dome - Stephen King: Still Unread
Sixty-One Nails - Mike Shevdon: Still Unread
Mind Games - Carolyn Crane: Still Unread
The House of Special Purpose - John Boyne: Still Unread
Gene of Isis - Traci Harding: Still Unread
Bayou Moon - Ilona Andrews: Still Unread
Heart of Stone - CE Murphy: Still Unread
Hade's Daughter - Sara Douglass: Still Unread
The Enchantment Emporium - Tanya Huff: Still Unread

2011 Summary: 35 Books - 4 Read (Or in other words rubbish!)

2012 Throwbacks  
Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong: Still Unread
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Voice of Dragons - Carrie Vaughn: Still Unread
Side Jobs - Jim Butcher: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Hounded - Kevin Hearne: Still Unread
Nightfall - Ellen Connor: Still Unread
The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha: Still Unread
The Season of Passage - Christopher Pike: Still Unread
Hard Bitten - Chloe Neill: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Blood Rights - Kristen Painter: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Deep Fathom - James Rollins: Still Unread
Sister - Rosamund Lupton: Still Unread
One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing - Jasper Fforde: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Divergent - Veronica Roth: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
The Desert Spear - Peter V Brett: Still Unread
Grimspace - Ann Aguirre: Still Unread
Bright Young Things - Anna Godbersen: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Immortal Beloved - Cait Tiernan: Still Unread
Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison: Still Unread
Unholy Ghosts - Stacia Kane: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
666 Charing Cross Road - Paul Magrs: Still Unread
Bloodrings - Faith Hunter: Still Unread
Vegeance Born - Kylie Griffin: Still Unread
What's a Ghoul To Do? - Victoria Laurie: Still Unread
Enclave - Ann Aguirre: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlaine Harris: Still Unread
Goddess of the Sea - PC Cast: Still Unread
Black Dust Mambo - Adrian Phoenix: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
Blonde Bombshell - Tom Holt: Still Unread
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin: Read in 2012! Reviewed Here
The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C Hines: Still Unread
Tyger, Tyger - Kersten Hamilton: Still Unread
Hunt The Moon - Karen Chance: Still Unread
The Watchtower - Lee Carroll: Still Unread
Flesh and Blood - Kristen Painter: Still Unread
Grave Dance - Kaylana Price: Still Unread
Soul Beach - Kate Harrison: Still Unread
Department 19 - Will Hill: Still Unread

2011 Summary: 38 Books - 12 Read (+2 Throwbacks from 2011)
Getting better! I still have a lot of books on my TBR pile as well as Throwbacks that I haven't got round to reading yet. Next year I plan to continue my polls at the start of each month as a lot of the Throwbacks reads have been my favourite of the month and make a nice change from recent releases on the blog. 

So one bonus read for me - which of the unread books above do you want me to read next? Leave a comment and I'll see if I can read the most popular one next month as well as the usual poll next Thursday! 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Winter Warmers Review

Winter Warmers
Carole Matthews

Kindle Book

Three short stories from the wonderfully warm Carole Matthews: Winter Warmers - a gift for you.
All I Want for Christmas is You
Christmas is around the corner but Maria just can't get into the spirit - will she ever find Mr Right? But when a secret admirer starts leaving her poems and notes, it looks as though her luck is about to change . . .
Cold Turkey
Tara is in love with a man she can't have. She expected to spend Christmas with him but when the big day arrives, she finds herself alone. Sad and upset, Tara just wants to ignore the festive season - and then a chance encounter changes everything.

About Gardening
I love my husband Sam but our relationship isn't what it used to be. Can I find a way to bring us back together?

This is a lovely short selection of stories set at Christmas time with some romance added in. The first story – All I Want For Christmas is a sweet, sugary delight of a story. Nothing amazingly original, but a delightfully cute story about wanting to be with someone over Christmas – and looking in the right places for them.

Cold Turkey is more poignant about who we decide to spend Christmas with and being realistic. I liked this as a variation on the sweetness of the first story – it feels like a cheese course – tangy and refreshing with some bite to it. I really liked Tara as a character and hope she finds her happy ending!

The third story, About Gardening is the shortest and blandest of the three – nothing is wrong with it but I struggle to remember much about it. Like a glass of water – nothing wrong with it, but no memorable either.

Overall, these are a nice range of seasonal stories that should provide something for most Chick-Lit fans this Christmas!

Recommended for fans of Trisha Ashley and Marian Keyes. 7 out of 10

Throwback Thursday #74 - Department 19

This is a great feature that Melissa at My words and pictures has been doing for a while and I wanted to jump on board! There are plenty of books out there I desperately want...

But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on my shelves?

Department 19 - Will Hill
Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire. 

Department 19 looks like a YA book with plenty of action and thrills. Most YA seems to focus on relationships and romance so something with some adventure and action sounds like a nice change of pace.

What do you think? What do you like to read for a change?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Novella Reviews: A Family Affair & Shadowland

A Family Affair (Cassie Palmer #4.1) 
Karen Chance

Kindle Book

Both A Family Affair and it’s sequel short story, Shadowland are free on Karen Chances website – and before I catch up with Cassie Palmer and the going-ons in Las Vegas, I thought these would remind me of the world!

Both these stories are told from John Pritkins point of view. John was always one of the most intriguing characters in the series – a mage bodyguard to Cassie Palmer as the Pythia, the top clairvoyant in the world and part incubus, he has cast a long shadow over the series and it is good to see how much he has come to care for Cassie. In fact the torch he holds for Cassie is very sweet and gives some nice colour to the usually glowering figure.

In A Family Affair, John’s father promises to stop trying to kill Cassie if John will recapture an escaped demoness from hell...unfortunately his father may take advantage of John’s absence to get rid of Cassie in the meantime. This was a nice exploration of the demon realms and some of John’s past. However, the character that stands out the most is Cassanova – the combination of a vampire possessed by an succubus spirit is interesting but it’s Cassanova’s complete disregard for anyone by himself and his willing to say anything is great fun – think Cordelia from Buffy! Overall, this is a nice gift from Karen exploring part of ‘normal’ life for Cassie and John now.

Recommended for fans of Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. 7 out of 10


Shadowland (Cassie Palmer #4.2)
Karen Chance

Kindle Book

This is pretty much a direct sequel to A Family Affair. When one of the Pythia’s presents turns out to be a bomb, John Pritkins jumps into one of the demonlands in order for revenge. However, all is not what it seems back at Cassanova’s hotel in Vegas...

This is a much simpler story and as such is much more fun. The split again between action in Dante’s Hell on the strip and the actual Shadowlands is a nice contrast – and there is less difference between them than you would expect! John’s reaction to the bomb is so heart-felt and moving. Cassanova is as fun as before – definitely one of my favourite characters. However, my favourite part of the story is the ending – which manages to surprise John and leave a smile on your face!

Overall, these have both been good reminders of Cassie’s world and Karen Chance’s writing. It’s made me really excited to pick up Hunt the Moon, Cassie’s fifth book!

Recommended for fans of Ann Aguirre and Jacqueline Carey. 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe Review

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelnor

Publisher: Gollancz

The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand. Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

This is an anthology which combines Urban Fantasy and Christmas specifically werewolves and features many of my favourite authors including Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance and Carrie Vaughn. This is one of the strongest anthologies I’ve read - for some reason werewolves and Christmas seem a strong match creating many iconic images. One story that will stay with you is the idea of a werewolf leading Santa’s sleigh in Kat Richardson’s The Werewolf Before Christmas- it just brought a smile to my face!

Another idea that will stay with is a self-help group for Shifters – SA by J.A. Konrath. This story is packed full of ideas that will linger with you – transforming into a coral, the idea of the Salvation Army as a real army, what a shifter has to live with after changing back to human. It’s imaginative and fun. I’m not going to go through every short story but the only one that really disappointed me is Gift Wrap by Charlaine Harris. It’s a quick catch up with Sookie during the holiday season, and while I completely believe that authors know their characters best, Sookie disappointed me with her actions.

Overall, this was fun read – mixing up classic urban fantasy and werewolf tropes with festive greetings. There are even a couple of new authors who’s other work I will be checking out – I certainly hope Dana Cameron has written more books about her Fangborn world!

Recommended for fans of Rob Thurman and Kelley Armstrong. 8 out of 10

Monday, 17 December 2012

Early Review: Scent of Magic

Scent of Magic (Avry of Kazan #2)
Maria V Snyder

Publisher: MIRA Books - Published on 24th December 2012
E-Arc with thanks to Netgalley and Mira

Hunted, Killed—Survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avery of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avery is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avery will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avery is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again

Despite being the second book in the series, I found this story much simpler than the first book and as a result the story was faster-paced, tauter and more exciting. The first few pages mention a lot of names and it took me a while to catch up with all the characters, factions and powers again. There is no quick recap at all so you are thrown straight into the action. However, with Maria V. Snyder’s lyrical prose, it doesn’t take long to remember the details and be fully submersed in Avry’s world again.

Avry is on her own for most of the story and we get to see how strong she is on her own – without her constant mothering of her companions. She is able to use her own skills and intelligence to prove herself and it is refreshing to see such a warm and caring character standing on her own feet without a guy to support her at all. The story focuses on war with most of the action taking place at the army’s training ground. There are some intriguing developments regarding the Peace and Death lilies and the new characters in the army are a nice expansion to the world.

As ever one of the elements I loved the most about Maria’s writing is the relationships between characters as they evolve. The banter is fun and realistic – I always wanted to spend more time with these characters which is a good sign! The romance is not omni-present but just simmering nicely in the background. There are some interesting twists at the end of the book which will make the third book very I have to wait a whole year though before reading it..? J

Fun fantasy with great characters and an easy reading style. One of my favourite fantasy reads of the year!

Recommended for fans of Robin Hobb and Sarah J Maas. 9 out of 10

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Book Buying Ban Week #6 or Complete Fail/Showcase Sunday

So this is the week where my book buying ban failed completely. Not just freebies and book reviews through the door but also I went out and bought some books. My only excuse is that I was feeling down and books make me feel better! So instead of a book buying ban review, I'm just going to embrace my fail and talk through a regular Showcase Sunday...

Undead To The World (Bloodhound Files #6) - D.D. Barant
Publisher: St Martin's Paperback
Jace’s return to Kansas is an instant reminder that there really is no place like home. The tavern is still brimming with losers, practical jokers, and motorcycle chicks. Even the town’s only Goth is still wearing eyeliner. But just as Jace is about to click her heels and hightail out of there, she’s roped into a brand-new case. Somebody is possessed. And the bodies are piling up…
They call him the Gallowsman. According to legend, he was sentenced to hang—though his crimes still have not been specified. When he was strung up to die, his spirit stuck around waiting for people to hang themselves…so he could steal their bodies. Now, with the undead rising up and going on a rampage, Jace must put her own neck on the line. Can she get the Gallowsman to give up the ghost?

I loved the first three books in this series which followed Jace's visit to a parallel world where most of the population were either werewolves or vampires. It's another series I'm behind on but  2013 is the year I'm going to catch up on all my series!

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3) - Darynda Jones
Publisher: Piatkus
Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she's drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because every time she closes her eyes she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. 
Granted she did imprison Reyes for all eternity, but how is she supposed to solve a missing-persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up on his plan of seduction..... and revenge...

Having received book four in this series last week, I knew I would need book three before then! I haven't started this series yet but am really looking forward to meeting Charley!

She Returns From War (Cora Oglesby #2) - Lee Collins
Publisher: Angry Robot (Released Feb 2013)
Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.

I really enjoyed The Dead of Winter, the first Cora Oglesby book and when I spotted this on Netgalley, I could resist requesting it!

So I failed this week - hwo about you? Did you pick up any goodies or were you good? :-)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Magic of Christmas Review

The Magic of Christmas
Trisha Ashley

Publisher: Avon Books

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…
Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!

The book follows August to December in the village of Middlemoss where Lizzy is trapped in a loveless marriage with an emotionally abusive man, merely waiting for her son to go to university until she can escape. But when a tragedy occurs, she is given a second chance – the question is will she take it?

The village where Lizzy leaves is a typical chick-lit/Richard Curtis – an old fashioned village, still holding onto traditions in modern times and populated with eccentric characters that are basically kind-hearted but a little out-there. In fact if the cover and the brief description hasn’t warned you already, this could be an incredibly cloying and perfect. Lizzy is one of these perfect women – self-sufficient through growing fruit and vegetables and raising hens and quails. She bakes more or less continuously and is actively involved in the local community – helping with the Boxing Day Mystery play and preparing the hampers for the WI’s Christmas parcels. And off course her teen-aged beau is still sending her postcards with recipes on despite the fact they are both married to other people.

Lizzy is not very pro-active – the book follows her life for five months but she spends most of her time baking or dog-walking and never really makes any decisions to change or be pro-active. As such I found her rather lacking as heroine and wasn’t that fussed if she got her happy ending or not. I find the joy of chick-lit books is the journey on the way and apart from some wonderful descriptions of food (honestly I was starving after every chapter!), I didn't have much need to find out what happens next. The one major twist was signposted very early and so not a surprise to me. That said it was well written and would pass a few enjoyable hours if you miss the ‘traditional’ idea of an English country village!

Recommended for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Carole Matthews. 6 out of 10

Friday, 14 December 2012

Novella Review: Six Geese a-Laying

Six Geese a-Laying
Sophie Kinsella

Kindle Book

In Six Geese a-Laying, Christmas is approaching, and Ginny is looking forward to the birth of her first baby. It's a pity her partner Dan is so useless, and she has to keep reminding him where he's going wrong. Luckily she's enrolled into the most exclusive antenatal class going - all the highest achieving, smartest mothers-to-be aspire to be taught by the legendary Petal Harmon. Like the other five women in the class, Ginny already knows exactly what she wants, and how she's going to handle motherhood.But when they turn up for the final class it isn't quite what they expect. As Ginny discovers what parenthood is really going to be like, she begins to realize the things that really matter...

This is a sweet short story set days before Christmas at an exclusive pre-natal class for six women (whose names all begin with ‘G’). It’s their last class before their due dates and they are all chatting away comparing notes on nurses, names and worries they have about the birth and the child they are carrying. However, the last class is different from others as their instructor is able to give them all glimpses of what lays ahead (pun intended!).

I really enjoyed this – especially as it seems a lot of my friends are pregnant at the moment! It addresses a lot of the concerns expectant mothers have about themselves, their health care, their child and even their relationships, but at the same time is amusing and light. It’s not a long story but a fantastic little break from real life and easily read within half an hour.

Recommended for fans of Trisha Ashley and Marian Keys. 8 out of 10

Cover Reveal - Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn + GIVEAWAY!

One of the joys of book blogging is supporting authors I enjoy - and one series I have enjoyed a lot so far is the Mindjack trilogy by Susan Kaye Quinn! (Read my reviews of Open Minds and Closed Hearts) So it is with great pleasure I can reveal the cover of the final book in the trilogy - Free Souls...

Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn
(Book Three of the Mindjack Trilogy) Now Available!
When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price.
Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian’s worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts. When anti-jacker politician Vellus surrounds Jackertown with the National Guard, Kira discovers there’s more to Julian’s concerns than she knew, but she’s forced to take on a mission that neither want and that might be her last: assassinating Senator Vellus before he can snuff out Julian’s revolution and the jackers she’s come to love.

All of the Mindjack stories are available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and iTunes (Note Free Souls is not yet available on Kobo or iTunes)

Early Praise for Free Souls
“Quinn paints a picture of a not-too-distant America where politicians inflame the hatred of one section of the populace for another—all for their own gain—and you worry that her world is not so far off from our own.”
Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and the forthcoming The Eighth Day
"Free Souls starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Like a mash-up of all your favorite science-fiction adventures from Star Wars to The Legend of Korra, it blends nonstop action, nail-biting escapes, and great romance. I absolutely loved it! A great series conclusion—a must-read."
Leigh Talbert Moore, author of Rouge and The Truth About Faking
“Susan did it again. Free Souls was WOW! I expected Kira to step up to her role as heroine but not like this. Surprises kept coming until the very end which tied up more loose ends than I knew existed. Warning: Don't start reading until you have time to finish. I didn't want to put Free Souls down for a second. It's that kind of book.”
Sher A. Hart, Goodreads Review
Interview Susan's over at Amy Saunder's blog today (12.14.12), answering questions about how she came up with the mages' abilities, what kind of mage she would be, and all about her future works. Digital Box Set Since Free Souls is out, there is now a Digital Box Set of the Mindjack Trilogy for those of you who want the whole series!
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
Mindjack Origins Collection Want more Julian? Wondering how Sasha's ability really works? Looking for EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls? This collection of novellas, scenes, and other goodies is for those craving a bit more of the characters and drama of the Mindjack series.

Includes: Mindjack Novellas Mind Games (Raf's story) The Handler (Julian's story) The Scribe (Sasha's story) TWO EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls (published nowhere else!) PLUS Mindjack flash fiction, an (imaginary) conversation between Raf and Julian, and other goodies for readers who want just a little bit more of Kira, Julian, Raf, and the Mindjack crew. Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
ENTER TO WIN one of FIVE ecopies of the Mindjack Origins Collection
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Throwback Thursday #73 - Soul Beach

This is a great feature that Melissa at My words and pictures has been doing for a while and I wanted to jump on board! Why don't you join in as well? There are plenty of books out there I desperately want...this month I'm highlight some YA books on my TBR shelf.

But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on my shelves?

Soul Beach - Kate Harrison
When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next?

It's the middle of winter - it's cold and dark outside so who wouldn't want to escape that British wind for a bit? Soul Beach has got some fantastic reviews and it sounds really different from my usual reads. Another book that has probably been on my TBR pile for far too long...

Where do you want to escape to this winter...?

What Shall I Read This December? The RESULTS!

Despite having a lot in my must read this month list - no month would be complete without a little read chosen by yourselves! It was another close run thing this month - unsurprisingly Urban Fantasy seems to be a favourite genre among my followers! :-)  So the winning book this month is....drumroll please.... Grave Dance by Kalayna Price.

The full results were:
Grave Dance - 34%
Hunt The Moon - 29%
The Watchtower - 29%
Flesh and Blood - 6%

Look out for a review before December is over! 

And who won their choice of book from my TBR pile? The winner is...Stephanie W! Congratulations! I have sent an email!

Check back in January for more Throwbacks!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Resistance Review

The Resistance (The Declaration #2)
Gemma Malley

Publisher: UK – Bloomsbury

The year is 2140. Having escaped the horrors of Grange Hall, Peter and Anna are living freely on the Outside, trying hard to lead normal lives, but unable to leave the terror of the Declaration—and their experiences as surpluses—completely behind them. Peter is determined to infiltrate Pharma Corporation, which claims to have a new drug in the works; "Longevity+" will not just stop the ravages of old age, it is rumored to reverse the aging process. But what Peter and Anna discover behind the walls of Pharma is so nightmarish it makes the prison of their childhood seem like a sanctuary...

After flying through The Declaration a couple of week ago (read review here) and loving it, I know I wasn’t going to wait a long time before I picked up the sequel. Having escaped Grange House and now Legal, Anna and Peter attempt to figure out how the outside world works and discover that you can’t always have the world in black and white.

The Declaration was mostly told from Anna’s point of view, while The Resistance has moved to Peters view. Growing up in secret among the resistance Peter is a fairly angry young man who is determined to end The Declaration and allow people to have children and die again. However, he has been asked to undercover at his Grandfather’s firm in order to find out more about the Longevity drug and not everything is as it seems…

Anna was a very na├»ve lead previously – understandably considering her upbringing in Grange Hall and she still takes most people on face value – it never occurs to her that people may not always be sincere. However, Peter is very much a different character – full of action and vigour. He wants to change things today. It makes him a harder character to feel for, but you know his heart is in the right place. The Resistance is a much more complex story with the story expanded from the treatment of the Surpluses to the political and society changes that living forever makes in peoples thinking and politics. Peter’s Grandfather is quite a Machiavellian character and you never quite know the why behind his actions, while Pip the leader of the resistance is almost too good. Although I suspect a dark secret in his past…

There are some elements which seem a little too simple – how quickly Peter and Anna believe what they are told; they rarely seem to question anything for themselves – or figure it out. But they are a sweet couple and you do root for them throughout. The writing sucks you in and the pages seem to turn themselves. It is a fast moving story and once again I rarely stopped once I started reading, desperate to know how it ended and if Anna and Peter would be ok. The Legacy, the latest book in the trilogy is staring at me at the moment and I know I will pick it up soon!

Recommended for fans of Veronica Rossi and Suzanne Collins. 8 out of 10

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Same Book/Different Cover - Rot & Ruin

This is an occasional feature where I compare different covers of the same book...
It's December and I've been reading a lot of Christmas themed for this months book cover comparison I wanted to try something completely fact these covers may even give you nightmares! So what's the book this month? 

It's Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry - a fantastic YA book set several years after the zombie apocalypse. It was one of favourite reads and I still regret that I haven't read of the sequel year definitely! One interesting view is the different titles used in different countries. 

US Cover
UK Cover

French Cover
German Cover

US Cover: That bulging eye staring at you from the cover with vivid green pupil...this cover disturbs me...I'm not sure I would want to read the book as it doesn't encourage me to pick th book up!
UK Cover: A wooden door with an eye looking at us. Less disturbing than the US cover, and I like the muted red, even the way rot is in lower case appeals to me. But somehow I'm not sure if it's a little bland in the end...
French Cover: Barbed wire across the book with a mist covered forest behind. What is lurking in the woods and will the barbed wire keep it out? This reminds me of many horror movie posters and has a very cinematic feel to it...
German Cover: More barbed wire, with a burning sky and a creepy raven flying overhead - very atmospheric and creepy. Is the raven flying towards something or away from something - is there anything else in the world? I don't know why but I'm reminded of Mad Max films! 

My Verdict? The French cover appeals most to me! I guess I like the movie feel!

So what's your favourite cover? :-)