Archive for February, 2015

The Sin Eaters Daughter

Melinda Salisbury
sin eaters daughterSeventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
She’s the executioner.
As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

What were your initial thoughts of the book?
I very much enjoyed this book. I instantly connected with it, found it to be truly fascinating and struggled to put it down. I had been dying to get my hands on a copy of this book because I had heard so much about it and thought that it sounded like a truly brilliant read that I would love. And I did. There were so many things going on in this book and Melinda truly knows how to bring forth emotions in a reader. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel.

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
There were quite a lot of fantastic elements in this book that I adored reading about and choosing just one is proving to be rather difficult but I think I’m going to go with the world. I loved the world that Melinda has created in this book. I loved the idea of the Daunen Embodied, loved the idea of the Sin-Eater and I just loved the different countries that were mentioned. I could really picture this world and that isn’t always easy to do with fantasy books.

Who was your favourite character and why?
Finally, a favourite character that wasn’t the main protagonist! I loved all of the characters in this book but my favourite of them all had to be the Queen. I loved her so much. Melinda has truly created the embodiement of an evil queen. She’s created someone who is evil but also flawed and still human and it was just so great to read. I loved that she reminded me of the Red Queen but also that she felt different from her too. I think this was a really strong character that worked so well in this story.

Would you recommend this book?
Yes. Definitely. This book is fast-paced, addictive and has such a wonderful complex and tantalizing plot. It is full of in-depth characters that you can easily imagine, a beautiful, well thought-out world and is just one of those books that you can’t stop reading. It’ll hook you from the start and will leave you dangling at the end. So if you like fantasy, intriguing plots and lovely, heart-throbbing romance, then you should definitely give this book a go.

Summarize the book in one sentence. (Verdict)
A fantastic read that will keep you entertained for hours… and then begging for more.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book, Debut author
Posted on:

Finish It February 2015: Week Three Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish/get up to date with four series

Books read this week: Half

Total books read: Two

Series completed for challenge: Two

General feedback: With the bigs off for half term I was expecting this week of the challenge to be a struggle. As a result I am actually really pleased that I managed read half a book.

Having taken the last three weeks in to consideration, I know that I am unlikely to meet my personal target of four books. While I am really excited to read This Shattered World by Kaufman and Spooner I have decided to prioritise Ensnared by A G Howard. Finishing this book will allow me to “cross off” one of my outstanding series.

If I do happen to have any additional time this week I will try to finish some of my half written reviews from last years reading and reviewing slump.

Meanwhile, for those of you who are interested, my Downton obsession is still going strong and I am just about to start season three.

Currently reading: Ensnared by A G Howard

Faye’s week:Faye shares her Finish It February update post over at her personal blog (here). I am excited to see that Faye is currently reading C J Redwine’s Deliverance and I can’t wait to sit down with her and discuss it over coffee.

Other Participants:Debbie of @Snugglingonsofa fame is speeding through this challenge with seven books read!

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
unmadePowerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?
Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.
Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.
This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Sarah Rees “I feed on the tears of my readers” Brennan’s The Lynburn Legacy trilogy turns me in to a two year old. One minute I’m smiling and laughing and clapping with glee, then in the next I’m shouting, stomping and flinging myself and my toys (the book) on the floor*. Like any fickle toddler I’m easily distracted by shiny things and guided back to the cooing happy version of myself** before, with very little warning , I’m repeating the cycle again.

What I am essentially trying to communicate is that SRB has a way of leading you in to a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under you. Her use of sparkling dialogue, laugh out loud quips and loveable*** charismatic characters make you wish that you could visit Sorry-In -The -Vale, become a member of the Scooby gang and fight blood thirsty sorcerers. Despite having experienced SRB’s own brand of evil genius before (in the first two books) I was unprepared for each gasp of shock, cringe of horror and snot bubble of sadness. I felt so emotionally involved with the characters, that at one point I actually had to take a break from the book.

I loved this series and will be seeking out more of SRB’s books in the future.

Verdict: A series for people who like their angst sprinkled with snorts of laughter.

*Ok I didn’t actually throw the book across the floor. I would never do such a terrible thing to one of my beautiful, beautiful hardbacks.
** No I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this analogy either. I blame half term and a continuous child filled week.
*** Also despicable. She writes despicable very, very well

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It February

Posted by Caroline

Posted on:

Teeth: Excerpt and Giveaway

We are delighted to share this excerpt from Chele Cooke‘s up coming paranormal horror novel. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a chance to enter to win a copy of Teeth and Chele’s other novels.
TeethMedical intern Thomas awakes in a blood-drenched basement and the realisation that his life must change forever. After all, how can he practise medicine when the smell of blood turns him into a vicious killer?
Spencer thinks being a vampire is better than any teen movie made it out to be. Now he must train Thomas and make his mentor proud.
One mistake risks more than either are willing to lose, and a single broken law could turn them from predators to prey.

Excerpt
The door had opened as silently as breath. Thomas jumped away from the woman, tripping backwards into the wall. He slid down it and looked up into the cold blue gaze of an older man. His eyes seemed paler than they should be, like someone had extracted half the colour, leaving them almost grey. He regarded Thomas for a moment before stepping further into the room, rounding the woman and taking no care to avoid the blood. His boots sucked from the floor with a squelch. Thomas wanted to be sick.
The man wasn’t particularly tall, nor built, and Thomas’s gaze flickered to the woman, wondering how in the world he’d gotten her up there on his own. He opened his mouth, but no sound found his throat. What if there were more of them? The man trailed his fingers across the back of the woman’s bare shoulders and smiled with pale lips.

“Have you drank?”

Thomas shuffled away from him and peered up with wide, blank eyes.

“What?”

The man rolled his eyes and stepped up onto the mattress, red footprints across the material. He crouched down and took Thomas’s chin in a vice grip. The man’s pale eyes were inches from his, taking in every detail of his face.

“Have – you – drank?” he asked again. Each word dripped in disdain, and Thomas shook his head as much as the man’s grasp would allow.

“Drank what? There’s nothing in here,” he breathed.

Glancing over his shoulder at the woman, the man’s gaze returned pointedly to Thomas. Thomas froze, his gaze flickering between the man and…and her.

“You can’t…You’re…No!”

The man rolled his eyes and shoved Thomas back against the wall away from him. He was on his feet in a single motion, quicker than he could think to follow his movements and get the better of him. Thomas sat against the wall, rubbing the pain from the back of his head where he’d hit the brick. The door was barely open, but maybe he could get to it. He drew his knees up to his chest, keeping a cautious gaze on the man as he pushed himself, inch by inch, up the wall, ready to run.

The man no longer paid any attention to him. He was looking at the woman. He leaned down and grasped her by the hair, tugging her up as if she were as light as a rag doll.

“You break their rules. You make me do this to you,” he crooned in a voice that verged on loving disappointment. “And you leave me with a fucking vegetarian?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPart time author and full time fantacist, Chele Cooke is a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author living in London, UK.
While some know they want to write stories since childhood, Chele first started writing as a teenager writing fanfiction and roleplaying. Before long playing in other people’s worlds wasn’t enough and she started creating her own. Living in San Francisco at the time, she found a lot of inspiration in her favourite city, some of which can be found in her books.
With a degree in Creative Writing, Chele’s first novel was published in 2013. She currently has three books published: two books in a sci-fi series, Out of Orbit, and the first book of a vampire serial, Teeth. Learn more about Chele and her work by conversing with her here on twitter or by visiting her Facebook page(here), Goodreads page(here), or Website (here).

Teeth will be published on the 8th of January 2015 and will be available to buy from Amazon (here), Amazon US (here), Kobo (here), Nook (here) and Smashwords (here).

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;
Three sets of all Chele Cooke’s books as e-books
Seven e-books of Teeth

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on:

Drawing With Light

Julia Green
drawing with lightKat and Emily have grown up without their mother for almost as long as they can remember. And now Dad is with Cassy and they all muddle along together well enough – even though they are living in a cramped caravan while their new house is being renovated. Then Cassy and Dad tell them that Cassy is pregnant, and everything seems to shift. Emily feels a new urge to find her own mother. How could she have left them the way she did? Never writing to them? Not communicating with them? And as Emily begins her search, not knowing what she will find, she is at the same time embarking on a new relationship of her own, that of her romance with Seb. This is an evocative and finely drawn novel about family relationships, in particular that of mother and daughter, and the shifting emotions of a teenager trying to make sense of her family and her world.

What were your initial thoughts on the book?
Having read Bringing the Summer by Julie Green and quite enjoying it, I decided that I would give another of her books a try so when I saw Drawing the Light in audiobook format at the library, I instantly took it out. The story is very easy to get into and I found it to be quite interesting and entertaining. The narrator, Julia Green herself, had a very melodic voice that was easy to listen to and helped to make the story more enjoyable.

What was your favourite aspect?
One of my favourite things, by far, about this book was the beautiful, almost lyrical, writing. Julia Green depicted moments and scenes in her book very well and made it really easy to both picture and feel. There was such an atmosphere to the writing. I don’t know if this was enhanced by the audiobook or not but I truly loved how it made me feel throughout. I will definitely be reading more books by Julia in the future as I just love her writing style so much.

Who was your favourite character and why?
I swear I say this every time but my favourite character was the main protagonist, Emily. Her journey being the main focus of the story helped to make her an interesting and intriguing character. Emily is a curious person, she isn’t sure of herself but wants to be. She’s surrounded by people who seem to know what they want and it makes her feel a little lost at times. Another reason Emily is my favourite is because she was the strongest character. I found the minor characters to be a little irritating at times and I especially disliked her sister. But Emily more than makes up for them.

Would you recommend this book?
I think that if you’re looking for a beautiful, lovely story then I would recommend this book. However, I did have a few problems with the story, such as frustrating characters and moving too fast at the end, so I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who wants a deep emotional read that could change their lives. But I also think it is totally okay that this book isn’t completely life-changing. I like that this book was a simple and easy read that you can just dive into. It’s perfect as a lighthearted book to make you feel good about yourself and life in general.

Summarize in one sentence. (Verdict)
Drawing the Light is a lovely, interesting read about a girl who is finding herself.

Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Publication Date: March 2010
Format: Audiobook
Duration: 5hrs 45mins
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None

Reviewed by Faye

Posted on:

Finish It February 2015: Week Two Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish/get up to date with four series

Books read this week: Half

Total books read: One and a half

Series completed for challenge: One

General feedback: I am continuing to read and love the final instalment in Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy. Making slow but steady progress of a few chapters every evening. While i’d like to blame my slow progress on my newborn, it is equally due to my new box set addiction. I am halfway through season two of Downton Abbey *sobs*.

Currently reading:Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Faye’s week: You can catch up with how Faye is getting on over at her blog, A Daydreamers Thoughts (here).

Other Participants: Melissa (follow her on Twitter here)is making great tracks through her TBR with three books read and just four to go.

Posted by Caroline

Posted on:

Exciting Book Launches Of 2015

When the people over at Tombola invited us to contribute to their Most Exciting Book Launches Of 2015 post for National Literacy Week we jumped at the chance to spread our passion for fantastic reads beyond our little corner of the web.

You can read the full article at Tombola Times (here)
Despite the multitude of brilliant releases waiting to occupy our shelves and inhabit our e-readers, it was surprisingly easy for us to agree on our most anticipated adult book release for 2015. A book which Caroline has on pre-order and Faye has had the privilege of reading prior to publication (you can read Faye’s full review here)

The book in question is A Darker Shade Of Magic by V E Schwab

darker shadeKell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

What Faye Thought About A Darker Shade Of Magic
I loved Vicious by V. E. Schwab and was therefore SUPER excited for this book. When I finally got my hands on the book, I only waited a few days before I started reading it. And then it took me a week to read it, only because I wanted to savour the words. This book is written in such a lovely way that I just wanted to devour it and I certainly never wanted the book to end. The plot was super interesting and I loved the characters and I really cannot wait for the next book in this series. This book is full of magic, both within the world it’s about, and in the way that it can truly transport you to that place. I would highly recommend this book.

Five Reasons why Caroline is excited to read this book.

1. This urban fantasy promises magic, adventure and alternate worlds.
Which is perfect if , like me, you are looking for escapism and crave something different from the hordes of adult romances and real life stories lining the supermarket shelves and the best seller lists.

2. It is set in not one, but four alternative London’s!
I love reading books with familiar settings, it makes it much easier for me to imagine and get a sense of time and place. Ironically speculative fiction involves taking the familiar and twisting it in some way. I love the idea of spotting the differences between our London and V E Schwab’s fictional one, it’s like a grown up game of spot the difference!

3. It is written by the fantastic V E Schwab.
I absolutely adored her previous adult book, Vicious. I loved how she took a topic, in the case of Vicious it was superheroes and their nemeses, and created something fresh and exciting with believable world building, a pacey plot and strong, interesting characters.

4. It is the start of a brand new series with the promise of at least two more books.
So if this book lives up to my high expectations, and all the reviews I’ve read indicate that it will, I will have a new series to sink my teeth in to, new characters and situations to obsess over, a new fandom to join and at least two years of anticipation and excitement of really good reads.

5. The wait is minimal.
It’s will be available in e book format from the 20th of February, while the paperback is due for publication on the 27th.

Posted by Caroline and Faye

Posted on:

Finish It February 2015 : Week One Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish/get up to date with four series

Books read this week: One

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: One

General feedback: Although I have only managed to finish one, already started, book and read about a third of my second, I am really pleased with my progress. After a bit of a reading slump (pregnancy tiredness and newborn sleepless night will do that to you!) I am glad that I have to have managed to carve out some time each day to read.

Faye’s week: You can read all about Faye’s progress over at her personal blog A Daydreamer’s Thoughts here

Other Participants: Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies (here) has set herself the challenge of finishing as many series as she can, from a VERY impressive TBR pile. As of this morning she had crossed two titles off of her list.

deliveranceDeliverance (Defiance #3) by RJ Redwine
Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken to Rowansmark while Logan, imprisoned and awaiting trial, is unable to leave Lankenshire. Separated from each other and their Baalboden comrades, each must find a way to achieve what they desperately want: to rid their world once and for all of the Commander and the tech that controls the deadly Cursed One.
Fighting through her pain and embracing the warrior she’s become, Rachel will do whatever it takes to escape her enemies’ clutches and join Logan in his fight. But when she learns a secret that changes everything, she realizes that escaping Ian and his tracker friends is no longer an option if she wants to save the people she loves. Instead, she’ll have to destroy Rowansmark from the inside out—if she can survive the journey through the Wasteland.
Logan needs allies if he wants to thwart Rowansmark’s power grab and rescue Rachel. But securing allies will mean betraying his beliefs and enlisting the help of the man he hates more than anyone: Commander Jason Chase. Driven by his fierce love for Rachel and his determination to make their world safe, Logan may be just the weapon the city-states need to defeat the Cursed One.
But as Rowansmark bears down and uneasy alliances are tested, will Rachel and Logan’s love for each other be enough to surmount the unbelievable odds against them?

When I first decided to embark on this challenge there was no doubt in my mind which book I was going to pick up first. I’d actually started reading Deliverance as soon as the pre-order landed on my doormat, but due to my afore mentioned reading slump I hadn’t managed to finish it.

It was so very easy to get back in to the story, and in to the world C J Redwine has created and I adored being re united with Logan, Rachel and their friends.

At the end of Deception (Defiance #2) the group was a mess,they had experienced devastating losses and the challenge ahead of them appeared insurmountable. I love how CJ wasn’t afraid to break her characters emotionally and physically and show us the gritty reality of their actions. They were allowed to dwell and regret decisions, grieve for their losses, celebrate their achievements and slowly rebuild themselves, all without interrupting the pacing of the story.

What I have really enjoyed about this series is the character development. When we first met Rachel and Logan they were already strong but inherently flawed characters. Over the course of three books we have followed as the challenges they faced have shaped them as individuals, as a couple and as a society. In the case of Deliverance I particularly enjoyed how C J manipulated you in to empathising with the antagonists motives, even if you can’t agree with their methods.

Verdict: A fitting and exciting end to a fabulous series.

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: August 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
Genre: Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It feb

Currently reading: Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted by Caroline

Posted on: