Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Flux’

Netgalley November: Week Two Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight net galley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 3

Running total of books read: 5

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 54.7%

Currently Reading: Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Feedback: My Approved-Feedback percentage would have been much higher but I was approved for four new books this week.I know, I know! but I was posting my feedback and I just happened to look at the the newly available and most popular titles and they were just too good to pass up!

On the positive side the fact that I am being approved for titles after a bit of a drought shows how much this challenge has already helped!

If I manage to complete my original target, before the end of the month, I will go on to read from this list of recently approved titles:

The Edge Of Always (The Edge Of Never 2 )by J.A. Redmerski
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge
Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

As usual click on the TBR title to be taken to the appropriate Goodreads page.

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
time after timeCalling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

Time After Time is the sequel to the excellent Time Between Us. The first book was told from Anna’s first person perspective as she meets the mysterious Bennett in 1995 and uncovers his secrets. In Time After Time we are gifted with Bennett’s perspective as he navigates and attempts to reconcile the two halves of his life in contemporary San Francisco and 90’s Chicago.

While Time After Time is a time travel book (my third this month!)it had a very contemporary feel. Bennett’s gift is the tool the author uses to allow the unlikely couple to meet and to develop the tension within their relationship, however I felt that this fantasy element was much less important compared to the couples individual character developments over the duology. Both Anna and Bennett struggle with issues related to identity, self belief and faith in their relationship. For Anna the lesson was about being true to her ambitions and not being defined by her relationships.

When we met Bennett in Time Between Us is was already very familiar with his extraordinary gift and how he could use it to enhance the lives of the people he loves. Over the course of the two books he explores the impact that seemly small actions can have on people’s lives and he develops a confidence in his instincts and opinions but with an added maturity and humility.

Verdict: A sweet romantic read I can envision myself returning to time and time again

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Heath Gibson

William Tucker loves being a volunteer firefighter (maybe it’s no coincidence that a pastor’s son would enjoy saving people). And after he rescues his crush, Mandy Pearman, she undergoes a profound transformation for the better. In fact, it seems like a lot of good comes from the embers of tragedy in his small Alabama town. William may not be able to meet his father’s expectations, force his mother to ditch the gin, or protect his gay brother, but for those who need a second chance at life, William isn’t afraid to light the match–and become the hero the town needs.

While perusing Netgalley for tantalizing reads my eye was immediately caught by this simple but stunning artwork. Of course I know that you should never judge a book by its’ cover. But how could you not be inspired to pick a book who’s cover hinted at an atmospheric, dark and disturbing read. The synopsis only confirmed these assumptions; a pastor’s son gripped by pyromania- well you can’t get much more disturbing than that in a YA contemporary. Unfortunately Burn didn’t quite live up to its dark promise.

William “Wee Wee” Tucker believes that the unconditional love and support of his community in the aftermath of devastation, combined with the life affirming nature of a near death experience, does nothing but improve the quality of life for a victim of fire. This leads to Wee Wee taking it upon himself to “save” the inhabitants of his small town, one act of arson at a time.

While I applaud the author for daring to write a multidimensional and flawed character, I feel that the predominant aim was to create conflict in the reader as they attempt to consolidate a likeable and kind character with someone who does unforgivably horrible things. This technique, which tied me up in knots while reading Tabitha Suzuma’s controversial romance, Forbidden (read review here), just didn’t work for me in Burn.

Despite being written in first person present tense, I found it very difficult to relate to Wee Wee as a character and to trust him as a narrator. I couldn’t decide whether Wee Wee was unhinged and couldn’t see any of the negative consequence of his actions, whether he was a dishonest narrator and chose to ignore anything that would show him in a bad light or if the author was trying too hard to make Wee Wee likeable.

Throughout the book, Wee Wee only allows us to witness those events and outcomes, which help to reinforce his warped worldview, leading to my distrust of him as a narrator. As a reader I feel as though I would have found the book more satisfying had I been exposed to an opposing perspective.

The only person in the story who is severely harmed by fire is DJ, the victim of a freak accident rather than by Wee Wee’s hand. Following the incident, Wee Wee visits a heavily sedated/unconscious DJ in the calming environment of the hospital with his, previously questionable, mother keeping vigil besides his bed. The next few occasions when we meet DJ he is well on his way to recovery. Wee Wee, doesn’t witness, or doesn’t allow us to experience, the hours of gruelling treatments and agonizingly painful recovery.

Later when we are exposed to the horrifying aftermath of a person’s home razed to the ground, it is the protagonist’s selfish concerns about detection that are the focus of the scene and not concern or remorse for what the victim has lost. We do not witness the heartbreak of shifting through the ashes, looking for some unscathed memento of a lifetime of memories or the hard work of rebuilding a home.

I have to admit that this is a well paced and otherwise well written book. It certainly kept me turning the pages, as it races through the events leading up to the goose bump-inducing climax. It was only after I put the book down to gather my thoughts that I realized that although I got caught up in the story it ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied and unsympathetic towards the protagonist. Even the impressive ending, which created such a clear image in my minds eye was muddied by a red herring of a prologue.

Verdict: A pacey read which ultimately left me a feeling unsympathetic, unsatisfied and a tad baffled.
Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: August 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 264/356KB
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Age: YA book review
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
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The City’s Son

Tom Pollock

Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen. But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind.

Despite it’s familiar UK location, reading The City’s Son, felt like tumbling down a rabbit hole, in to an unexpected and magical world filled with fantastical creatures. The irony is that this isn’t a separate, or secret world. This is our London.

Shunning the usual attractions, Pollock takes us on a sightseeing tour of the grubbier, graffiti strewn, and unsavory parts of our capital city. The parts that won’t be being showcased by the British tourist board this summer. Unhidden but unvalued, Filius’ kingdom is ignored or explained away.

For me there is nothing better than when an author really captures the atmosphere of a location, suspending my disbelief and transporting me in to the mist of the story. There were times when I was so absorbed in Pollock’s world building that my stomach lurched from his descriptions and I felt the desire to take a shower.

Despite the, at times, repulsive nature of Filius’ London I couldn’t help but share the characters affection for the city, not in spite of but, because of its untamed and scruffy nature.

When I say that Pollock brought London to life, I don’t just mean metaphorically. Pollock takes the mundane fabric of the city and doesn’t just craft a believable, if not uncomfortable environment, but the very creatures cohabiting London with us. I certainly won’t look at a flickering street lamp or a coil of barbed wire in the same way!

The City’s Son is told predominately from the first person perspectives of Filius the street urchin, prince and the 3rd person point of views of Beth a teenage graffiti artist and Pen her poet friend. Rather than causing confusion, I found that the multiple perspectives actually enriching to the story. Pollock reserved the first person perspective for Filius, allowing me in to the mind of the street prince and enabling me to accept this unusual character and his associates without question.

I was really impressed with Pollock’s development of strong female characters and the emphasis on forms of strength other than the physical; emotional strength, independence, courage and resilience.

I really enjoyed the exploration of friendship and relationships portrayed within the book. The developing relationship between the main characters felt natural and unrushed and while it left me with a warm fuzzy feeling in the mist of all the fast paced action, it certainly wouldn’t put off readers who don’t enjoy that aspect as much as I do.

I didn’t consider myself particularly fearful before I started reading The City’s Son, but Pollock’s descriptive narrative, hitched my breathing and spiked my pulse rate as I found myself simultaneously freaked out and thrilled by the phobic inducing characters and situations he crafted.

Verdict: The City’s Son blew me away with its originality and creativity. I can’t help rub my hands in glee with the thought that there will be two more instalments!

Please note that the featured artwork is for the UK hardback published by Jo Fletcher books on the 2nd of August 2012

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 480
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: US Publisher via Netgalley
Challenge: British Book, Debut Author
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