Monday, September 15, 2014

Giveaway : Day 21 (The Hundred #2) by Kass Morgan

While looking for ideas for new posts, I realised that I haven't done a giveaway for a long time. So just like that (and to reduce the number of books I'm currently struggling to store) I'm giving away a copy of the second book Day 21 of the series The Hundred by Kass Morgan. This series has been made into a TV series which I love.

The TV series was a thrill ride but if you want more of the world read the books. The second book of The Hundred series comes out on the 26th of September and I'll be posting a review soon. Until then, enter away for a a chance to win a copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 14, 2014

ARC Review: Trial By Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini


A Fantastical  read with magic, mayhem, romance, rebellion, love and hatred
Title: Trial By Fire
Series: The Worlwalker Trilogy
Author: Josephini Angelini
Publisher: Macmillan's Children's Books
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 28th August, 2014
Trial by Fire is the first book in this series by Josephine Angelini, author of the bestselling Starcrossed series. Admittedly, I have only read the first book Starcrossed from her first series nut I have enjoyed her writing before. When I picked up Trial by Fire, it had already received many rave reviews from bloggers and friends and I was keen to dig into this new world. I'm pleased to say she doesn't disappoint.

Trial by Fire starts off with Lily, our protagonist being a sickly teenager who gets ill from the smallest thing in her vicinity. She suffers from severe allergic reactions and hence is on medication all the time. After a heartbreaking incident with her childhood friend Tristan, whom she is in love with, she somehow transports to another dimension. Here is the the mirror reflection of Lillian, the powerful witch who rules over present day Salem. soon in her quest to find a way back to her own world, Lily is embroiled in a war against herself and caught up between good and evil where the lines between them are blurred.

With a premise like this, it is hard to resist this book. I loved Lily. Even if she was physically weak in her own world, she was more than made up for it with her personality. She was head strong, determined, funny and sensible. It is difficult not to like her. At first, all she wants to do is go back to her own dimension, but as she learns more and more about the New Salem, her connection with it increases. She is immensely powerful in this new world and I enjoyed how she was discovering her new abilities.

The world building is painstakingly done and detailed. I love the concept of the 13 cities and the forest in between. Like Lily, I also could not help but compare the various bits of New Salem to Lily's own World. I particularly loved how the willstones worked and not unlike Lily, I'm curious as to what other abilities they may manifest. The relationships between the characters were well crafted and slowly built with solid character building around each one. Watching Lily and Tristan from the new world and their dynamics were interesting making me wonder, where is Rowan in Lily's own world? Speaking of Rowan, he is the love interest in the story. He and Lillian used to be in love but when she breaks his heart, he is bitter and angry and takes it out on Lily. I loved how their relationship was slowly unravelled. At first he is hostile and them slowly he melts away to show his real awesome self. Tension abounds between these two which I happily licked away making me wish for more. No insta-love in sight and their attraction is a slow burn. Delicious.

so why the 4 stars you ask? Well, I adored this book at the start. I was ticking all the boxes but after half way through, it felt slightly less. Some scenes were glossed over and I'm not sure I liked how Lily and Rowan resolved their issues. I can't quite put my finger on it but it felt like the author ran out of steam towards the middle portion. Moreover the underlying issue of 'save the environment' message that was subtle at first but annoyed me towards the end. How Lillian is convinced that science and technology will doom her world and the Lalidah. I'm all about saving the environment but reading a whole series with that message may be too much for me.

Regardless of my misgivings, Trail by Fire was a fantastical read, with magic, mayhem, romance, rebellion, love and hatred where shady characters abound. The book ends with a sort of cliff hanger which is more of a 'I cannot what for the next book.' and less of ' Why the heck it it stop here?'. It is definitely deserving of all the accolades that it's been getting from early reviewers and it's a must read for any fantasy YA reader. Unmissable.

Arc received from Macmillan Children's Books via NetGalley.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ARC Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Mass


A Tale of war, revenge, love, fear and becoming what Celaena is meant to be
Title: Heir of Fire
Series: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Mass
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Releases: 11th of September, 2014
T he highly anticipated Heir of Fire is here. After the amazing, heart pounding ending in Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire was one of my most highly anticipated books in 2014.
This is the review of a third book, a word of warning as spoilers abound from this point on. After Celaena dropped that bombshell at the end before leaving for Wendlyn, we see how broken Celaena is after Nehemia's death. She is paired with a Fae prince, Rowan who has an I-don't-take-your-shit attitude. Under instructions from Maeve, Celaena's Aunt, she has to undertake training and is forced to accept her demons and and her heritage from which she has been hiding away.

This book's true winner in Rowan, in my opinion. At the beginning he is harsh and cruel but S.J Mass writes him so well that along with Celaena, the reader will start accepting him. He is a a Fae warrior, fierce and battle worn. He has his own past which is also revealed. As he trained Celaena, he slowly heals her too and it was beautiful to witness. Celaena has gone through so much, the pain she keeps within herself unleashed on her enemies was a sight to behold. Her relationship with Rowan was developed at a visceral level but I felt that Mass was taking pains in explaining how there was nothing romantic between them. I on the other hand can totally see them together. Furthermore, while I grew to love Rowan, Chaol suddenly did not seem as amazing as he used to seem and I can't even seem to remember why I shipped him with Celaena.

Dorian shines in this edition of the story, as he is dealing with her problems in the only way he can. And he meets a new girl who gives him exactly what he need when even Chaol seemed to have abandoned him. I liked Sorcha and I didn't like her too. She was sweet but Mass writes such great characters that in each book I ship Celaena with a new guy. I shipped her with Dorian in Throne of Glass, with Chaol in Crown of Midnight and with Rowan in Heir of Fire. And guess what, the line up of swoon worthy men doesn't stop there, she has added the dangerous edgy Aedion on the he list too. Who may also be a contender to her heart. Who knows now. So I have a soft spot for Dorian and when we get a glimpse of Dorian as a little boy, it breaks my heart.

I'm glad we get to see another glimpse of The King of Adarlan's vicious evil in Heir of Fire as all along we get to hear what evil he has done, so it was almost a relief to witness what he is capable of even to his own son.

Admittedly, Heir of Fire is a long book. with 500 pages it is not a typical YA book. In fact, I would classify it was a New Adult Fantasy, even if it does not have the explicitly usually associated with the genre, it has characters who are certainly not teenagers. It begins quite slow and up until the 30 percent mark, I had to keep convincing myself to keep my faith in S.J Mass and carry on reading but the wait was worth it. Once the story got going, it made me sit up and watch. It has me on tenterhooks and I wanted, needed more reading time to get through this. There are a lot of characters in this series and considering the nature of the this story, it screams epic, it's hard to keep up with it. I wished I had read Crown of Midnight before I picked up Heir of Fire to truly appreciate the impact of the revelations.

Another complaint I have, which is slightly personal, is the lack of strong female characters. So far the ones I have come across are evil or too stupid to live, apart from Celaena. There is Manon, whose story, albeit entertaining and her relationship with Abroxos heart warming, was a filler and she too is partly evil. I just wish we get to see another female character who may not be as kick ass as Celaena but could hold her own, who doesn't die or is evil.

In the end, Heir of Fire, needed my patience in the beginning but once it began, I had to shield my eyes from the sheer brilliance it was exuberating, getting imprinted in my retina. I loved how we get to see Celaena's past and how she overcomes her fear which comes with it. We get unforgettable fight scenes and characters which will remain forever in your heart. This book seemed like a filler at the start, and in a way it is a filler, being the third book, but it takes you along on this epic journey and makes you an intrinsic part of this tale of war, revenge, love, fear and becoming what Celaena is meant to be. A Queen.


  Releases in the UK on the 11th of September. Buy your copy today.

ARC received via Bloomsbury Children's Books, UK.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Audiobook Review: Paradox Series (Fortune's Pawn and Honour's Knight) by Rachel Bach


Sci-Fi which reads like a UF and kicks ass

Series: Paradox
Author: Rachel Bach
Publisher: Orbit
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 5th February, 2014
My bookie friends have been raving about this series for a while urging me to read it as it would right down my street but I never got around to picking it up. However I got the audio book for this series on a whim and I'm sooo glad I did. With a kick ass no-nonsense heroine, non-stop action and a mystery unfolding all at the same time, The Paradox series was pushing just the right buttons for me.

This review is for the first two books Fortune’s Pawn and Honour’s Knight of the Paradox series by Rachel Bach.

The Paradox series is about a mercenary, Devi Morris, ambitious and stupidly brave who wants to be a Devastator, the highest ranking officer in her King's Army. But to prove herself she takes up a job as a security personal at spaceship, The Glorious Fool in famous by the sheer amount of trouble it keeps getting it. Reeled in my the prospect, Devi thinks the work will be a doddle but soon she realises he has bitten more than she can chew. The series features the mismatched crew in Captain Codswal's ship, the variety of planets they land in and the many curious creatures they encounter.

Of course there is romance in the form of the ever enigmatic Rupert (yes I know what you think of the name, I agree).

I really enjoyed the first book, Fortune's Pawn. It had non-stop action, thrilling mystery and extra ordinary world building to go along with it. The second book was slightly slow to begin with, but it soon picked up. This was a science fiction book but at no point was I confused by the setting or the world building. The action scenes were really well written and it was easy to imagine Devi brandishing there thermite blade, Elise or her anti-armour gun, Sasha.

Devi was hard core and fans of Urban Fantasy will like her personality as she is strong woman, who has seen her share of the world and knows exactly what she wants. Her single minded ambition to be a Devastator felt liberating and I loved how she knew herself so well. She was a mercenary through and through but she stuck to her principles.

The one thing that got criticism all around and bothered me only slightly was how hard and quickly she feel for Rupert, the mysterious, handsome cook, who was more than what meets the eyes. Devi kept on trying to uncover his secrets and I found myself doing the same. When I had heard the love interest's name was Rupert I had my doubts but the narrator did such a good job of narrating that somehow along the way Rupert's name, the way it rolled over the tongue became attractive. It took a little getting used to but slowly I got to appreciate what a great job Emily Durante did with Devi's voice and Rupert's accent and the voice of the various crew members. They were all distinct and suited each character perfectly. She managed to give each of them a different accent to accentuate their different planet of origin. While I really enjoyed the mystery of Fortune's Pawn, Honour's Knight felt a little lacking but it made up for the way the story panned out.

Over all this is fantastic series for Sci-fi fans and Urban Fantasy Fans alike. It reads like a Urban Fantasy and would be just right for any fantasy reader who wants to try something different. Ideal for Sirantha Jax fans.

I'd recommend it to fans of irritated birds, galaxy hippies and a story which keeps you on the edge.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Mystery,suspense,fantasy and swoon-worthy romance
Title: Cursed
Author: J. L Armentrout
Publisher: Hodders and Stoughton
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 17th July, 2014
J.L Armentrout is one of those authors who knows what her readers like and delivers it each time. Cursed is no different. Ember had died in a car accident which killed her father, but her sister with her strange power, brought her back to life. However when Ember did come back to to the world of the living she returned with a curse of her own. Everything she touches dies. Circumstances like these have made Ember cynical and bitter. She looks after her 5 year old sister, all by herself. She has lost all her friends and her social life, with only one friend left. Then one day an accident leaves her sister kidnapped and Ember cornered. Now she has been moved to another town, another state and has to start her life from scratch and trust a man who put her in that position in the first place..

The premise of the girl with the deadly touch is not new. It is how it's treated is what makes it different. J.L Armentrout gives it her own signature touch. I liked the main character Ember. Although there was nothing remarkable about her personality, she was a believable character, who was relatable and real. She had been popular once but after the accident she was made into a social pariah. She had a good head between her shoulders and she loved her little sister, Olivia dearly. Their relationship was really sweet and I enjoyed reading their interactions..

There were others characters too most notably, Hayden. He was everything J.L Armentrout love interests are known for. He was sweet, kind, caring, supportive and all manner of swoon worthy. Hayden and Ember had their differences and it was a convincing dilemma. She could never truly trust his family who did not want her there and Hayden was too loyal to take all the crap Ember threw at him about them. The tension between Hayden and Ember was painfully sweet and all I can say is the it's been a while since not-touching was so sexy..

The mystery, on the other hand was not that mysterious. In fact, I had figured it out quite early on in the story but the narrative was interesting enough to keep me going. The premise had been set up nicely for more books in the future and I hope we get to explore more of the X-men like powers of the other members of the Cromwell family and also find out more about the Facility. Saying that, Cursed seems like a stand alone so far, but if anybody hears others, do let me know..

Cursed overall was an enjoyable read, with a steady plot and convincing characters. It was gripping, if not in the traditional sense but with the blossoming romance and the great chemistry between Hayden and Ember, the pages flew by and before I know it the book was over. I'd recommend it to all fantasy readers who want to to enjoy Armentrout's signature elements of romance, fantasy and mystery. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed..

Review copy provided by Hodder and Stoughton

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: The 100 (The Hundred #1) by Kass Morgan


How far will you go for love and survival?

Series: The Hundred
Tittle: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
My ratings: 3 out of 5 stars
Released: 29th August 2013
T he 100 was not a book I had heard before the series was telecasted. The show is addictive and I was hooked from the first episode. The premise, cinematography and special effects were top notch. So to satisfy my curiosity I picked up this book and did a read along with a few of my fellow UK book Bloggers.

As I read The 100 after I saw the series, this review will be full of spoilers and the TV series.

Clarke is a juvenile prisoner awaiting a retrial but suddenly she is shipped off on a drop ship to Earth. See, Earth is inhabitable since a century and the last of the human race are living on a spaceship called The Ark in space. Clarke and 99 other juvenile prisoners will be the first humans in earth in a century  If they prove that Earth is habitable for human, more will soon follow. The story is told my many characters. The four main characters are Clarke, the daughter of the resident scientists, Wells, the son of the Chancellor, in love with Clarke, Bellamy, who is trying to protect his sister and Glass who manages to get away from the drop ship to save herself.

While the premise is promise, exciting even, the execution left something to be desired. There was so much potential with such a setting, the drama, the world building etc, but the story focused more on the relationships between the characters rather than action or mystery. To top it all the pint of view changed with each chapter and almost each chapter had a flashback. The flashback gave an insight to the characters and provided a background story for each, creating a connection but the changes were jarring and I wish the author had found a better way to integrate their back stories.

The TV series has cleverly only borrowed the premise and added it's own flavour and twists making the story more interesting. My favourite character and POV was Glass who wasn't even featured in the TV series. Her romance with Luke was sweet and the events towards the end of the book were sad and sweet. Bellamy was a little more mellow in the book but Wells felt as bland as ever.

Regardless, I enjoyed The 100 book, if not for the actually story but how differently it pans out from the TV series. I have the next book in the series, 21 days, which I'd be picking up soon.

This review is based on a review copy received from the publisher

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Blogger UKYA Awards Voting


 photo UKYAAward_zpsb1be5f88.gif
Hey Guys! Today I am here with VERY exciting news! It is the shortlist of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards! This is the time for YOU to vote for your favourite from the list! Voting is open until 21st September. Make sure you don’t miss out! Voting will also be happening a little differently than the nominations. On this blog you will be voting for: Best Self-Published, Most Social Author (Online), Most Social Author (Offline), Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours And then you will hop along to the next blog to vote for more awards! There are five different awards to jump to (and five/six bloggers hosting each group, but you only need to visit five blogs!). This doesn’t have to happen all at once, it gives you the chance to vote in your leisure – but make sure you do so before 21st September.

Jump To (choose which blog for each category you want to visit!)

Best Contemporary, Best Historical, Best Crime/Mystery, and Best LGBT
Big Book Little Book
Fabulous Book Fiend
Feeling Fictional
It Takes A Woman
The YA’s Nightstand

Funniest Book, Most Heartbreaking Book, Best First Sentence, Best Ending
Ya Yeah Yeah
Cicely Loves Books
Queen of Contemporary
Luna’s Little Library

Best Horror, Best Sci-fi/Fantasy, Best Paranormal, Best Adventure
Winged Reviews
K – Books
To Another World
Bookish Outsider

Best Protagonist, Best Couple, Best Friendship, Best Villain
Snuggling on the Sofa
Much Loved Books
Hush Hush Revealings
The Pewter Wolf
The Little Munchkin Reader


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