Monday, 28 December 2015

The Last Changeling #2 The Last Faerie Queen

Presenting The Last Changeling #2 The Last Faerie Queen by Chelsea Pitcher.

Here is the summary of the book:

A FAERIE REVOLUTION . . .

After risking her life in the mortal world, the faerie princess Elora returns home to incite a revolution. Allied with the Bright Queen, Elora rallies her people for a battle aimed at overthrowing her mother, the Dark Queen. While some question their ability to win, Elora senses victory, knowing she has a secret weapon: Taylor, the human boy she loves, and a motley crew of his school friends, each armed with a skill that can turn the tide of the coming battle.

A MORTAL SACRIFICE . . .

But then Elora's supporters in the Dark Court turn on her, believing she has forsaken them in favor of humans. When the Dark Queen kidnaps two of her human friends, Elora must mount a daring rescue mission to free them before her mother offers them up as a sacrifice.



Begins where The Last Changeling ended. The Last Faerie Queen is the finale to this brilliant duology. The Fey revolution grows decisive with each step. After the confrontation in the graveyard with Naeve leading Elora to loose her wings, Taylor, Kylie, Alexia and Keegan have taken refugee in the Bright Court. Believing them much better than their Dark counterpart. But are they really?

As the revolution begins to take shape. Secrets are revealed, harsh truth and cruel realities are seen. Trust is another issue heavily focused throughout the story. The endeavor is based upon trust. Without trust in your allies you cannot wage a revolution. The author did great work infusing a level of reality to her characters and plot alike. The story maybe set in the realm of fantasy, there is realism evident and it was a treasured friend.

I like how the humans Taylor, Keegan, Alexia and Kylie band together and help where they could. Even when the Bright Court turned out to be as twisted as the Dark Court in many ways than one, Taylor stayed true to himself, only desiring to help Elora with her mission. Bordering on new adult, The Last Faerie Queen is the perfect finale for the duology and every bit of a Faerie tale.

Here 'love' played the part of a healer, nurtured as the passion. Much darker and grittier than its predecessor, The Last Faerie Queen proceeds to showcase the prowess of its bonafide author. The complexity and the layered dynamics within each of the characters did well to turn the reading experience alight in awe and exuberance. Definitely give this duology a chance guys and be prepared for complex and enticing adventures that follows in The Last Changeling and concluding in the The Last Faerie Queen. I'm definitely partial because this is one of my favorites.

"Dark, enticing and alluring. Chelsea Pitcher's Fae are more than capable enough to suck you right in not letting go till the end"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Flux

Release Date: 8th November, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 The Last Changeling 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Lockwood & Co. #3 The Hollow Boy

Presenting Lockwood & Co. #3 The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud.

Here is the summary of the book:

As a supernatural outbreak baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests against the psychic agencies throughout London, Lockwood and Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines. There is a new spirit of openness between the team now that Anthony has shared his childhood story, and Lucy is feeling more and more like her true home is at Portland Row. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro. Meanwhile, there are reports of many new hauntings, including an old school where bloody handprints and a glowing boy are appearing. But ghosts seem to be the least of Lockwood and Co.'s concerns when a living assassin makes an attempt on Fittes's and Rotwell's lives. Can the team get past their interpersonal issues to save the day on all fronts? Danger abounds, tensions escalate, and new loyalties form in this third delightfully terrifying adventure.

Lockwood & Co. are back for their third stint with The Hollow Boy. Taking the time to explore the paranormal in the previous two books, this third venture while still retaining the spooky focuses more towards the living rather than the undead. Just when Lucy, Lockwood and George felt they had reached the peaceful camaraderie afforded to a tight knit group, comes prim, proper and perfect Holly Munro. Successfully throwing a wrench in our favorite trio and diverting Lockwood's attention and sparking Lucy's jealousy.

While a supernatural outbreak threatens England's peace, dashing leader Lockwood, insightful and astute George and dynamic and vigorous Lucy, effectively making up Lockwood & Co. (with the skull offering sarcasm) find themselves too busy and loaded with work to keep to their chores or rest. This enters Holly Munro ..... She annoyed me big time. She comes in with her perfect self, befriends the boys and forces order in their life of varied chaos. Of course with such crashing personalities Lucy and Holly don't get along well ..... and a disjointed team like that suffers in their line of business.

It is human nature to doubt and to feel emotion like envy, jealousy or happiness, and thus it is a marvel to witness Lucy as she experiences it all with the changes in their team dynamics, her own growing powers and her doubts regarding her worth.... While I hate that Stroud took this approach to further the story but hopefully the next one will be back to focusing on the undead rather than teenage melodrama.

All the while resentment is rising among the living members of the community. Stroud carefully slips in political propaganda amidst all the paranormalia .... it is not pronounced but things complicated when a living assassin tries to murder Fittes and Rotwell. The book  leans heavily on the personal issues whereas the paranormal takes a somewhat backseat. Romance really is not the issue here but the sense of belonging. As I already mentioned I hated this element but on the other hand this made interaction between Lucy and Skull all the more exciting.

Of course the resulting climax as the humans tackle the problem of Chelsea made up for the spook throughout the tale. There is no question about Jonathan Stroud's caliber for the written word and while I appreciate the twists and diversions here in The Hollow Boy, this didn't really scare me as its predecessors did ..... But that cliffhanger ....... Hoping the next book will shed more light on the questions raised in here and strike the balance between the living and the undead that felt somewhat lacking here.

"An entertaining spooky adventure"

Genre :      Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror

PublisherDisney-Hyperion

Release Date: 15th September, 2015

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books in the Series (review links):
                    #1    The Screaming Staircase 
              #1.5 The Dagger in the Desk
                     #2    The Whispering Skull

Other Books from the Author (review links):
   Bartimaeus #1 The Amulet of Samarkand
    
Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Blood of Gods and Royals #1 Legacy of Kings

Presenting Blood of Gods and Royals #1 Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman.

Here is the summary of the book:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


An effortless mix of history and the factory, Legacy of Kings tells the story of Alexander the Great in his younger years when the world was still on the last vestiges of practicing the norms of mythology and of their Gods. Eleanor Herman's new series proceeds to wow us with accurate traces of history in this young adult offering with multiple perspectives and a high fantasy that keeps us spellbound from the first to the last page and craving for more.

With six perspectives, you would think the narrative would be a chaos but Herman manages to keep them separate and yet linked in their story. There is no particular protagonist, rather a varied cast of characters who play their own important role to further the narrative. Mixing magic with history, Eleanor Herman paints a fantastical past with its vibrant details and sumptuous scenery from the Grecian plains to the vast Persian sands..... Everyone and Everything has a role to perform.

Kind, intuitive and daring Katerina. Strategic with a keen mind, Prince Reagent Alexander. Rash but loyal Hephaestion. Beguiling Cynane, Alexander's half-sister who would rather be on the battlefield instead of being a simpering maiden. Power hungry Queen Olympias. Alexander's fiancee-to-be Zofia of Persia and Jacob, champion of the Blood Tournament and Katerina's best friend. Some I like, some annoyed me but I appreciated what they brought to the story.

While slow on the pickup, easily gaining after some pages. Legacy of Kings is the perfect debut to a series rife with characters scheming & plotting, conspiracies raging wild, from greed for gold to desperation of freedom or avenging the death of a mother.

With Katerina looking the mysterious death of her mother and the part Queen Olympias in that ordeal, Cynane looking to separate the strong bond between Alexander & Hephaestion. Olympias after something dark and sinister altogether. Jacob, the only annoying one, professes to be in love with Kat but throws a fit when she doesn't wanna do it with him ..... Really..... Thinking the world revolves around him to care for what was actually going on. Macedonia is rife with possibilities of a scintillating adventures to be found in every corner. This is a very late review I know but I am definitely glad I got to experience it nonetheless and much eager to pursue the sequel.

"An invigorating mix of magic and history"

Genre :     Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: 18th August, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Twisted Tales #1 A Whole New World

Presenting Twisted Tales #1 A Whole New World by Liz Braswell.

Here is the summary of the book:

Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version ofAladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.


Part of the new series Twisted Tales, where each book tells a different fairytale with a twist. A Whole New World, of course tells that of Aladdin and the Magic lamp. Frankly the endeavor resulted in an Ok first adventure. It held a lot of promise really, adding to the lore like that but the execution is mediocre at best.

It bases itself on the Aladdin movie too much, not just with the plot much with the dialogue, the language and the mannerism of the characters. The animated movie was an amazing masterpiece and reserves its own place, catered for children and lighter than what the plot of the book needs with its dark tidings. The dialogues in the book on the other hand were a lot more modern than what I would had expected. Keeping the movie in its place, this is a novel and moreover its a fantasy in a period back in history, so we expected to feel the era here, which doesn't really happen ...... It would have set it of rather nicely though.

When I first read the synopsis I mistakenly though the genie is not added in this story .... but it is actually Jafar who succeeds in getting the lamp first ...... wasn't expecting it but that made a great twist and the idea about the civil war in Agrabah was also very well implemented. The characters also felt flat, they are just the Aladdin, Jasmin, Genie, Abu or Jafar from the animated movie and nothing more. The author didn't remodel them, didn't add anything new to them to fit her story, they just stayed like they always have been. So that was doubly disappointing.

There is a major difference between writing for tv/movie or for a book. You can get away with the 'tell' feature via dialogues because the other parts are fulfilled by the visual details but in books what won't do. Books work with the 'show' aspect. In books you only have words to paint the moment in the readers mind. Sadly didn't happen. I know majority have DNF'd the book but I persisted in hopes that things get better but didn't find enlightenment. The effort was good on the author's part but this book needs polish and seeing the severity of the plot, a lot more oomph to give it the edge it deserves.

"An unsatisfactory Aladdin with a twist"

Genre :     Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale Re-telling, Paranormal

Publisher: Disney Press

Release Date: 1st September, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 11 December 2015

White Rabbit Chronicles #4 A Mad Zombie Party

Presenting White Rabbit Chronicles #4 A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter.

Here is the summary of the book:

The enemy has risen from the grave. Together we slayers must stand, or one by one we will fall.

Ali Bell's crew of zombie slayers thought they'd won the war against Anima Industries, the evil company responsible for capturing and experimenting on zombies in an effort to discover the secret to immortality. In the last epic clash, the slayers lost many of their crew and closest friends. But Frosty, the ice man himself, has not recovered from one casualty in particular — the love of his life, Kat Parker.

On the path to self-annihilation, Frosty receives a message from beyond — Kat's spirit returns, insisting he partner with rogue slayer Camilla Marks. Frosty will do anything for Kat. Except that. Camilla's betrayal caused Kat's death.

But when Anima rises from the grave stronger than ever, Frosty, Camilla and all the slayers will have to work together to survive. And one broken slayer will learn that sometimes the line between hate and attraction is blurred... and the road to redemption may mean letting go of the past and grabbing hold of the future.


OH MY! OH MY! OH MY! Just when we were sure we were sampling the last of the supernova that was the White Rabbit Chronicles, 'The Queen of Zombie Hearts' author Gena Showalter pelts us with another gem. A Mad Zombie Party is everything you would expect it to be. Within a series that developed its caliber with each book, so if Queen of Zombie Hearts was supernova ..... then oh my! this is a Big Bang!!!! 100% swoon-worthy .....

Oh Frosty ....... I was so sure - so sure nothing and no-one could be as great as Cole ...... but Frosty cuts that mark ..... big-time. He is Cole's best friend. A pro Zombie killer. He is hot. Super hot. Tall, dark and sexy. Stubborn to a fault. But most of all insanely loyal and gives his all for the person he loves with all his being *melts* *sighs* .... Damn HOT and sexy ..... And he would do any and everything for his Kat. Even if it meant that he had to tolerate his worst enemies.

Sadly we lost Kat at the end of Queen of Zombie Hearts. But Kitty Kat does not stay dead for long. She comes back as a witness like Helen and Emma. She only wants to help the slayers and keep Frosty safe from mortal danger and for that she coaxes the help of Camilla, who caused her death by betraying the slayers to Anima and has more than enough sass on her own to get them to work together and keep Frosty alive.

This is where Camilla comes in. Milla to her friends, she had had a lot of guilt to swallow. After her desperate betrayal of the slayers, we were all but happy to hate Milla forever but Showalter's heart pounding narrative gives us a pause. She knows she did wrong and is more than capable of reminding herself of it too. Doing anything and everything to try and redeem herself of her wrongs. She had not had a great childhood and those leave big ugly scares but she is gorgeous and kickass stubborn in her own ways. She readily accepts to keep Frosty safe as her one chance to help the one most wronged by what her actions wrought.

Poor Poor Frosty. Fate dealt him a heavy hand. His relationship with Kat had always been a constant from 'Alice in Zombieland' to 'The Queen of Zombie Hearts'. We all saw him as a possessive boyfriend who would do anything for Kat. But A Mad Zombie Party brings a lot of details to light. His life had been a pair of hits and miss's but Kat was his one constant happiness and he loves her unconditionally for that. Dead or alive he only ever wanted Kat, so he accepts her demands to keep Milla close by ..... And surprises of all they hit it off but loads and loads of tug-of-war. *wink* *wink*

Maybe it has something to do with the 'two broken make one whole' or something along those lines but Frosty & Milla hit it off. It is maddening at first for him that its not Kat but Milla who somehow compliments him in ways the former never could. It is a gradual development and a slow burn and GOD the tension between them is just delicious. Maybe because Milla is a slayer like Frosty that she understands him in ways Kat never could and supports him where needed.

This time we get two perspectives, for both Milla and Frosty and its exciting looking at life through their eyes. I won't give it away for anyone who still hasn't read it but i'll say this when they finally voice their feelings .... what follows ...... HOT! HOT! HOT! *fans myself* you will not be disappointed. Not one bit. It is hard to loose your first love and find another so on and be okay with that. They both had a lot of issues to resolve which Gena Showalter beautifully lays out in her flowing narrative and we just can't help but be flown along with the tide. Frosty & Milla found their redemption in each other along the way dealt a heavy blow to Anima plans (maybe forever).

And really i'm sad to see this series end ..... It is always sad when the last book of a beloved series comes around ...... I cried big fat tears when I was reading Kat's note at the end ..... But the books will always be with us and I definitely plan on re-reading them many times.

"Enticingly hot. Deliciously sexy. Excitingly breathless."

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Classic Re-imaging

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: 29th September, 2015

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Alice in Zombieland 
           #2 Through the Zombie Glass
           #3 The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Maze Runner #3 The Death Cure

Presenting The Maze Runner #3 The Death Cure by James Dashner.

Here is the summary of the book:

The Trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors' memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.

But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can't be trusted...

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?


The book of aimless and goalless wandering is what I would call it. The Death Cure disappointed me very much. The Maze Runner series holds a lot of promise and if worked on better, the series could have shattered the norms of the same style of story telling prevalent in this genre with the insert of a fresh branch with this series. But it feels like James Dashner spent all that passion and drive in creating the first, declining in finesse as we went from there to Scorch Trials to finally The Death Cure. The story could have gone n in any direction in this finale...... but 'what ifs' can't change what is in the final result and it was most disappointing to read through.

Poor Thomas and the Gladers had enough of WICKED messing with their minds after what went on at the Maze and Scorch Trials. The Death Cure sees them be given the chance of their memories returned. But they are at an impasse. After much deliberation, bar Thomas, Minho & Newt everyone also decided to get their memories returned. Each and everyone of them are wary but the three boys reasoning that WICKED may not actually return their memories decide to run. What follows is that along with Brenda and Jorge, the boys decide to make a run for it before WICKED takes drastic measures on them.

Don't get me wrong here, I love James Dashner's style of writing. I love the first two books very much and I liked The Death Cure to an extent as well but ..... there has never been more of a disappointing finale than ever. No answers given whatsoever. Teresa relegated to a side role and side character Brenda suddenly becomes the heroine (WTF!) Somehow Thomas gets messed up too, making a lot of questionable decisions. So, the events of The Scorch Trials leaves a not so good image in his mind of Teresa that didn't mean he should just ignore her and trust Brenda when she clearly lied her way through his trust. Moreover when given the opportunity to regain his memories to actually know what his role was in WICKED ........

Then there was Chancellor Paige, who was she and just what was her role in getting the survivors to the safe zone and the rest of the Flare-induced to fend for themselves. I liked New very much, he was the glue and while Thomas' flat emotions at what he had to do didn't make much of a difference on his demeanor. Dashner did justice to his character and I was saddened by his loss. Minho should also have been given more room to breathe. There are million different things the author could have done to justify this finale. Each and everyone of them much better (in my opinion) than the unsatisfactory finale we get here.

I am not sure I want to recommend this book ..... Pretty much only the first two books are the good ones, so you should give them a chance but check this book only at your peril and that too only to see how James Dashner ends it.

"Held a lot of promise but unsatisfactory results"

Genre :     Young Adult, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Chicken House

Release Date: 5th April, 2012

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 The Maze Runner 
           #2 The Scorch Trials

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 4 December 2015

Velvet Undercover

Presenting Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown.

Here is summary of the book:

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray comes this page-turning historical spy thriller from Teri Brown, author of the Born of Illusion series.

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both?

A thrilling story of one girl's journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.


World War I Germany. Spy Thriller. La Dame Blanche. An impossible rescue mission. Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown is all of that but somehow along the way it is cheesy and rather lighthearted for a story of this genre. Of course the cover doesn't give much away, instead of giving the feeling of a warm contemporary story instead of the historical dark period that was WWI. Even with its failing this proved to be a quick and breathless read spurring us forward with the next to solve the identity of Velvet, a most daring spy conveniently positioned in the House of the Kaiser.

This is the story of the tenacious Samantha. Girl Guide. A master puzzle solver and fluent particularly in German. Plucked from school to be chosen for La Dame Blanche to go to Berlin undercover and identify and retrieve the spy code-named 'Velvet' on the promise that the mysterious disappearance of her diplomat father be looked into thoroughly. Strong willed, stubborn, a scholar and quite possibly way out of her depths in the business of a spy. Before being deployed into the field she receives her needed help with what she needs to know. The spy training at best felt sorely lacking and Samantha herself detracting from the mission on account of her running scared.

The first rule of espionage - don't trust anybody and don't get attached. Falling for the enemy is not an options. Sam strikes a friendship with royal guard Maxwell. While insta in its origins, share a multitude of cute and well paired scenes together. But with such failings notwithstanding the narrative flows smoothly and we are invested in the pursuit of uncovering who Velvet is. Expected a lot more out of the book but the experience was rather satisfactory.

"An exciting spy thriller in WWI Berlin. Satisfactory but also unputdownable"

Genre :     Historical Fiction, Espionage, Thriller, Mystery, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 20th October, 2015

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Abomination

Presenting Abomination by Gary Whittia.

Here is the summary of the book:

He is England's greatest knight, the man who saved the life of Alfred the Great and an entire kingdom from a Viking invasion. But when he is called back into service to combat a plague of monstrous beasts known as abominations, he meets a fate worse than death and is condemned to a life of anguish, solitude, and remorse.

She is a fierce young warrior, raised among an elite order of knights. Driven by a dark secret from her past, she defies her controlling father and sets out on a dangerous quest to do what none before her ever have hunt down and kill an abomination, alone.

When a chance encounter sets these two against one another, an incredible twist of fate will lead them toward a salvation they never thought possible and prove that the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness can shine a hopeful light even in history s darkest age.


Stuff of nightmares this book but nothing short of brilliant for Gary Whitta's 'Abomination'. He was the screenwriter of 'The Book of Eli' and worked with many of the Star Wars and Walking Dead material. So we expected something good but we got something majestic. Clearly mixing history with the horror, Abomination is all darkness and alluring and not all shy of graphic violence and jarring details that comes with the territory.

Fiercest of the fierce, warriors of Albert the Great's era, Wulfric paired with a young girl Indra, master of her weapons, but still in need of learning control. Opposites in every way but similarly similar in mysteriously ways. The first, the mightiest warrior of his era but dealt the worst hand of fate when he was cursed to be a malformed, grotesque abomination he so staunchly hunted by orders of his King. Reduced to the life of a beggar to pay for his sins and keep humanity safe from himself.

While Indra eager and very very stubborn goes against her controlling father to prove that women can also do what men can. Her mission to kill an Abomination by herself and attain the privilege of being a part of the order. She may be a master swords-woman, with a kind and generous soul but she has much to learn in terms of anger, revenge and the line that holds it all apart. With two such fulfilling characters, Whitta adds layers of mystery, of surprise, the thrill of the unknown and magic, to strengthen the armor, to scry a location but most of all its ragged use that brought those creepy, twitted, scarred monstrosities to behold.

The plot is well written and well layered, twisting in on itself and surprising us with revelations at opportune moments. All the while striking fear to our very core with its dark and evil atmosphere and the gross description of said Abominations. Gary Whitta skillfully layers out a narrative that captures our attention from the beginning with its astounding mix of history, of fantasy and turning us squeamish at the horror. With a well written plot Whitta's words take us back to the dark ages and keeps us spell bound and rapt till the end.

"A wicked mix of history and the paranormal. Keeps us spellbound till the end"

Genre :     Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Paranormal

Publisher: Inkshares

Release Date: 29th July, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 30 November 2015

A Thousand Nights

Presenting A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston.

Here is the summary of the book:

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.


With the rage of re-tellings in the literary sphere, particularly of fairytales and folktales of the Western world, it is now time to look towards the scorching hot Arabia. While Aladdin, Alibaba and the forty thiefs and Sindbad The Sailor have already been part of the Western culture for quite sometime. The end of the year 2015 seems particularly rife with re-tellings and re-imaginings of the Arabian Nights. It is time to look towards newer avenues, like 'One Thousand and One Nights'. E.K. Johnston's A THOUSAND NIGHTS is one such re-telling of the classic and while it got mixed reviews, I on the other hand liked the mysticism of the approach.

A Thousand Nights, on a closer look loosely follows the original tale and adding magic and magical realism to its plot. Wildly universal in its approach, the story follows the King Lo-Melkiin, a good man but changed to a much crueler variety after a hunt in the desert gone bad. Since then none of his wives survive the first night of marriage, each and everyone of them mysteriously dying off. But then with his current wife, he pauses. She survives Lo-Melchiin on their wedding night when others had died. This one is brave. This one dauntless. This one proves worthy. This one volunteered in place of her sister. This one had magic of her own.

While the original version of the tale tells of the emotion at play, E.K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights depends all the most on magic. Universal in its plot is the element of magic. Pretty much everyone has it. Lo-Melchiin has it, his 'wife' has it, her sister has it and apparently their mothers know it too. Another thing to add pretty much all the characters are nameless aside from Lo-Melchiin. Our protagonist is only referred to as "Lady Bless", "Star of my Skies" and so on throughout the stretch of the book and likewise for all of them. The language of the book while English (obviously!) has a formal touch and clearly the author was trying to portray that this is happening in the Arab country and back in time. So it does take a bit getting used to but once you get past the slow, you can enjoy the beauty and majesty of this standalone re-telling.

The plot of the book has a much darker tone than what you would expect. As such romance does not play a part in this tale. Of course there are hints of it but that's just about it and I appreciate it very much for it. We know the dark intentions of Lo-Melchiin. We know his wife realizes the truth about him and while fearing for her death, stands tall to battle whatever 'her husband' throws at her and tries her best to save anybody that comes in the crossfire. We observe a silent kingdom fearing the demon King, who was once a good man. We know the "sister's" determination to make certain of Lady Bless's survival and ensure the end of Lo-Melchiin. But most of all we observe Johnston spinning and weaving a timeless classic, in her own style filled with lush and vibrant details, with a magic that defies all bounds and awes us with its mystical majesty.

"Magically exotic. Lush. Vibrantly detailed. A Classical re-telling"

Genre :     Young Adult, Re-telling, Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: 6th October, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Department 19 #1 Department 19

Presenting Department 19 #1 Department 19 by Will Hill.

Here is the summary of the book:

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" takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond - from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it's packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.

With a cover reminiscent of the 'Expendables' emblem, Will Hill's Deaprtment 19 is Dracula meets the (above mentioned) Expendables. A tale for boys (girls too) who love the gore and the wicked. Department 19 is the story of a secret British organization created and operating with the purpose of destroying Dracula's brros of blood suckers without the sparkles and the human boy Jaime Carpenter who will do everything he can to save his mother who has been kidnapped by the Vampires.

Following an alternate history, literary figures like Frankenstein, Abraham Van Helsing, Mina Murray, Jonathan Harker, Dracula, Bram Stoker, Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood and the like are real historical beings. And Department 19 was created by Prof. Van Helsing and his associated after the events that transpired in Castle Dracula, after seeing that the Count was the only one of his kind, there were more.

Frankly, I began this with much gusto but the pick up felt too slow for me. I do appreciate the work the author put together for his book. The plot is well detailed and the words flow through the pages well but I just could't feel the connection at all. Jaime just felt too aggressive and rather insolent. Larissa worked well as a vampire but again I didn't think much about Jaime & her smooching it out. I did like the military aspect of the story, that was definitely well written part and loved the mystery and conspiracies surrounding its history and its employees. Frankenstein was pretty much the only character I liked here ..... badass ,,,, Maybe I would have liked it more if I read it when it came out but in all this is a good beginning.

"Expandable meets Dracula"
Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Action, Adventure

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 1st March, 2011

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Cover Reveal: Elementals by Michelle Madow [+ GIVEAWAY]



Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #1
Format: eBook
ISBN: 2940152448849

Synopsis:

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

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Pre-order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBooks 


Giveaway:


Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback ARC of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!


Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads




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http://www.barclaypublicity.com

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lying Out Loud

Presenting Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.

Here is the summary of the book:

Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF - co-starring Bianca and Wesley.

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

The DUFF is a New York Times Bestseller and a major motion picture starring Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman and Alison Janney.


A companion novel to the DUFF- Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Lying Out Loud tells the story of best friends Sonny and Amy (Wesley's sister) and the arrogant and cool-in-a-hipster way, Ryder. And let me tell you something about Sonny- she is a big fat liar. She has no qualms about it. She does everyday to get herself out of situations and protect herself but most of all she just annoyed me.

Sonny and Amy are BFFs more like sisters. Since they were little and they do almost everything together, even if Sonny lies for a living and is less than honest even with Amy. So when she accidentally uses Amy's laptop and chats with Ryder. She realizes he is not as arrogant as he puts himself out there and starts to like him. But there is a teensy-weensy problem, he thought he chatted with Amy, and has a crush on her not Sonny. A sure recipe headed for straight disaster.

I'll be honest I liked The DUFF better than Lying Out Loud. Somehow Sonny and Amy's story didn't resonate with me much. I do like Kody's writing, so I was able to finish it in one sitting but the characters didn't awe me like Bianca and Wesley's did. They do make an appearance here and it is nice to see them bantering with each other like that and still going strong.

Maybe if Sonny's home life had come into play from the start, then it would have played a major part in establishing her as the epitome of a flawed character but for the major part she came off as selfish and downright mean to Amy when her outrageous plans to change Ryder's mind don't work. She also doesn't seem to know how to sat thank you to the generosity of the Rush's for taking her in without question ...... One lie leads to hundreds more, so I was pretty much annoyed that Sonny doesn't come clean sooner.... So I sort of enjoyed it but it didn't resonate with me like The DUFF did.

"Well paced teen melodrama"

Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: 28th April, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
            The DUFF 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Thursday, 22 October 2015

White Rabbit Chronicles #3 The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Presenting White Rabbit Chronicles #3 The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter.

Here is the summary of the book:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.


Explosive, breathless, nonstop, sizzling ...... I can keep listing adjectives but it still won't be able to explain just how much of a supernova this book is or how much I loved every bit of it. A year ago I would have called this a heart stopping finale ...... In a way it is but now it is not the series finale because there is one more book that comes after it. But back on topic ...... if it was possible, Queen of Zombie Hearts was even more phenomenal than its predecessors.

Riveting. Not one breathing space. Not one moment to spare. Explosive and emotionally charged till the end. This is the fight they had been yearning for. Pitted against Anima Industries, this is not a battle to be easily won. Casualties are many and dire. Some not easily forgotten with heartbreaking losses. But the slayers stand tall against their sworn enemy and not backing out till the end.

Ali had had a rough year. She lost her family, came to live with her grandparents and is now able to see zombies. Not to be deterred, she has friends now, learned to fight the Z's and fell in love with boss-man bad-boy Cole Holland, who is just too sexy, hot and adorable to compare. Love and heartbreak, adventures and excitement, her life had been full of them but she doesn't let the bad ones consume her but learn from them and come out better...... I liked that she was extra snarky here and her quirks make her even more adorable. Cole practically worships the grounds she walks on. They both had a lot of growing up to do but we definitely like the place their relationship has reached. My favorite bookish couple by all means.

Gena Showalter just keeps hitting us with everything here. Surprise revelations. New powers. New characters. Heartbreaking, heart racing and heart-stopping moments aplenty. Loose ends tied and jaw-dropping questions are answered. Definitely the best book of the series with the author pulling in all the stops imaginable. An absolutely phenomenal roller coaster ride of a book that will have us coming back for more. Truly sensational.

"Heartstopping. Sizzling, Phenomenal"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Classic Re-imaging

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: 30th September, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Alice in Zombieland 
           #2 Through the Zombie Glass

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Four: A Divergent Collection (#0.1 - #0.4)

Presenting Four: A Divergent Collection (#0.1 - #0.4) by Veronica Roth.

Here is the summary of the book:

Two years before Beatrice Prior makes her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader does the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is his chance to begin again. Newly renamed 'Four' he discovers that initiation is only the beginning.

Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. And his decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to act but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the perspective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.


Just as the name states this is a collection with a treasure trove of stories of Four/Tobias Eaton. Featuring never before seen scenes and events from Four's point of view. From his transfer to Dauntless, to being offered said group's leadership to his first meeting with Tris and subsequent moments. Four has always been a hard character to decipher, this anthology tries to do that.

We see his determination, his resolve, his strength. We also glimpse fear, vulnerability and self-doubt. The collection highlights these points in its stories that answers a lot of questions regarding the issues in Divergent. Compassionate and kind. It felt great to enter Four's mind and see some of the point of origin of many of his traits that we value.

If you loved the Divergent trilogy then you should very much check this series. Fours; A Divergent Collection would ultimately prove to be a nostalgic return to the series and an express look in Four's mind. Excellent character development for Four and every other side characters present. It was every bit as emotional as it was suspenseful and action-packed and your money's worth too.

"Exciting and an instant page turner"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic

PublisherHarperCollins

Release Date: 8th July, 2014

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the author (review links):
               Divergent #1 Divergent 
               Divergent #2 Insurgent 
               Divergent #3 Allegiant

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Lunar Chronicles #3.5 Fairest

Presenting The Lunar Chronicles #3.5 Fairest by Marissa Meyer.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


Levana is one evil Queen. There had never been questions about that throughout the Lunar Chronicles and then comes the novella 'Fairest'. The connecting book between 'Cress' and 'Winter' that affords us that rare look into Levana's roots and bring to the front what really happened to her to make her the way she is. What we find is downright creepy and twisted and sick obsessions of a lonely girl looking for love in the wrong place.

I almost empathized with her circumstances. A disfigured face, absentee parents, abusive sister who ranks higher than her in everything and everyone else who don't know what to do with her. I can only pity her for what she couldn't get from others. But learns to get it all by controlling and manipulating others from behind a glamour. Fairest clearly re-images the story of the evil Queen and Snow White (which i'm pretty sure we'll see in full in 'Winter') down to horrifyingly darker shades.

Levana proved a fascinating villain on her steep downward spiral to evil. She is determined to attain what she desires. Be it besting her sister, or trying to ensnare the already happily married palace guard Evret Hayle by taking the form of his then dead wife and manipulating him into loving her. Showcasing clear sociopathic tendencies, Levana clearly lacks humility and is rather abusive of basic human rights.

Poor Evret. The romance was definitely the most disturbing of the ordeal. Levana clearly doesn't know that you can't force emotions out of anybody. She manipulates him into loving her and then does some very cruel things to serve her purpose. Cinder, Winter and Jacin make appearances and we get to know the environment they came from. What I felt best about this story, the author isn't looking to paint Levana in a good light but show the picture as it is painted. With Meyer's succinct words and the fast pace of the tale, Levana's story was simply fascinating albeit in a sick and a very very disturbing way.

"An extraordinary outlook into the beginnings of the Evil Queen"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Fairytale re-imaging

Publisher: Fiewel & Friends

Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardcover)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Cinder    
           #2 Scarlet 
           #3 Cress 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

 

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