Monday, 2 March 2015

GoodRead - Half Wild

I finished this yesterday evening, and I had to sit and let it sink in before I dare consider writing this review.

After the events of Half Bad (not read my review or seen my 60 second review video for Bookish Brits? You know the drill), where Nathan meets his father so briefly, Nathan is a now a full adult witch. And still on the run from the White Witches.

He needs to find his friend, Gabriel, then try to save Annalise from the powerful Black Witch, Mercury. All the while, trying to control his Gift and watching as Soul O'Brien has taken control of the council of White Witches. War is coming as Soul is planning to take more control and is expanding his war against Black Witches into Europe.

War is coming. The question is, what will Nathan lose?

Right, I have to say this before I go any further. I loved Half Bad.  I LOVED IT SO MUCH! So much so that, within a very short space of time, I read the eNovella prequel and the sequel. THIS IS SUPER RARE FOR ME! I usually get excited and then have to wait a year for the next book, which gives me time to calm down and get my expectations to a nice level so I can enjoy and love the book.

Not this time. And because I LOVED Half Bad, I guessed that, while I'll love Half Wild, I won't love it as much... So I braced myself.

This is a very different book. It feels more brutal and bloody compared to Half Bad. If Half Bad was Harry Potter on acid, then I think Half Wild is Mockingjay on acid as well.

Both books have a feel that war is coming and the planning that goes behind war. But, unlike Mockingjay, which only took one book to look into the war, Half Wild throws us into war in the latter part of book 2 of her trilogy, leaving one more book to make all the heck hit the fan (not going to swear here!).

If you disagree with me, read the last 10 or so percent of this book and get back to me. This left me in a book coma all yesterday and today. And I start a new book amost immediately! DAMN YOU SALLY!!!

The writing in this is still very unique. It feels very Sally Green and I can't fault her in it. It's one the book's strongest points! And the way Sally is tackling the love triangle is interesting - it's there but it isn't the main focus. It's gently simmering in the background and I love that!

I still have a few tiny problems. One of them was Annalise. I can't help it with her. I keep thinking of her as Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder (love that show!) so I have to keep them serpeate. But I don't buy the relationship between her and Nathan (yes, this book converted me to the Nathan/Gabriel). I think it's because I was going "Nathan, are you really in love with Annalise? Do you love her because you love her? Or is it because, outside your family, she's the first White Witch who treated your like a human being rather than a experiment?"

But a worthy sequel. I can not wait for how Sally wraps this up (and we have to wait till next year. NEXT YEAR?! HOW AM I MEANT TO WAIT THAT LONG?!). Can I preorder it now or should I start begging Sally for book 3 now?

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 28

FIRST BOOKS AND THEIR THEME SONGS OF 2015! Where have the last 2 months gone?!

Anyway, because I was playing around with my idea of If I Made The Movie Soundtrack For... posts, there might not be as many songs here as I would have liked. Oh well...

I hope you like the songs choices! And, as I want to discover new music, if you read any of the books I mention and have a different song for them, please let me know! I would love to hear you about music!

"What's The Matter" by Milo Grenne

ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter
"I Lied" by Nicki Minaj

HALF BAD by Sally Green
"Ten Tonne Skeleton" by Royal Blood & "I'm A Ruin" by Marina and the Diamonds

Friday, 27 February 2015

NetGalley Declined Requests - REVEALED

I did want to write a post about some books in my TBR pile. Just to give you guys a sneaky peek in what I have and to just big up some exciting titles that I haven't had chance to read. But when I tried to start that post, I got a little overwhelmed. But I wanted to do something similar, and this was my first idea that got me very excited!

I mean, I might have got declined these reads but why not show them off? You guys might discover them and go "That sounds perfect for me!" Which is why I am going to link them to GoodReads so if any take your fancy, you can read up about them on that at your leisure)

Now, I know I got my decline requests on NetGalley and, with each one I got, I get weirdly excited. That's weird to admit but yes, I get excited over getting decline requests (so publishers, if you see my name via NetGalley, you can reject my request. I won't take it badly. I probably will go "They decline me? AWESOME!!!").

So, let me pick a few of these (I got 10 so far.) and explain why I requested them...

THESE BROKEN STARS & THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Disney-Hyperion - GoodReads Link for TBS and GoodRead Link for TSW)
Ok, let's get the requests that hurt out of my system first. But yes... I requested both of these and both were rejected. It was because both these books were getting such hype round them and both were super cool. Titanic in space? SOLD! But I believe both were for US readers only (I lived in hope). Plus, I have read them both (audiobook for These Broken Stars and the lovely Luna from Luna's Little Library loaned me for ARC of This Shattered World) and I am still shocked that this series hasn't got a UK publisher! SERIOUSLY?!

HIS ROOMMATE'S PLEASURE by Lana McGregor (Carina Press - GoodReads Link)
I have no idea why I requested this. I can't honestly remember why. I think I wanted to read more grown up books featuring same sex relationships. But it feels like most of the stories I seem to come across in the LGBT section on Amazon seem to be erotica and have some form of S&M in it. Really? I just want a love story where the couple have a happy ever after, who happen to be gay. Is that too much to ask?

CLOSE UP by Kelly Brook (Pan Macmillan - GoodReads Link)
This was an impulse request. I think Kelly does sometimes get a bit of a bad wrap so I wanted to read her side of the story. Plus, I wanted to read more widely and non-fiction was one of those areas I wanted to start reading. But a few days after I requested it, I had a small panic and went "I'm not sure if I want to read this now". I think some stuff had come out in the news and it made me feel very uncomfortable so I was a little relieved to get declined.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (Cornerstone/Random House UK - GoodReads Link)
This is one of the only few classics I have wanted to read for YEARS now. It's rare that I want to read a "classic" but yes, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of them. And it was on NetGalley to co-inside with the release of this becoming an eBook for the first time. I got decline for this, but I got a copy of this on my Kindle and I have every plan to read it within the next six months so THIS IS GONNA HAPPEN! Just a tad later than when I was expecting it. But this sounds like something I am going to love and effect the way I view the world...

DIE AGAIN by Tess Gerritsen (Transworld Books/Random House UK - GoodReads Link)
Though I don't read the genre often, I really enjoy reading crime books. And one of my fave authors in the crime/thriller worlds is Tess Gerritsen. So, when I saw her latest on NetGalley, I thought about requesting this for a while. It had been a few years since I read her last and with me watching the TV show inspired by this series, I was unsure if I was going to sink into this world. But I requested it after I read the eNovella John Doe. I forgot how much I enjoy reading about these characters. While I was declined this, I do want to go back and read another of Tess's books, but I don't own any of them now sadly so I will have to go hunting in charity shops or go scare my local library...

THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall (Putman Juvenile/Penguin Group USA - GoodReads Link)
I think I first heard of this on a podcast I listen to call Bookhype. They were chatting about this book and it intrigued me. A teen Da Vinci Code? With hints of glamour, romance, secrets and ancient prophecy? It could be a read I speed through one hot sunny day on a beach. Again, like These Broken Stars, I do think this was for US readers only and I'm not certain if it has a UK publisher, but this sounded like a fun read!

Ok, that's it. Am not going to show any more. Some of them I want to hold back on in case I fancy doing another post in a few months time (fingers crossed for my declined request, people! My tastes in books are going through a weird phase at the moment so... yeah...)

But tell me, have you read any of these books? Did you like them? Should I hunt them down and read them at once? Or, if I see them, should I try and run in the opposite direction? Leave a comment or tweet me and let me know! Am curious on what you guys think....

Monday, 23 February 2015

Harry Potter #re3 2015 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret

Why hello again! Welcome back to me trying to read all seven Harry Potter books within one year. Today, in the second month of this year, I have read (and am typing up) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

My reactions now I have reread this book? I forgot how much I dislike this book within this series. And I mean, really dislike it.

I just forgot how much I cringe when reading Chamber. The first few chapters I just powered through because, while I love Dobby, I just find it hard to read. And then we have Lockhart - the slime known as Lockhart. Every time he appeared, I just wanted to shudder. I forgot/blocked his Valentine's Day plans and when I remembered, I recoiled from the book, going "NONONONO!"

Change the blog post before I said to rant and rave! 

What I found really interesting was that this is (according to the Ring Theory - a theory where each book reflects another [Philosopher's Stone reflects Deathly Hallows, Chamber of Secrets reflects Half Blood Prince, Prisoner of Azkaban reflects Order of the Phoenix, leaving Goblet of Fire standing alone) how the clues hinted at the information we discover in Half Blood Prince. For example, in an early chapter, the mention of an opal necklace and a vanishing cabinet was mentioned (and the vanishing cabinet was mention again in a latter chapter by Flinch several chapters later [chapter 10 or 11]) , both of these are hugely important to Half Blood Prince

There is two other points of huge interest. On page 253 of the edition I read, there's a line that says "Harry couldn't explain, even to himself, why he didn't just throw Riddle's diary away." and then on page 357, Dumbledore says to Harry "Unless I am mistaken, he [Voldermort] transferred some of his powers to you the night he gave you that scar." HOROCRUX ALERT!!! DUMBLEDORE KNEW HERE! I guessed he suspected in Philosopher's Stone when Harry asked him at the final chapter, but we know from this little line that Dumbledore knew for certain here. 

Before I go away and figure out when I am going to read my fave Harry Potter book, Prisoner of Azkaban, can I ask you guys a quick question. Can someone explain why Hermione, a huge book lover, tore a page out of a book then wrote the word Pipes on it? She tore a page out of the book, defacing the book, and then wrote on the page, defacing the page. Why didn't she take the book out of the library and bookmark the page with a piece of parchment with the word pipes? Was Hermione just rushing, or was she acting justly, even though (in my honest opinion), this is the book where Hermione acts the most out of character for lack of reason?

Ok, blog post over. I will leave you now. 2 books down, 5 to go and the next book is my fave in the series!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!! 

PS - sorry there's no cover of which Harry Potter cover I read. For some reason, Blogger didn't want to show it. Sorry everyone!!! 

GoodRead - Mort

A few years ago, I did a readalong with Stevie of SableCaught fame of Murder of the Orient Express by Agatha Christie on Twitter. We planned to do a video on her channel and talk about our reactions to the book, so we met up, did the video (which has NEVER SEEN THE LIGHT OF DAY because of the audio. And hopefully, because of this, we will NEVER SEE IT! EVER!) and chatted about Discworld as I was curious on the series and wondered where I would start. Stevie said this was the book to start, even though it's the fourth book in the series.

Death comes for us all. But when Death came for Mort, he offered Mort a job. What could possibly go on? A lot, is the answer. A lot.

Ok, I am going to start with this point before I go any further. I HATE THIS COVER! HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!!! I know why this is the cover and I get why you lovely people love it but, in my opinion, it's awful. I trying to understand why Keli is wearing very very little - so much so that her boobs are going to pop out any second. I don't like how Mort is drawn. What is up with his neck. And with up with Ysabell? Where is Ysabell's body and isn't both Mort and Cutwell meant to be in their late teens/early twenties? And don't get me started on Death!

*exhales loudly* Sorry. I had to get that rant out of my system! I really dislike the cover, in case you didn't guess...

Ok, my reactions to the book. I am a tad mixed on this book.

My main reason, I think, is because I had such high expectation over this series - I mean, it's one of those series that everyone who reads adult fantasy read and love. So, the bar was always going to be high and, of course, the book was never going to reach my expectations.

But it's an interesting read. And an odd book.

For me, this is a good book to start with the Discworld series as the first half of the book touches on the weirdness of Discworld and, once the world is explained and the story gets on its feet (around 100 pages or so), I liked it. It wasn't what I was expecting.

Death is a character I love. As weird as that makes me sound, he intrigues me. He's a walking contradiction. He shouldn't meddle in human lives, and yet he finds us fascinating. He likes cats and has a horse called Binky. Oh, and he has an adopted daughter.

Yeah, this is the Grim Reaper as we know him.

I think tht's one of the reasons I liked this book. This book - ok, this series from my chats with "real" Discworld readers - takes fantasy very seriously. And yet, because it does, it knows where the humour lies. Its tongue is firmly in its cheek without making the world seem ridiculous or unreal, even though the Discworld is unreal and ridiculous.

But, like I said earlier on, I had high expectations over this book and it's my own fault that I didn't like it as much as I hoped. BUT I'M NOT GONNA GIVE UP! I won a beautiful hardback edition of Reaper Man and I have plans to read that and maybe one or two more Discworld books. When I feel brave enough to tackle them...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

His Dark Materials Read-a-long

When Stephen from Dark Readers and I got chatting on Twitter about His Dark Materials, we both said an idea of doing a readalong would be cool. And before I knew it, a bunch of other book bloggers got excited over this idea too.

So, throughout the course of March, we are banding together to do the His Dark Materials ReadALong, based on the series by Philip Pullman (to celebrate its 20th anniversary of being published! 20TH ANNIVERSARY, PEOPLE!!!) . Each week, one or two of us will take to Twitter and talking about what we have read, whether we are reading the book for the first time or if we're rereading it and discovering new things...

So, what's the plan of action? Well, here it is!

Monday 2nd March till Sunday 8th March 2015 - Tales of Yesterday (@ChelleyToy) and Comet Babes Books (@CometBabesBooks) will be reading Northern Lights.

Monday 9th March till Sunday 15th March 2015 - Bookish Treasures (@Loopy_Lu_) will be reading The Subtle Knife.

Monday 16th March till Sunday 22nd March 2015 - Thirst for Fiction (@FictionThirst) will be reading The Amber Spyglass.

Monday 23rd March till Sunday 29th March 2015 - Dark Readers (@DarkRReviews) and myself (@PewterWolf13) will be reading Lyra's Oxford.

SATURDAY 28TH MARCH 2015 - All of us will be listening to the audiobook The Collectors (it's really short! Only 30 minutes long so we will be tweeting about throughout the day...)

Monday 30th March till Sunday 5th April 2015 - Myself and Dark Readers will be reading the other novella, Once Upon A Time In The North.

If you are following us on Twitter (or fancy taking part), we have come up with a hashtag - #HDMReadALong. It'll be great fun. Honest!

Friday, 20 February 2015

GoodRead - Goddess of the Underworld

I just wanted something quick to read before I start my second installment of my Harry Potter 2015 #re3 Challenge (I really need to think of a catchy title!), so, after quickly flicking through my kindle for a short, fast read, I discovered this eNovella. Didn't seem that long plus I have the second book in Aimee Carter's The Blackcoat Rebellion series on my kindle (thank you NetGalley) so I thought I would get back into Aimee's writing style and read this.

Persephone's story isn't the one we know. Forced into a loveless marriage (for her) to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, against her will, she wonders if she will ever escape or find real happiness...

*intakes deep breath*

A few years ago, I think I would have liked this. A few years ago, when I read The Goddess Test and all the eNovellas I blitzed (The Goddess Hunt, The Lovestruck Goddess and God of Thieves), I think I would have liked this story a lot more than I did.

BUT! But, I didn't. I liked Aimee's writing style and it was kinda interesting to read her take on Greek mythology and why The Goddess Test happened the way it did.

But I had a strong negative reaction to this story. While I do like Aimee's writing, I felt it was too sugary sweet for this story. Plus, all the characters came out so negatively in my eyes, am surprised I finished this without throwing my kindle across the room. No one came out as likeable and it upset me because, while it was been a few years since I have read The Goddess Test, there were a few characters I did like but now... they seem tainted somehow.

Out of the three eNovellas (The Lovestruck Goddess, God of Thieves and Goddess of the Underworld), this is my least favourite. In what I have read from Aimee Carter, this is the same too.

But this is a my opinion, and like I said before, it has been a few years since I read The Goddess Test and the eNovellas that go with it. I have read reviews that disagree with my opinions so, if this appeals to you, go for it! I hope you like/love it!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

GoodRead - John Doe

This was meant to be my first read for a themed month I was planning for next month - Murder Month - but something happened (will reveal the news soon) so thought I would throw this at you now, rather than keep it on the back burner. And it's with one of my fave crime authors (and one I haven't read in AGES!), Tess Gerritsen with her eNovella, John Doe.

Dr Maura Isles is at a boring social event. So when a good looking young man chats her up, she's thrilled. And then... nothing. She can't remember anything about that night after he goes gets her a glass of champagne. She's at home, with Jane Rizzoli banging on her front door with two pieces of news. A man is dead - and he has Maura's address in his pocket...

As someone who follows the TV show, Rizzoli and Isles (which the book series is inspired from), this short story sounded very similar to an episode in season 4 called Killer in High Heels. This is one of the main reasons I held off reading this till now.

But once I started reading this, I realised that the two are very different. The TV show pushes Maura into a situation we have never seen her in - a prison. Whereas the book took a much darker turn in questioning how sexual assault is handled by the Police.

I was hooked in reading this - like I said, it's been FOREVER since I read Tess Gerritsen and I haven't got any of her latest books on my TBR pile! - and while I think most crime fans will read this and go "Typical eNovella thriller", I'm quite excited to go back to her again. It's been too long. Maybe I will reread Body Double (my first Tess Gerritsen), Vanish or The Mephisto Club... Or should I try her latest...?