Thursday 28 April 2011

Harry Potter Alert!

The trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has just been revealed! *screams for joy*

Anyone excited and on the verge of tears like I am? CAN NOT WAIT!!!

And now, a friend of mine on Facebook - Caroline - was involved in the below, and I had to show it to you guys because it is awesome!

(For those of you wondering, Caroline is one of the Hufflepuffs!)

GoodRead - Mortal Remains (Audiobook)

In my previous blog post (when I talked about the unabridged audiobook of Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell), I states how much I like Kathy Reichs and how I would stick with her in future crime books.

Well, I discovered about an hour or so after finishing Port Mortuary that I had an abridged version of Kathy Reichs latest audiobook, Moral Remains (aka Spider Bones if you live in the US or in the UK when its released in paperback - cover designs in next post to UK hardback/paperback). And, seeing as I was going to read the book (got it SUPER CHEAP in a sale!), I decided to listen to the audiobook and read one of Kathy Reichs earlier works (either Deadly Decisions or Fatal Voyage) later this year. I am planning to read one of her novels this year and listen to another audiobook by her [I haven't listen to Devil Bones. I started, but never finished…]. So, in other words, am going to go on a Kathy Reichs binge later in the year. Am planning for September time, me thinks…

Anyway, Moral Remains (aka Spider Bones. Whatever you want to call it). Dr Temperance Brennan is called into case where a body is found in a lake. Nothing out of the ordinary, you would think. Expect, the body in the lake has the fingerprints of a young solider who died in Vietnam forty years ago. A solider called John "Spider" Lowery. So, if this guy in the lake is the real Lowery, then who was buried in Lowery's grave? Finding no answers, Tempe goes to the heart of the American military for answers, and finds the case more confusing when she finds Lowery's dogtags with a unknown skeleton… But someone doesn’t want her digging around. And if Tempe isn't careful, her life and those of the people she cares deeply about could be in danger…

Now, one of the huge thing I like about Tempe is her dark humour. With Scarpetta, she's very clinical. No sense of humour whatsoever. With Tempe, she has a sense of humour. It's dark (a bit like my humour if rumours are lead to be believed) and, actually, come to think about it, Tempe has had a life. And she's not perfect like Scarpetta. Tempe has had a failed marriage, a daughter she adores, a sister is flighty, and the man she has feelings for… well, his life is just as screwed up as hers.

But its Tempe's voice and humour that carries the story along at a nice pace for me. There is some action scenes (not many though - that's unusual for a Temperance Brennan novel. Usually, Kathy reichs puts loads in!) and there was a few scene with her and her daughter, Katie. Which was nice. With the stories I've read/listen to, you don't see much interaction from Tempe with her sister, Harry, or her daughter, Katie, so it makes a nice change to see the Mother/Daughter relationship (although you didn't get to see much of it, due to the fact this was an abridged audiobook [again, if you want an audiobook, GET UNABRIDGED!]).

Not sure if the reader - Linda Edmond - got Katie right for my taste. Whenever the reader had to do Katie and Lily, Andrew Ryan's daughter, she always sounded bored. But she nailled Tempe's voice, which is the main thing for me. If the reader of an audiobook doesn't make you believe that they are that character, then you have no connection to the story…!

Now, the story itself. It was an interesting story. It wasn't mind blowing, but when explained, it was one of those "Oh! I've heard that in real life -" (how I have no idea!) "- but doesn't that come out of nowhere?". And once it was all explained, I was part "I KNEW IT!" and part "Ooooooh!".

I know that some fans of Kathy Reichs and Temperance Brennan saying that the books that come later in the series aren't exactly up to the standard of the books that started the series - Deja Dead and Death Du Jour. But I like it. It was better than Port Mortuary, so am stick round with Kathy Reichs and Temperance Brennan for a few more cases…


As I was trying to find pictures, I discovered that when Mortal Remains will be published in the UK in paperback, it will change its name to SPIDER BONES. Just found the covers designs. Hope you like.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Is It Me...?

Is it me or does the firey logo on the cover of DIVERGENT by Vernoica Roth look scaryingly like the eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings...?

I asked this on Twitter last night and the author of Divergent herself, Vernoica Roth, replied back saying "It is not just you. Many people say that to me. As a Giant Nerd, I enjoy the comparison."

GoodRead - Port Mortuary (Audiobook)‏

Am going to be honest with you. I don't like Patrica Cornwell. I have only ever read one of her books - Postmortem - and, though I didn't really enjoy it, I found it interesting to read. So, several months later, when her "latest" book came out - Book of the Dead - I bought it and tried to read it. I barely got past chapter ten. I HATED it! It had switched from first person to third, it was written in the present (which is fine expect the word "says" was used. Like every time someone spoke! No "explains" or "exclaims", just "says".) and there were other things that bugged the hell out of me. So much so, I think I might have thrown the book across the room out of frustation before giving it to a charity shop and started on my first Kathy Reichs' novel - Bones to Ashes - which made me quite like reading crime on the rare occasions I do (Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerristen are my main two crime guilty pleasures).

So, when I (randomly) listened to the teaser of Port Mortuary, I decided to give Dr Kay Scarpetta one last chance to redeem herself to me. I hope that I wouldn't regret it, though it did take some time till I made myself listen to it.

Port Mortuary - the 18th Scarpetta novel - shows Scarpetta at Dover Air Force Base, where she has been working on the fallen and masting the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy, which the Government want to introudce to the provate sector, starting with the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts that she heads up (on behalf of the state, the federal government and MIT). But she is urgently called away to deal with a mysteriously death which is eeirely close to her home. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia. But when his body is examined the following morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked insider the Center's cooler. Various 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen…

What is going on? What caused this man to had a heart attack but then bleed out once his body arrived at the Cambridge Forensic Centre? Why did he have a hidden camera inside his headphones? What happened to his dog that was seen on the hideen camera's footage? And why does a case that happened twenty years ago in South Africa bothering Scarpetta?

Now, in the world of Kay Scarpetta, this book is huge. It's the first book since The Last Precinct that Kay actually told the story. So, if you are a Kay Scarpetta fan, this is BIG NEWS!

And yet...

Within the first hour or so, I realised why I had issues with Book of the Dead. The book is SO clinical! It feels so clinical that there seems to be no room for ANY emotion, and the only time I felt I saw any emotion (from anyone!) is when Kay accidently comes into contact with a drug that made her high, paranoid and worried that she might be on the verge of having a heart attack.

And as for the story... talk about confusing! I finished the audiobook early this afternoon and I feel like the murderer was SO left-fielded and it came out of nowhere that I think I feel a bit cheated, even though the clues (well, I say "clues"...) were there...

I'm not 100% certain how I felt about the reader - Kate Burton - but I felt I could listen to her, although I have read reviews that people think she has made the story sound "end of the world" and dreary.

But I'm sorry. I have tried to like the Kay Scarpetta series. I've tried! And I can't like it. Am going to stick with Tess Gerritsen and Kathy Reichs in future.

Sunday 24 April 2011

GoodRead - Divergent

I got this book from a competition from Cicely Loves Books blog so thanks to her for running the competition. I was told from the peeps on Twitter that this book was "The Next Hunger Games" and, when I got it, I was halfway through another book, I gave it to a pal of mine to read (who read the Hunger Games and loves the series). Within days, I got texts and chats from this friend, who was reading it madly and going "This is SO MUCH BETTER than the Hunger Games!"

High praise! But does it live up to the hype?

In Veronica Roth's debut novel, we are in a dystopian future of Chicago where society is split into five fractions - Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice is about to turn 16, which means that she (and other teens that age) must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives. So, she could stay in her fraction and stay with her family or change and never see her family again.

Whatever her choice, the events will shock her. But will she live long enough to regret her decision...

I have no idea how to write this review, seeing as I finished it in a mad rush this afternoon then rushed onto my mobile, chatiing to my friend, going "Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God!"

Expect with this - the rumours are true. This book trilogy IS the next Hunger Games. Heck, it might be even BETTER than the Hunger Games! The unexpected romance that I was warned about I spot a mile coming, but who cares!? The book never lost its fast pacing and set everything up perfectly for what happens next. It's full of twists, turns, gasps and edge of your seat moments.

I ADORE this book and I hope you guys love it too. Now, to wait for book two in this trilogy. BRING IT ON! I WANT MORE!


Now, this is usually the part of the review where I put Book Trailers and Music that I out with this book. Weirdly, I didn't listen to any music while reading this book, so I have no idea what would be a good song to use here... am listening to some now, but am putting my first thought/choice here. Hope you like...!

Monday 18 April 2011

Colin Mulhern Guest Blog & Competition!

As part of the CLASH book blog tour (featuring the lovely peeps of My Favourite Books, Euro Crime, Asamum Booktopia & The Overflowing Library), Colin Mulhern has written this Guest Blog about he discovered YA fiction, and why the general standard of Young Adult book is so much better than adult ficiton. Take it away, Colin...!

It isn’t easy writing for young adults, not in an age when you have to compete against XBOX games, MP3s, a thousand attractions at the local mall, and every other flashing, beeping thing crying out for some teen attention. But then again, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Want to know why?

I found Young Adult fiction by chance. At the time, I was writing crime fiction and trying to break into a very swamped adult market. To keep up with trends, I was reading a lot of adult thrillers, and I think most of them were either frustrating, boring, or annoyed me so much I’d simply chuck the thing at the wall and reach for another. I was starting to consider the possibility that I don’t actually like crime fiction. Odd that.

Anyway, around that time there was a programme on the BBC about the top 100 books. The one that caught my attention was Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. In the programme, they showed the trilogy as one big monster of a hardback. It looked awesome, so I went out to buy it but all that was available were the paperbacks. I decided the hardback would be available online, but in the meantime I could try something else by the same author. I picked up The Butterfly Tattoo, didn’t think much of the cover but what the hell, I’d give it a go.

It blew me away. It was short, tight and packed with emotion: a powerful, modern tragedy. I went straight to a writers’ forum to shout about it and ask for recommendations. They steered me towards Malorie Blackman, David Almond and Kevin Brooks. I was hooked, and very quickly realised why so many adults read Young Adult fiction. In short: Every Word Counts.

Here’s an experiment, pick up any children’s book from years ago and give it a quick read. I discovered this when I tried to re-read Peter Pan. There is no doubt about the merit of the story, but the language doesn’t half drag. That’s probably because it was written at a time when words didn’t have to compete with instant messaging and multiplayer death-match battles. Next, go for something modern, say Anthony McGowan or Suzanne Collins – you’re no longer told a story, you’re dragged into each and every scene. The style of writing for modern teens is fast and direct. All the fat is trimmed during editing. Every word counts!

On the bad side, it makes it tough for writers to break through because the standard is so high. But for the readers, it means there isn’t the torturous, slow moving bore-fests that choke the adult market. No more books thrown at the wall, and no more wasted paper left unread.

So let’s hear it for Young Adult fiction. Better for interior design, better for the environment.

Colin M

Thank you Colin for this Guest Blog. Now, if you still want to win a copy of his debut novel, CLASH, you can! Enter below!

The closing date will be Easter Monday and I will be email the winnner later that evening for the needed information. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

GoodRead - Clash

When I was asked to read CLASH, I was in two minds about it for quite sometime. It didn’t feel like something I would read (very much out of my comfort zone of reading!), but then, I saw reviews and was torn. I decided to read it after suggesting to the publisher's PR (a lovely lady called Liz) that I would give the book away. My reasoning: if I am giving a book away, I want to know it's good. I don't want to give a book away that I felt was bad. (Wanna win a copy? Visit my blog tomorrow as part of the CLASH Book Blog Tour).

CLASH is a debut novel from Colin Mulhern. Set in the North East of England, the book follows the lives of two boys: Alex and Kyle. Alex is the school psycho and an underground cage fighter who witnesses a terrible thing. Kyle is a talented artist who is suffering with his own problems. So when these two very different boys clash together, the outcome is

Now, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. But I kinda liked it. I liked how the chapters jumped from Alex to Kyle then back again. I've seen this been used before in books but it never always worked. In Clash, it worked. The characters were so different from each other that it worked to have their different reactions to the same events. And to have these characters being damaged and, up to a point, dangerous was interesting to read.

Having cage fighting a factor in the novel was interesting. It shows Alex as a dangerous character and shows how, in one move, both Alex and Kyle's lives change in an instant due to one wrong move.

This reads like a thriller with it having very dark and gritty moments. It feels, at times, very cat and mouse. But it also feels very Bully/Victim. It shows how a bully - or the local psycho - is a victim in one form or another and Kyle being a victim but, somehow, both of them getting the courage to not be a victim anymore.

Also, I have read reviews where some people say they preferred reading Alex's story over Kyle's. I disagree, and related more to Kyle than Alex. It was only when I was a hundred or so pages in when I saw people's reasons why Alex's story was more interesting than Kyle. But I prefer Kyle's story. But this is up to the person reading the book. Some people will prefer Alex's story, others will prefer Kyle's story. There's no right answer on which character you should prefer.

There were one or two things that bothered me. Not huge things, but tiny things. The first was the names - I always thought Alex and Kyle's names should have switched (you can blame Hollyoaks & Home And Away from that!). Kyle sounds harder so to have it places on someone gentle was odd. Got over that very quickly. The second thing was the ending. It just felt a tad open-ended. Maybe there's a sequel coming. Maybe the author always planned it to be like this, to show life carry on, but there was a loose end I felt was left undone. Will have to get over it…

All in all, I liked CLASH. It was a thriller that was fast to read, dark and gritty. Will be interested to see what this author writes next…


Now, with every review, I show "out of the box" music choices that I listened or thought about when I was reading this book. So, here are my choices with book trailers...

Also, if you like the song used in this trailer - created by the talented Massive Dog - you can download it for free at

Tuesday 12 April 2011

GoodRead - Cryer's Cross/The Missing

As you guys knows, I really like Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy so when news hit me that her stand alone novel - Cryer's Cross - was getting published in the UK (under the new title of The Missing), I got excited then worried. Will it live up to the Wake hyper? And for quite some time, I was wondering if I should even buy it? And then, Tescos started selling copies SEVERAL MONTHS EARLY - and I couldn't resist.

So, the story. The small town of Cryer's Cross is shocked when a girl called Tiffany vanishes without a trace. Kendall didn't know Tiffany well, but her disappearance upsets her OCD. Months slowly pass and life returns to normal. And then Kendall's maybe boyfriend, Nico, vanishes in exactly the same way as Tiffany. The town is thrown into shock as is Kendall. With the town in a state of fear, Kendall's OCD makes a connection bewteen the disappearances: both Tiffany and Nico sat at the same desk. And then the messages start. Is Kendall slowly losing her mind to her OCD and grief? Or is something more sinister and frightening happening in Cryer's Cross?

If you look for secrets in the small town, you'll find huge and terrible secrets...

Now, let's get this straight. As I have said in a previous blog, I don't like the UK title of The Missing. I much prefer the title Cryer's Cross. And though I don't exactly like the UK cover (the US cover is CREEPY AS HELL!), the cover has slowly grown on me. I can now accept it, though I still don't like it.

And before you say it, you guys are right. NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!

So, the story itself. I really like it. It is a perfect book to come out after Wake. It has the same levels of story telling and characters you can relate to. And yet, it feels different.

Maybe it's because of the main character, Kendall. She's a character that I really liked and it was interesting to read a character who has OCD. I have never read a book where this issue had been tackled and yet, isn't the main issue of the story. The main issue was the disappearances, but the OCD was there and didn't feel like Lisa decided halfway through the story to have a book about OCD and just threw it in. It felt like Lisa took great care in tackling this issue (in one interview, Lisa said her daughter suffers from OCD and she just wanted to tackle this issue) and it shows.

Also, there were little paragraphs in the book entitled WE. And... THEY WERE CREEPY! Seriously. They were just creepy! And once you figure out why, it makes those paragraphs more creepier!

One thing I wanted to talk to you about which I think Lisa did perfectly in this book: the not knowing. These character suffer the shock of the disappearances, but it's not the not knowing that is far worse. The not knowing if they were alive or dead, and then you see the world/life is still going on yet your stuck in this limbo.

So, if you're a fan of Wake, you will be thrilled to read Cryer's Cross or The Missing.


Now, here is all the trailer, interviews and the song I listened to at one point in my reading blitz (blame Grey's Anatomy again...)

Friday 8 April 2011

GoodRead - One Seriously Messed Up Week...

I want to say something before I go any further with this review: I didn't like school. I don't look back on my secondary school years with love. Actually, I prefer to pretend those years didn't exist (though, not my college years. I actually quite like those years). So, when I get books which are "Secondary/High School" book (no magic, vampires, mystery, horror), I usually stay away from them.

So, why haven't I ran away from this book screaming? Well, two reasons. First, I became friends with the author, Tom Clempson, on twitter and after readng a really random tweet of his which made me burst into laughter, I thought the book would be brilliant. And second, Rhys from Thirst For Fiction read and praised the book VERY HIGHLY on Twitter and his GoodReads. Over the past few months, I have discovered that Rhys and I have very similar taste in books and seeing his reaction to Jack Samsonite, I had high hopes.

So, the book. Our hero - Jack Samsonite - has a mission. First, to pass his GCSEs. Second, to win the girl of his dreams (who barely knows he exists!). And third, to survive the week without getting his face punched in. Well, the good thing he has a plan... well, I say plan, it's kinda half of a plan... well, I say half a plan, what I mean is...

Now, I feel very lucky. Atom Books (the UK publishers) have sent this to me and a few other bloggers this book TWO MONTHS before its published and in bookshops (it's out in early June 2011). So, yeah, I had to get excited. And when Atom say it's like Adrian Mole meets the Inbewteeners (I haven't read or seen either of these - PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!), so of course, high hopes.

Now, can I say this? This book has one of the longest (and maybe stupidest) titles known to man or beast - One Seriously Messed Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane & Uneventful Life of JACK SAMSONITE (can you say that in one breath?) - barring, maybe, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Crackling Stump (which is featured in The Tales of Beedle The Bard by JK Rowling). But it sounds like something a teenager would call his essay.

It is crude. The language and the jokes are crude - very teenage boy - so some people may not like it. So, if you get easily offended, you might not want to read this book. Also, I found it odd to read it. I read it in chucks rather than in one huge go or reading it on the correct days (some of you must do this. Read Monday on Monday, read Tuesday on Tuesday, read Wednesday on Wednesday, etc). But I think I did this because I didn't like school much.

With all that said, this was one of the funniest books I have read in a while. And with the introduction written after the week's event (so you know VAGUELY where it was going to end, although no idea HOW), it had moments of thriller-type books in there. But it is a comedy book, and there were things I laughed and other times I cringed and remembered the other kids in my class (who were either cooler than I was or people who made life not pleasant) doing or saying thpse things. So, very close to the bone, but funny. Very funny. Keep your eyes peeled on this author, chaps!


Now, as you guys know, with every book I read and review on the blog, I like to add a song or two to it. Songs that relate or I listened to while reading. But, Jack Samsonite has kinda stumped it. I listened to loads of music while reading this (and the book mentions the Killers and Muse), but nothing feels right. And, from my comments on Goodreads, the only music I reference was music used in the Grey's Anatomy: Music Event episode... so, yeah... sorry about that!

Tuesday 5 April 2011

The Hunger Games Casting

Yesterday, news was released about who would be playing Peeta and Gale within Liongate's THE HUNGER GAMES, based on the bestselling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Now, seeing as I haven't reported on the film before, am going to reveal to you the Tritiny of the Hunger Games. Who is playing Katniss, Peeta and Gale...

For Katniss, we have JENNIFER LAWRENCE.

For Peeta, we have JOSH HUTCHERSON.

And for Gale, we have LIAM HEMSWORTH.

What do you guys reactions to these castings? Do you like or dislike? Or are you surprised over these castings? I am surprised (because I never had an actor in my head when I was reading the trilogy) but these actors (to me) are quite unknown so am happy on that front.

But what about you? Yea or na to the Hunger Games castings?

EDIT: Has just found out that The Hunger Games will be released in UK cinemas on 23rd March 2012. That means Liongate has LESS THAN A YEAR to do all the castings, film the film and then do the Post-Production. Can they do it? Or will it feel rushed?

GoodRead - Red Riding Hood (Bonus Chapter)

Afew weeks ago, I read the novel version of Red Riding Hood (Thanks Atom Books), but the final chapter was missing making you guys go see the film so you find out the truth about the Wolf.

Now, last night, I somehow got my hands on this Bonus Chapter (don't ask me how! I just did! Maybe through the US publishers) and... er... I never saw THAT coming! Am going to keep it quiet but I thought you better know that I have read it and I am not sure if I like this Bonus Chapter. It doesn't exactly end the way I suspect... It was a surprise, and if I was more on the ball, I should have seen it. But I didn't so... yeah...

Oh, all right then! This is the Wolf...

Friday 1 April 2011

The Silence - A Short Story

I was meant to put some writing on the blog last night, but I had a bit of a problem. Ok, I was a bit lazy. But I have been keeping my writing quiet the past few days because a short story I was writing had me in two minds due to recent events in the news. Plus, a tiny part of my feels a bit guilty that I haven't been doing much editing for my main story or writing the other main story (Confused?). So, I wanted to write something short and this is it.

This is something that popped into my head a few days ago and, after manically writing it down, I liked it quite a lot. I might use it in the future (with a few word changes), but I thought I would share with you. ENJOY!


“What do you know about The Silence?”
“The Silence?”
“It's a creature older than Time itself. It hides in the shadows. It hides in the darkness. It hides, only to be seen out of the corner of your eye. It is a creature more terrifying than any other creature alive. No human has seen it. And if they have, they suffer a fate worse than death.”
Pause. “There's no such thing.”
“Are you certain about that?”