Tuesday 31 May 2011

GoodRead - A Touch Of Dead

As some of you guys know, I just got a Kindle (I've gone over to the dark side!) and a voucher to buy up to £10 worth of eBooks to get me started (which was nice. Shame I have LOADS of books to read before I can attack the Kindle). Was snooping something to add that would make a huge impact on me. I was going to add Kathy Reich's Virals, but saw that in ASDA for the STUPID price of £3.95 (basically 5p per chapter!!! BARGAIN OR WHAT?!), so bought on random impulse two Sookie Stackhouse eBooks - Definitely Dead and A Touch Of Dead.

Out of the two, I chose A Touch of Dead because of three reasons. First, I wanted a fast read and a collection of short stories seems the best way to go. Second, I haven't read the whole series. I jump in and out of it. I mean, read the first book in the series, watched the first and second series of True Blood, know vaguely the plotline for the third book in the series, listened to the audiobook of book 4 and then downloaded book 6 or 7 within the series and a collection of short stories. And third, I like the sound of the title. Lame but true. So… Not exactly a solid fan, am I? But I wanted to enter this world and understand it before I dive into it with Definitely Dead. So…

A Touch of Dead is a collection of five short stories, each with its our tale and each having a place in the series. The stories are Fairy Dust, Dracula Night, One Word Answer, Lucky and Gift Wrap. Each of these short story take place within the series and explains small things within the series that happened, but "off screen". The reason for that is because of the author wrote them and had to cut them out due to plot.

So in twitter form (140 characters or so), explain each story. Right?

Fairy Dust has Sookie investigating the mysterious death of Claudine & Claude's triplet, Claudette. Three humans are suspects… but who's the killer?

Dracula Night has Sookie been invited to Eric's bar to celebrate Dracula Night. But is all what it seems?

One Word Answer has Sookie discover that her cousin was a vampire. And is now murdered. But who killed the favourite of the Queen of Louisiana?

Lucky has Sookie investigate a break-in of a Insurance Salesman's office, who happens to be a small-time witch. Does his good luck charms have anything to do with it?

And Gift Wrap has Sookie alone at Christmas. Keeping busy, she goes into the woods and discovers a naked man who needs her help. But is all as it seems?

Now, if you're a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series, you want to know where these stories fit within the series. Well, researched on Wikipedia for you and got the following: both Fairy Dust and Dracula Night happen after Dead to the World (bewteen book 4 and 5), One Word Answer happens just before Definitely Dead (book 6), and both Lucky and Gift Wrap happen after From Dead to Worse (between book 8 & 9). So, the short stories are set out in order of where they come in the series, but you need to research where…

Now, reactions of each story. Fairy Dust was good story to start with. If you haven't really read the series, like myself, you enter this story and a lot of details is given to you. The existance of vampires, weres, shapeshifters and fairies is said and briefly touched upon and then you get into the story. It was an good story. Not my fave out of the five, but a nice story to get my teeth into.

Dracula Night. Right, ok. Honestly? This story is random. It was a fun little story about Dracula and showing Eric, a character which is dark and will do things for himself, acting like a little kid on Christmas Morning. And it was nice to have Pam talk more. I don't exactly like Pam in the TV's True Blood, but while listening to Dead to the World audiobook, I quite liked her. She was an interesting and complex character so hearing her talk and react to Sookie (and over-excitable Eric) was interesting. But this story was pretty random.

One Word Answer is probably my fave story out of the five. It felt the strongest out of the five and the story that felt like it added something more to my knowledge of Sookie's world. How the story and the mystery were explain and concluded felt right within this world. Plus, it's leads very nicely into Definitely Dead (which I have on my kindle).

Lucky was a fun read. There's not much I can say about this one. I think this was because there was a two characters in here that been in the series that I've never met. But, I like this story due to it touchs on Witchcraft and Sookie's telepathic powers.

Gift Wrap is for those of you Sookie fans that read the book for the sexy-ness. Yes, we have sex in this story. This is just a fun story which kinda adds nothing to the series, but it's fun to read because it adds nothing to the series. It's a silly fun read. And it's the first time within the series that it isn't written competely in Sookie's point of view - this is because Sookie couldn't possibly know about it. But this helped the story for me as it was like "We know something Sookie doesn't!". But like I said, this story adds nothing to the series. It's basically fluff!

The stories were fun, fast reads. It took 40-odd minutes to read each of them, but I strenched it out over the course of several days. But if you sit down and read them back to back, you would be done within a hour or two...

My main problem with A Touch of Dead was that before every story, you had a drawing from the US cover designer. Which is fine, expect each of them just felt wrong. Each of them felt childish and never sat well with me. For the US audience, then this would be perfect as this is the style of the series's covers, but we (in the UK) only got 3 or 4 covers from the US before the cover design changed to the scarily white model with red lips and then, a few years later, the True Blood actors. Maybe if the UK has different illustrations from a different illustrator or five different drawings from five different illustrators, then I would be more happy with them. But to me, they didn't add anything. But for a true fan, maybe they do.

I know. It's a tiny thing that got me. That and no info on where the short stories fit in the series. But ha-ho!

Overall, this was a fun additional titbits to the series. If you're a fan of the series, then this is a must. Might not add anything, but it'll make you smile. If you're not a fan, then this is ok too. Just do some background research before you start because a lot of info will go over your heads.

Mortal Instruments Castings!

News has broken out on the Mortal Instument movie front that has got fans all excited! Now, as we know, Lily Collins was casted as the lead of Clary.

And now, Deadline has revealed who has be casted as the male lead, Jace. It's... Jamie Campbell Bower! Fans have been getting excited over this on Twitter as this was one of the main actors people imagined could play Jace.

Now, at the time of writing this blog post, it hasn't been confirmed by Cassandra Clare, ScreenGems (the film production company) or Mundie Moms (THE place to go if you want info on Mortal Imstruments & Infernal Devices), but the noises sound hopeful so fingers crossed. If I am wrong, will happily amend this blog post.


Now, if the moviemakers could make this casting, I will be one very happy blogger!


Sunday 29 May 2011

GoodRead - Tiger's Curse

Hodder randomly emailed me, asking if I wanted to read this. I have heard about it through Twitter (actually, I read a review of it from Bookshelf Banter) and went for it! It looked like one of those reads. And have you SEEN the cover?! Lush or what?!

When Kelsey got a temp summer job about the circus, she had no idea that within days, she would be in India with a white tiger, trying to break a 300 year old curse... and yet, that what's happening.

As Kelsey begins to try and break the curse, she finds herself falling in love... But how far will she go to break this curse?

Quick backstory for you about this book: the author Colleen Hough wrote this after reading Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. She wanted to write a story where you have no idea who would win the heroine's heart. And, because of that, she began to write Tiger's Curse. After she wrote it, she decided to self-publish the story as a eBook. And with this, she released the second book in the five-book series, Tiger's Quest, and the online presence exploded. Tiger's Curse was number 1 in the Amazon.com Kindle Children's Bestseller for several weeks. Both books recieved over 350 star reviews and publishers round the world wanted to get their hands on this series. Even the film rights to this series has been optioned for a film.

Colleen's story is the story that seems like fiction itself. But we're not talking about Colleen. We're talking about Tiger's Curse.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! There is no other way to talk about this book without gushing. But then, I am a Twilight fan and I found this book so delicious. Yes, I found the Prologue a tad confusing when I first read it (I reread it now and it makes perfect sense!) but once you get to Kelsey, I started reading through this book at a stupid pace. There were many a late night I spent reading this book, getting slowly more addicted to this book.

And India... oh, how I LOVE how this was set in India and we entered the world of India and all the myths and legends. There was something exotic about it and, because of that, it made the love story between Kelsey and Ren more exciting.

And oh, the love story... *smiles to himself*

This book is like catnip (pun intended) and I want the sequel, Tiger's Quest, at once (thank goodness it's out in the UK on 9th June)!

If you are a fan of Stephenie Meyer or Amy Plum, you will love Colleen Hough!


Right, here is some videos. And I should have music choices here as well. But I didn't listen to music when I read this. So, am picking one at random. ENJOY!

Friday 27 May 2011

GoodRead - Break No Bones (Audiobook)

As you guys know, I am a bit of a crime nut. Even though I like reading them, it's rare that I do as I have a stupidly HUGE amount of YA books (and soon, a ton of eBooks). So, I kinda rely on audiobooks on the crime front of late.

So, Break No Bones. Where to begin…? Dr Temperance Brennan is on an archaeological field trip, working on a prehistoric graves. It's on the second-to-last day when a body is discovered… that isn't prehistoric. As she helps Emma Russo, the distant's coroner and a close friend, in the morgue with the bones, Emma suddenly collapses. Helping out her friend, Tempe slowly tries to figure out the identify of the body. And then a second body is dicovered…

With her husband in the area to investigate some legal matters and then, days later, her on-off partner Andrew Ryan on the scene, things get complicated. But when a bullet hits one of them, Tempe begins to wonder if someone is trying to stop her from discovering the truth. And the closer she gets to it, the more disturbed she gets. So much so, it changes her views on humanity. That is, if she lives long enough…

Right, before I get into how I feel about the story, let's talk briefly about the narrator. The narrator changed. From Bones to Ashes, Linda Edmond read the books. But this is a read by Dorothy Berryman (and Break No Bones is the book BEFORE Bones to Ashes). So, to listen to some books in the series and have the narrator change is a bit jarring so it takes you longer than before to get used to the narrator. But I never warmed to her. I found it really hard to relate to her, but like I said before, I relate Linda Edmond's voice as Tempe's voice in my head so it was going to be hard for like this new reader. There was times, though not often, I felt that Dorothy didn't "get" the story.

Speaking on the story, it was an gripping. Not as intersting as Mortal Remains (aka Spider Bones) or some of the other Temperance Brennan novels, but was still a gripping to listen to. I think I have read another novel (by Tess Gerristen) which touchs on the same subject at Break No Bones so it was interesting to see how these two authors tackled this subject.

I always read somewhere that Kathy Reichs previous novel, Bare Bones, has been considered by fans as one of the worse books in the series, so I suspect that people who have read the whole series love this book because it was better than that. I felt like that with several series hence my reaction.

So, basically, Break No Bones is ok. Not great but not awful. Will be intrigued to see what Kathy Reichs does next with Tempe in Flash and Bones, which will be out on 1st September 2011. Knowing my luck, will crack by then and read her first EVER YA book, Virals.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Wolfsbane Teaser

As you guys know, I LOVE Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and am quite excited that the second book in the trilogy, Wolfsbane, in coming out in about two months time!

So, I saw this on Facebook and I knew I had to share. In this video, Andrea chats to her US publisher about Wolfsbane and reveals tiny titbits of what's going to happen next...

Anyone excited?

Wednesday 25 May 2011


Today, the lovely peeps at Mundie Moms revealed the cover to the second book in the Cassandra Clare's trilogy, Infernal Devices, Clockwork Prince.

And here it is...

What do you guys? My reactions is that this, out of the last three cover releases (Clockwork Angel and City of Fallen Angels [and yes, I need to read them! Will try and read them in the next few months...]), this is the best one! I love it! It's striking and cool and edgy!

But what do you think? Yea or na?

Also, the lovely peeps at Mundie Moms are running an INTERNATIONAL contest to win some cool stuff linked to Clockwork Prince. If you want to enter, click here...!

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Posters

Over the past few days on Facebook and Twitter, Warner Bros has released posters for the last Harry Potter film. There should be more released over the next few days (I suspect Voldermort and Snape...) but here are the Trio's posters. Reactions?

Sunday 22 May 2011

GoodRead - Huntress

I'm not sure how I got on to reading this book, but after Atom Books got excited about this book deal on Twitter and after getting some info on it, I got excited. It was such a different read for me that it held my attention. So, when I got a copy from the lovely peeps of Atom Books, I decided I had to read it.

The Kingdom is in crisis. The sun hasn't shone in years, the crops are failing and strange and terrible creatures have begun to appear. Do the mysertious fairy people, the Xi, know something?

To solve to crisis, the King sends a small group to the City of the Fairy Queen. Within this small band is Kaede and Taisin. Taisin is a Sage-in-Training and Kaede is of the Earth, with no magic within her.

As they go on their jounrey, emotions run high and things happen that might not last happen...

Now, for those of you that have read Malindo Lo's debut novel, Ash, this is a loose prequel, set several centries before Ash. So, you can read Huntress if you have or haven't read Ash.

The story was a pure fantasy, which makes a nice change for me as I always read books that are set in the real world. What was more interesting that there were times that I read this that it felt like I was reading a Chinese myth.

Another thing that makes this story different from the others I've read it that there is a same sex relationship. And it was written in such a sweet way, that it felt normal. And, in the world that Huntress, having a same sex relationship is normal and not frowned upon. Within the first three chapters, we realise that same sex marriages happen and are recongized as accepted.

I really like Huntress and I quite happy that I've read it. I seem to have had a good run of books that I've liked recently, haven't I? Here's hoping I find more and I enjoy Malinda Lo's next novel.

(This was always the book's theme song, even before I started reading the book. It's one of those times that the book and music join beautifully together and this makes me happy)

And for those of you who want to see what ASH's trailer...

Friday 20 May 2011

GoodRead - Dead To The World (Audiobook)

(Aka The Sex Scene That Shouldn't Be Listened To At Work… *blushes*)

I know of the True Blood series (or the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampires series, as the book series calls itself). I read the first book, Dead Until Dusk and watched the first 2 seasons on FX (I didn't watch the third season because it didn't grab me. Plus, I had my fill of vampires. Sometimes, you just need a break!). And yet, out of all the books within the series, I have always found the fourth book in the series - Dead to the World - the most interesting… No idea why, but it is.

So, after the terrible events of Club Dead, Sookie is heartbroken. Her now-ex, Bill, has been ordered to go to Peru by the Queen of Mississipi and all she wants is not to get involved in any more supernatural business. In fact, all she wants is not to get beaten up, which seem to happen to her a lot since vampires "came out of the coffin". Not going to happen, Sook, as on her way from working New Year's Eve, she comes across of shirtless and scared Eric, Bill's boss. Eric has no memory. And it seems to be a witch's doing…

Sookie has to keep Eric safe till the curse or hex is lifted off him. But that's going to be hard as the witch and her coven are looking for him. Not only that, Sookie's brother, Jason, vanishes without a trace. Have the witches kidnapped him or has something more terrible happened?

And just when she thinks nothing weirder can happen, she finds that she is slowly falling for the memory-lossed Eric. And it will only be a matter of time before his memory returns and Sookie knows the Eric she has fallen for will be gone forever.

So, reactions. I love the reader of this book - Johanna Parker. I know to some people, Anne Paquin is your Sookie. And she is. But the reader made Sookie her character also. It felt interesting to see how these two actors made Sookie their own. It just worked. Plus, I loved the reader's accent. Lame, I know, but when I watched True Blood, I sometimes feel that Anna Paqulin's accent is a tad false.

The story was interesting. Not as gripping as I thought, but it was interesting to listen to. It was basically Sookie without Bill, which makes it interesting as we have, since the beginning of the series, seen Sookie with Bill.

Another thing I like about this is the layers of mythology. From what I know about the first four books of this series, we are slowly been introduced to the "Sups". In the first book, Dead Until Dark, we're introduce to vampires and shifters. In the third book, Club Dead, we meet werewolves. In this book, we meet witches, other were-creatures (note that, peeps!) and we have a breif introduction to faries (which I suspect will play a bigger part in the future...).

Another huge factor that made the book an enjoyable read/listen was the humour. I seem to like books & audiobooks that have humour. It's nice that with vampires and werewolves and goodness knows what-else, that there is a sense of humour that you can smile at.

I really like Dead To The World and I hope I can find time to read or listen to another book in this series (my eye is on A Touch Of Dead, even though this is a collection of short stories so, technially, doesn't count... Maybe Definitely Dead).

Quick word of warning: there is swearing and there was one sex scene. Which is fine if you're an adult (if you're a child, DON'T READ THIS BOOK OR LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK!). And when your listening to the audiobook at work, it's hard to listen to the sex scene without getting uncomfortable. I had to stop listening to it halfway through the chapter because I would have burst into nervous laughter...

Thursday 19 May 2011

Wednesday 18 May 2011


The first photograph of Jennifer Lawrence being Katniss for Liongate's THE HUNGER GAMES has been revealed!

So, what is your reactions to this picture?

I'm not sure. I like that the first image of her as Katniss is in her Hunger Games getup. And I like the fact that she looks a bit like Katniss in my head, but I always imagined her more dirty looking for some reason. But I suspect that at the start of the film and while she is in the Hunger Games, Katniss will get more the way I imagine her to be.

But I's curious on if Jennifer gets the essence of Katniss. Will have to wait till March 2012 to find out...

Sunday 15 May 2011

GoodRead - Winter's Passage

I downloaded this onto my iPhone Kindle app because it was free, and I had a copy of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (which I haven't read yet - OOOPS!). And then, my family and the Person I'm With clubbed together and got me a Kindle. I registered it and Winter's Passage transfered onto the Kindle. Dying to try it out, I read it without thinking.... SORRY IRON FAY FANS!

But this isn't a Kindle review/gushing. This is about Winter's Passage review. So, here's the story...

After the events of The Iron King, Meghan Chase has to keep her word and goes, with Prince Ash to dangerous Winter Court (the fay are big on promises). Prince Ash is her forbidden love, as the son of the Winter Court and the daughter of the Summer Court can never be together. But Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck - Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon - who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey. But something is following them. Something powerful and something that won't stop until it gets want it wants...

Now, seeing as I haven't read any book within the Iron Fay trilogy, it basically a short story that bridge the first and second books in the trilogy - The Iron King and The Iron Daughter - which contained spoilers from Iron King. So, yeah, if you're going to read this series, start with book 1 then read this, then continue with the series.

However, I read this and it was a fast, fun read. As I don't really read faeries (though I do have a copy of Iron King, Lament by Maggie Stiefvater and two of the Wickedly Lovely series, it was an interesting read. It was fun read. There was a few things that bothered me, but I suspect that if I actually read my copy of the Iron King, all those bits that bothered me won't have.

If you're going to read this, then my advice is this: Read The Iron King first!

(and now, for the book trailer and a random song choice. ENJOY!)

Thursday 12 May 2011

Books and Their Theme Songs (Volume 6)

It's been a while since I've done one of these blogs for a while. So, let's see how long this blog is, shall we?

THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney

JUSTIN THYME by Panama Oxridge

DESIRES OF THE DEAD by Kimberley Derting

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Unfinished)

FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick

THE GATHERING by Kelley Armstrong



CLASH by Colin Mulhern

DIVERGENT by Vernoica Roth


DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum

Wednesday 11 May 2011

GoodRead - Die For Me

I tried to go through notes from the Atom Book Book Bloggers Event last year to see what I wrote about this book. Couldn't find any. Whether it was because it wasn't mentioned to us or I didn't take notes, I have no idea. But I got this book and, because I got excited over this book in the past month or so, I sat down and forced myself not to read-in-one-go (managed to spread it over in over a week.)

After the terrible deaths of her parents, Kate and her sister, Georgia, moves from the USA to Paris to live with their grandparents in the hope it will help them cope. In a city that is beautiful and she comes visit every year with her parents, Kate doesn't seem to cope. But then she meets Vincent, a guy who seems to not care about her one day and then sweeps her off her feet the next. Now, Kate thinks there's something dangerous about him and when she and Georgia sees him dive into the river Siene after a girl trying to commit suicide followed by men swordfighing just under the bridge, Kate knows it. But who exactly is Vincent? Someone she should run away from him or towards him?

Kate's heart is already fragile, and one false move could shatter it back into a million pieces. But how far will she go for the truth? How far will she go for love?

Now, I am going to say something that might upset some of you: this series is the next Twilight Saga. Or, as Mundie Moms tweeted me (and I agree with them), this book is BETTER than Twilight!

*watches the Die-Hard Twilight Fans gasp and faint with shock*

Now, before all you Twifans freak out and hunt me down with flaming torches, just hear me out. I just adore this book, because there is something Twilight about it and, yes, I am a bit of a romantic at heart. So yes, I was going "Kiss him, Kate! KISS HIM!".

But this book is more than a simple love story. It tackles the issue of grief and death and Amy Plum handles these subjects with gentleness. As someone who lose his father a few years ago, I remember and instantly related to Kate's situation.

Also, I found the idea behind Revenants so interesting. Zombies that aren't zombies but guardian angels made this book different to vampires and werwolves that is invading the YA bookshelves.

And, before I go anyway, Paris. I LOVE that Paris was used a backdrop of this story. I've never been to Paris (the closest I've ever been to Paris was Disneyland), but Amy made Paris sound beautiful, sexy, elegant but mysterious and magical. I WANT TO GO TO PARIS!!!

Am saying nothing more about it (for more info, you have to go to Amy's website or read the reviews from Mundie Moms & Book Angel's Booktopia) but am going to say this. Die For Me is the next Twilight and I can not wait to read Until I Die!


And now, the music part of the review. There was about 2 that I feel confident in showing and the other three are random last minute choices. Like someone said before, my music tastes are a bit "out of the box". ENJOY! (PS - I'm sorry for the Sophie Ellis-Bextor overload!)

Saturday 7 May 2011

An Evening With Darren Shan!

(AKA How I Held Up The Line [Again] And Got Strangled By The Author... No, Seriously...)

My local independent bookshop, Just Imagine (keep your local independent bookshops alive) set up an event with HarperCollins for "An Evening with Darren Shan" to celebrate the release of Ocean of Blood, the second in The Saga of Larten Crepsley.

After a chilling reading from Lord Loss (one of my faves, FYI!) in where the mircophone choose that moment to turn itself on (and scare everyone witless followed by laughter!), Darren (or should I call him Mr Shan? Not sure.) explained why the Saga of Larten Crepsley was never meant to be a series. He said that in The Saga of Darren Shan, he left Larten Crepsley's history vague and when he was writing the Demonata, he started thinking about his past and wondering what made Larten Crepsley the vampire he was when Darren (and us) first met him in Cirque du Freak. He revealed the title for book three and fourth (& final) titles in the series: Palace of the Damned and Robbers of the Dead (can I say I love his titles?).

After a quick reading from Ocean of Blood (which makes me want to read the book!), Darren answered a few questions from the audience. There ranged from "Why do you kill children off in your books?", "Why is the main character in the Saga of Darren Shan named after you?", "Which is your fave book?", "How long does it take you to write?" (Three to four weeks and about 2 years to edit - INSANE, right? But he does work on several novels at one time. At the present moment, he is on book 8 or 9 in a new series!), "Do you get sick of writing gory scenes?" and "What scares you?" (the answer to that was surprising. He was scared of spiders, hence why he wrote Madame Octa).

After a short reading of his World Book Day novellla Koyasan, everyone lined up to have their books signed. And after having a moment of panicking about me bring a few copies of my books (Three, if I'm honest with you but I only really ), I saw other people with their whole collection of The Saga of Darren Shan, Demonata or his adult novels, I felt less panicky. And what was more brilliant was the group in front of me and the person I went with (aka The Person I'm With) had a photo with Darren Shan. The group had a little boy with a cuddly toy and, in the pic, Darren strangled the cuddly toy. Not idea why, but I found it super cute (see, I have a heart under my cold, blogger skin...)

And then, my turn. As Darren signed the books, he asked if I had a question I wanted to ask him. Now, as I write, I should have asked about how he got his literary agent or his publishing contract, right? Nope. Instead, I asked "Was there any scenes that your editor or publisher thought was too gory and asked for them to be toned down?". He answered with "Yes, in the scene of Lord Loss I read out [end of chapter 1, start of chapter 2]. The parents were switched because the mother was, in the drafts, on the roof. The publisher thought it was too much, so I switched the parents about. So, do what you want to the Dad in writing, but tone down the Mum. Also, the publishers are a tad funny with sex." He explained about ideas he had in Vampire Mountain, one of them being that there was going to be gay vampires (as they are very few female vampires). But, he said "Am choosing my battles carefully..."

Can I say now, if Darren writes a bloody yet sexy sex scene that people will freak out about (like the birth scene in Breaking Dawn or True Blood standards), I would happy buy several copies of that book!

All in all, I had a great night! Darren was brilliant with everyone and that was great! I do hope his hands aren't aching due to all the signing he did!

So, thank you to Darren Shan for coming to Essex. Thank you to Just Imagine to setting up the event! Thank you to Tiffany McCall (Publicity Executive @ HarperCollinsChildren's Books UK with a dangerous sense of humour) who did a tweet that made me burst into fits of laughter (see below)! And thank you to The Person I'm With for coming with me, even though he knew NOTHING about the author. That's twice I did that to you...

SURPRISE! I thought that, as I was going, that I would give you a treat. That's right... I managed to nab myself a signed copy of Ocean of Blood and I have decide to give it away to one lucky winner! Do you want to win the book that left The Book Zone breathless and awaiting his next fix of Darren Shan (review here!)? If you have a UK address that I can send to, then YOU CAN ENTER! All you have to do is fill in the form and GOOD LUCK!

Closing Date will be Sunday 15th May 2011 at 6pm GMT. Again, GOOD LUCK!!!

New UK Nightshade Covers

Atom Books UK has come out with new cover designs for Andrea Cremer's NIGHTSHADE and the sequel, WOLFBANE. Now, I really like the old covers and, when I saw the new US covers for these books, I had a strong dislike for them. They, to me, looked tacky. So, when I saw people's tweets, I became very fearful. But, we saw this instead...

These are very different to what I was expecting. These are quite arty. And I am THRILLED that the style and the swirls of the titles. So, I am very happy with these covers.

But what do you guys think of these new covers?

GoodRead - Devil Bones

As you guys must have suspected, I am a bit of a Kathy Reichs nut. And, with work allowing iPods to be used (I love my temp job for this reason!), I listen to audiobooks that I haven't listened to.

Devil Bones was one I started but never finished. I forgot I was listening to it, I think. And then I accidently dropped my iPod into a bucket of water (the mini-heartattack I had when that happened…) meant I lost my place and had to start from the beginning.

Doctor Temperance Brennan is called to a basement of a house that held a secret room. A secret room filled with signs of the occult. Pagan statues. Two cauldrons filled with dirt. A saracified chicken. A human skull. As Tempe begins to investigate, a headless body washes up on the shores of a lake. Carved into the dead body's chest is a penagram and the number 666. Are the two connected? Is this linked to the dark side to a regilion people know very little about? Or is something darker going on? As the media go into a frenzy and an ouspoken religious policitian makes his views heard, Tempe is pushed to her limit. One false move and her career will be over. One false move and her life might be over…

Not sure where to start with this write up. It's not one of fans faves (the worst for them is Bare Bones - a book I haven't read or listen to so I can't comment on that), and I can understand why. It's a lot to get your head round. Tempe has to research and understand a regilion/s that she (and we) don't understand. And, at the same time as that, we are trying to figure out what happened to the skull and the headless body. Almost, we have to worry about Tempe's lovelife (don't ask) and people's reactions to the outspoken policitian who is stirring up trouble for her and her case. It's just a LOT to take on board!

I kinda liked the idea of Tempe trying to understand non-mainstream religions. Even though I can't remember half the names, I found that interesting and I sense Kathy Reichs must have enjoyed researching and writing about the religions she touches on in Devil Bones. When she was asked to write an episode for BONES (a TV show which was inspired by her books and that she is Executive Producer of), she wrote using this as a starting point. The episode in question is "The Witch In The Wardrobe".

Another thing I felt was done right was the media. As Tempe said, if we don't understand it, we fear it. And the media hypers up the fear and the outspoken policitian (a horrible person, in my honest opinion) speaks his views which hypers up the media more and that, in turn, scares its viewers. We seen that happen in real life over the past few years, in both good and bad events. Swine Flu, Bird Flu, terrorism, Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding, etc. The list is endless.

But I can kinda see the problem with some fans. It feels very tried-and-tested. Although there was new elements to this story, you kinda got the feeling that it was repeating itself. Tempe gets a case that mysterifies her. She works through it. Get results. Gets it wrong. Gets it right. Her life is in danger. She's saved and the case is solved. The pattern is there - it just feels a tad samey in places.

But you can turn that round and go "The series is a successful because of that. If it aren't broke, don't fix it.". And that's probably why Moral Remains feels refreshing. It's the same pattern, but there was something different in the mix. Her life wasn't in danger at the end of the book, but someone she cared about…

I love the reader of the audiobook - Linda Edmond. She just seems to gets Tempe's humour. And that probably one of the reasons I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The reader seemed to enjoy reading the book. I have come across a few audiobooks where the reader doesn't really care about the book and, because of that, the listener doesn't enjoy the story.

Now, what to listen to now: Another audiobook that I listened to AGES ago (like "Break No Bones", "Sabriel", "Priestess of the White" or "Fallen" to name a few), start listening to an audiobook I started but never finished ("Dead To The World") or to snoop on iTunes and Audible to hunt out new (and hopefully, exciting) audiobooks? Decisions, decisions…

Friday 6 May 2011

Whatever Happened To My Blog?

(There must be some days you guys wonder about my blog, seeing as it's SO random. But thank you for reading or following it. You guys rocks!)

Thursday 5 May 2011

Cover Chat

My first Guest Blog (kinda)! Am quite excited! And over an awesome idea from Rhys from Thirst For Fiction. Cover Chat is a "multiple-blog feature (or meme) where book bloggers talk about US vs UK book covers." I think it's a cool idea and if anyone wants me info (or fancies doing this with Thirst For Fiction, click here!)

So, Rhys and I did two of these. One of his blog (about Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw) and one of mine. And, on mine, we are doing Virals by Kathy Reichs!

So, here is the UK Cover:

And here is the US Cover:

And now, our views and opinions of these covers.

Rhys say: When I received Virals from Random House, it had the US cover on it of a girl running away in a forest- and I assumed this was the UK cover also...but apparantly not. What I liked about the US cover was that it was very dynamic- and it reminded me a lot of the Maximum Ride covers, which also often feature a girl...and judging by the fact that they feature a James Patterson quote, they are obviously appealing to fans of Maximum Ride (of which I used to be one until I re-read the series and saw how Patterson had wrecked the great concept it began with). The US cover was one of the things that sold it to me, and I'm not sure I get quite the same vibe from the UK cover- it just doesn't have that dynamic of fluidity that the US one has...it looks more static somehow (probably because they're sitting in a boat rather than running through a forest!) that being said, I do think it is a good cover. The skeleton on the UK cover also gives a somewhat clearer definition of what Virals is about...but the blending with the rest of the image seems a bit hap-hazard to me, so I've going to choose the US cover as my favourite :D

I say: I like how both covers are similar to the Kathy's adult books, even though this is meant for a YA audience. Same typeface used for the author's name, same style of cover art. But I think the little differences help keep the two series seperate. It's interesting to see how each cover touchs on an element used within the book. The US has a fast, actiony scene that grabs and holds the attention. Who or what is the girl running from? Whereas, the UK cover focuses on the mystery side of the story, choosing dark sombre colours. Seeing as I haven't read Virals (unlike Rhys - jealous as hell, I am!), I can't say which best suits the story. So, I have to go on which grabs and holds my attention. I like the UK cover with its mystery, but the US cover has an edge to it. If the UK had the US cover, but with the UK typeface, the Uk publishers would be on a winner with me. But this time, I prefer the US cover.

I wanna give Rhys from Thirst For Fiction a quick shout out and thank you for allowing me take part in this. I would LOVE to do it again (just saying...)

Monday 2 May 2011

GoodRead - Tomorrow When The War Began

Imagine you and several of your friends went camping for several days, only to return home after several days to discover that your town, maybe your whole country, has been invaded. What would you do? Run away and hide? Or would you stand up and fight?

That was the choice that Ellie and her group of friends face in Tomorrow When The War Began.

Niamh from Quercus kindly gave me a copy of this book after chatting to her about the film's trailer and chatting about one of Quercus' authors, Cat Clarke. As you do. So, when I received it, after some teething problems, I was reading the amazing Divergent! So, when I sat down and read this, I was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype (well, the quiet hype. It was mostly from my two friends from Australia – Bianca and Rhianna – got excited when I saw the trailer and chatted about. And they gave me some info over the series:- TWTWB was written in 1995 [knew that – and if you didn't, you get that feeling while reading. No mentions of mobile phones or Facebook], how some schools in Australia teach this series in schools, the people of Australia love this book series [although the sequel to the series – the Ellie Chronicles – is beyond awful and should be avoided at ALL COSTS!]. And the film had these two split).

And this book did feel Australia. I know that sounds weird but this book felt Australia. With the slang, the landscapes and other little things, this book felt Australia. In a good way. I would love to visit Australia (and I am a bit of a sucker for Neighbours and Home & Away [don't tell anyone, though!]) and this book gave me a nice feel for the outback...

I did have problems with this book. I am going to admit it. For me, it took a few chapters (five. Maybe six.) to get to the main event – the characters discovering that their had been invaded. And then, they seem to accept the whole situation a little too quickly for my taste. But, I suppose, in a situation like this, you have to get to grips of what's happening very quickly.

Another problem I had was that there were times in this book when it felt like “The First Book In A Series”. It felt like it was setting the foundations to the series.

But what I do like about this book is that it's a book about war. It doesn't shy away from the horrors and the ideas that war is devastating and, because of that, you question your morality. What makes you good? If you do something bad, does that make you evil? In a time so terrible, is it wrong to fall in love? You question your moral compass and, because of that, this book has an edge. I like the fact that the questions are always there and it takes times before the characters sit down and figure it out. I sense this will keep coming up throughout the series...

This is a book about war – it's not pre-dystopia, as some reviewers have said. To me, this is a book about war and survival. Imagine the Hunger Games before the Hunger Games were ever created.

What I found interesting (tiny side note) is that the enemy – the Invaders – were never identified. You don't know where they come from. Are they a enemy? Or an ally? And, because of this, it makes the book more creepy and more realistic. This could happen in real life – isn't that a scary thought?

So, my reactions to the book: I like it. I didn't love it, but I would like to see where this story goes and one of my Australian book spies says that there was a twist in the third book in the series – The Third Day, The Frost (this series just has cool titles!) - that affects the series in a huge, emotional way. *rubs hands with glee* I can't wait!

(Yes, random song choice. It helped with the start of the novel where our characters began to realise the true horror of it all!)

SILENCE Cover Revealed!

Today, the third and final book in Becca Fitspatrick's Hush, Hush (or, as some people are calling it, Fallen Angel) Saga. And now, Hollywood Crush revealed the third and final cover.

Now, as a fan of the trilogy, I kinda wanted to see if this matches with what I had in my head. So, both Patch and Nora are there (EXCELLENT!), Patch has his wings (again, EXCELLENT!) and we have a dark sky...

You know what I find eye-catching, is the crashing waves. That, to me, is the most interesting. Also, it's a small detail so am not sure if anyone else sees it, but the sky. There are cloudy and stormy, but there is a beam of light that gives a feeling of hope.

But one question is bouncing round all the fansites (like Fallen Archangel & Mundie Moms) and fans: what has happened to Nora to have her lifeless in Patch's arms...?

Ideas, theories, suggestions and reactions to the cover below please!