Thursday 29 November 2012

GoodRead - Goblin Fruit

I'm pretty sure most of you have read this short story. It's one story in the short story collection, Lips Touch,  by Laini Taylor (author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and its sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight) which has been out in most countries for ages and yet, we in the UK won't get till next year. But, as a taster, Hodder Books has released Goblin Fruit as an eNovella, just to wet our appetites (pardon the pun) and, also, to get us over the shock of Days of Blood and Starlight.

Kizzy wants it all. To look prettier. To be girlfriend of the hot guy in school. To not be involved in her weird family. She wants it all so badly, half her soul is hanging out of her. And this drives goblins crazy. They feed on souls and they want Kizzy's if she's not careful...

Laini's writing style is different in Goblin Fruit compared to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Yes, I know it's because she wrote Goblin Fruit before she wrote Daughter of Smoke and Bone as I get her writing style has changed. And the fact that this was a short story so Laini had to get to the heart of the story quickly, unlike Daughter of Smoke and Bone where she could take her time, makes a bit of difference.

I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this story. While I am excited over more Laini, this story was ok. Just ok. I feel like I'm saying that alot lately, but this was a fast fun read where I was clicking at my Kindle, needing to know how it ended and where the story was going. Afterwards, though... I feel like it was a bit of a candy floss read. Fun and addicted while reading, but once finished, you realise that there wasn't any substance to it...

Maybe I'm being a bit harse. It wouldn't be the first time. I mean, have you guys not read my review/instant reactions to Daughter of Smoke and Bone? But this does wet my appetite for Lip Touch so I will be waiting for Hodder to reveal more info on this in the new year...

Tuesday 27 November 2012

GoodRead - Clockwork Angel: Manga

I heard rumours that there will be graphic novels of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments coming out (perfect tie in for the upcoming movie that's coming out next year). But it was only recently that I realised that Cassandra's Infernal Devices series were being turned into manga (I believe it was Mundie Moms who filled me in so thank you). So, imagine my surprise when I got a parcel from Atom & Orbit and the manga Clockwork Angel was in it with other goodies. I grabbed this and read quickly.

It is the same plot as Clockwork Angel (my review of this is here). But, for those who aren't familiar with this series, this is what you should know. In Victorian London, American Tessa Gray comes to visit her brother, Nate. But instead of meeting him, she meets the Dark Sisters. Who then take her hostage. So, when she is rescued by Will, she finds herself in a world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders and then, soon afterwards, she finds herself between two best friends. With her heart torn in two directions, Tessa finds out she's more connected to this new world than she first thought...

I don't really want to talk about the story (as I have reviewed the novel before), but I am very pleased how the novel was adapted to become a manga. And for good reason as it was adapted by the author herself. This helped explained how the book kept loyal to the story and kept the essence. This is very important in adaptations, in any form. If you lose the essence of what made a story great in its adaptation, it feels... wrong. Does that make sense?

The art. Now that I do want to talk about. I liked the art, done by (according to the press release) "the phenomenal manga artist HyeKyung Baek". But... yes, I have buts. First of all, Henry. Why was he done like that? WHY?! That's a small thing, as is the "Do all men in manga look similar?"

The main "But" I have with this is the chemistry. This is meant to be a love story, and while the manga did the supernatural side brilliantly, the chemistry was lacking. If this was stretched over several issues, then this would be done and we would, probably, be sick of it. But, as this was only one volume, it felt a little rushed. Maybe I'm putting too much focus on that as Cassandra tackled this brilliantly in the novel, but... I didn't carry over very well.

I think I may be a little harsh. I really enjoyed it (and it was a fast read. Took a few days to read!) and I am itching to see what the manga version of Clockwork Prince is like! And, this is the perfect "Tie Me Over" till the Infernal Devices finale, Clockwork Princess, comes out. I can NOT wait!

PS - just realised that on the cover, Will is doing the Fearless Rune. Now, am such that Clary created that in City in Ashes. She created and Alec almost told his parents that he was gay. Or am I misremembering? Let me know guys!

Monday 26 November 2012

Book Trailer for AE Rought's BROKEN

Earlier today, the author AE Rought unveiled a book trailer for her new YA novel, Broken

Do you like? I adore the music! I will be reviewing this next week (Thursday, me thinks), but for those of you wanting more info, here is what the publisher, Strange Chemistry, has to say about it...

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks...

SMILE - You Have Enemies?

I love this statement. My thanks to Carrie Hope Fletcher's tumblr.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Book Trailer for Cat Clarke's UNDONE!

Revealed yesterday on Wondrous Reads, the book trailer for the latest Cat Clarke's, Undone, has been unveiled. And, from the trailer, this is going to be Cat's most powerful work to date.

So, guys, reactions? Do you love it or not? I can't wait for the book myself, so this just adds fuel to the fire. Bring on the end of January 2013! 

Thursday 22 November 2012

GoodRead - The Iron Daughter

Last year, I reviewed The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (not read it? Here you go!). I enjoyed reading it as it was a sunny read that I read over the summer holidays. That Christmas, I was given the sequels, The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen. And now, almost a year after receiving the books, I have FINALLY read The Iron Daughter.

After the events of The Iron King and the eNovella, Winter's Passage (here's my review!), half Summer faery princess and half human, Meghan is held prisoner in the Winter faery's court. No one believes her claims that there are Iron Fey. And the only other person who knows about the Iron Fey - Prince Ash - is missing. And when he does appear, he acts all cold and distant towards her, even though they had feelings towards each other. Was he planning her emotions all along? And how can Meghan prove that the Iron Fey do exist as war begins to loom on the horizon...

Now, I am in two minds over this. I do like most of the plot. And the characters - I love Ironhorse in this book. I was very happy when I met Puck and Grimalkin (even though he still reminds me of the Cheshire Cat, but who's very sarcastic) And I enjoyed the introduction of Leanansidhe, though her saying "Darling", "Pet" and "Dove" took a few pages to get use to.

Now, I have one or two problem with this book. It's Meghan and Ash. Their relationship felt flat with me. I think this is because the first 100 or so pages, we had Ash acting all aloof towards Meghan. It kinda put some distance between the reader wanting the two characters to get together. But maybe it's because Julie wanted us to get excited over Puck and his feelings towards Meghan.

However, the other problem I have is Meghan herself. In the first half of the book, Meghan seemed to be either: crying, on the verge of crying or had just cried. I'm sorry, but did Meghan have a character transplant? In The Iron King, Meghan walked into the world of the fey - the Nevernever - to save her brother. She went into a mystical land, inhabitted with strange creatures and killed an faery king made of Iron to save her brother WITHOUT thinking of herself. Here, however, she was in tears. Where's our fearless heroine that made a deal with Ash to go to the Winter Fey's court if he helped her save her brother (hence why she's there. She made a deal!) and not once did she go "I kept my end of the bargain. I should think about leaving/escaping now..."

Also, she seemed to be mostly upset because of Ash's reaction to her. In The Iron King, they fell in love with each other but, in the Winter Court, Ash is acting cold, distant and even aloof to her. But, Meghan, didn't Ash say in Winter's Passage and then again in the start of The Iron Daughter that the winter fey see emotions as weakness and will use them as weapons? Do you think that maybe, JUST maybe, that he's acting like a total jerk to protect you? No...? Oh no, here come the waterworks...

This kept getting repeated for the first half of the book. Once the action kicked in, Meghan was more like the Meghan we met in Iron King.

I think I'm being a little harsh. I read this straight after reading two excellent reads - Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and Roar & Liv by Veronica Rossi - and when you come away from stories that you love, anything you read almost immediately afterwards will seem a bit... underwhelming.

It's an OK read. I will read The Iron Queen, but if Meghan starts crying again, I will not be held responsible for my actions...

Tuesday 20 November 2012

More Beautiful Creatures and Blackwood News

Right, I know this is revealed last week, but we have another Beautiful Creatures trailer and... well... it kick  butt! I love it! I am SO dragging my family and friends to this. Sorry everyone I know and love, but you will (hence my plan to read the whole series next year). So, here's the new trailer... and Emma Thompson is AWESOME! Just saying!

Second of all, fans of Blackwood by Gwenda Bond, get excited. News has been released that MTV is developing a TV show based on it. Kelsey Grammar's (Frasier to you and I) production company, Gramnet Prods, will be producing the show with Lionsgate TV and comic book and TV writer Peter Calloway will be writing the pilot. If MTV like the pilot, then we MIGHT get a full blown series!

Now, for those of you who haven't read this (like me), Blackwood follows Miranda and Phillips, two teens with their own troubles. Miranda is a misfit teen from Roanoke Island's most infamous family and Phillips is an exiled teen criminal who can hear the dead. They are forced together when the Lost Colony legend repeats itself. Hundreds of years ago, 114 people vanished without a trace. And it happened again. And one of the new 114 people missing is Miranda's father...

Thursday 15 November 2012

City of Bones Movie Trailer!

So, earlier today, the trailer of CITY OF BONES was revealed. And everyone got excited. Sadly, I couldn't find the trailer till half an hour ago so my reactions are still kinda raw...

Doesn't this look great? And seeing how filming finished a week ago, this is bloody good. I did have my doubts (I still do on one or two things), but I feel that the movie makers are going to give us everything and from everyone's reactions, all the fans of the books are excited!

Now, to wait till August 2013 (AUGUST?! seriously?)

But guys, what are your reactions? Do you like what you see or left a bit underwhelmed?

GoodRead - Beautiful Creatures

I have been aware of Beautiful Creatures since it came out in 2010 (or was it 2009?). I heard the hype and seen the cover (pretty, isn't it?). So why have I not picked it up then? The size. Have you not seen it? It's 563 pages long! And it has TINY writing! It's a scary beast of a book! But I always kinda wanted to read it. So when the trailer for the movie version of Beautiful Creatures was revealed a few months ago (it's at the bottom of this review, FYI), and I thought "This movie looks awesome! I need to get my hands on this series and play catch up!". And when I told people I could find a copy of Beautiful Creatures in my local bookshops, the lovely Sya from Mountains of Instead got me a secondhand copy and sent it to me...

Again, I love being part of the YA book blogging community! Just saying!

So, in the small Southern US town of Gatlin, everyone seems to know everyone's business. They enjoy the reenactments of the American Civil War (or, it's in known in Gatlin, The War Between the States or The War of Northern Aggression). They enjoy going to church every Sunday and have an Us Vs Them to outsiders. And Ethan Wate wants out. Once he's finished school, he's gone. But when a mysterious newcomer, niece of the mysterious Macon Ravenwood, Ethan is instantly attached to Lena Duchannes. He's been seeing her in his dreams for months. But as the pair slowly fall in love, Ethan enters Lena's world. The world of Casters. The world where that sits under the town of Gatlin. The world where, on her sixteenth birthday, Lena's fate is decided. She will go either Light or Dark...

And in the end, there will be grave... The question is whose?

Right, let's get started on how I feel about this. And am going to be honest. I'm not sure. On very much on the fence. I do see the book's pros, but I do see its cons as well.

Ok, let's did with the cons as I think I might rant over these. I think they come down to two points. The length and Lena herself. With the length (563 pages, as I said before), there is so much in this book and yet, there were times the book dragged. I get from most people that this was a problem with them, so I'm not alone, and I completely get other people saying "this is world building" (and I can't fault that! The world building in this book was good and clever). But when the book did drag, I did wonder if these chapters were needed or if the book could have been tightened up a bit...

The second fault I had with Lena "You Don't Understand" Duchannnes. Out of all the female characters in the book, she was kinda weak (though she is fifteen). And if she used the phase (her catchphrase, really) "You don't understand" one more time...

However, this book does have good points! The character development and the world building within this book was really good. And the gothic, Southern feel to the book was wonderful! I loved that! It feel like how I felt a southern town in the United State would feel like. And the writing style - you would never know two people wrote this! Also, the characters. Most of the characters (even Lena up to a point...) were good characters and surprised me. And they have stand-out scene that make me very happy!

One of my fave scenes was when Mrs Lincoln (Ethan's best friend's mother) went toe-to-toe with Lena's uncle, Macon in a Law & Order courtroom-style. That made me so happy as the chapter was built on all the tensions that had affected the book from the very start and hinted dangerously to the end. And then, we have Ridley's scenes... she was always a fun character to read about, as is Link, Ethan's best friend.

I am going to finish the series. Of course I am! I already have Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos and, at the time of writing this, I have preordered Beautiful Redemption. But as the books are so thick (all are around 500 pages), I'm going to take my time over reading them. So, the course of next year and maybe early 2014, you will probably get the rest of the Caster Chronicles. But yeah, I will be very intriguied to see how the movie turns out...

Tuesday 13 November 2012

The Host Trailer

As you guys probably know, Stephenie Meyer has been busy promoting the last Twilight Saga movie, Breaking Dawn: Part Two. But did you know that her adult sci-fi novel, The Host, has been turned into a movie and will be released next year?

Now, I really love this book, so I have high hopes for the movie and the trailer has been released. And it looks more action-driven then love-driven, but I have high hopes. What are your reactions? 

GoodRead - Roar And Liv

Earlier this year, I read (and thorough enjoyed) Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. So when the news came out that a eNovella prequel was going to be released, I was kinda excited. But the UK publisher didn't reveal that they were going to publish this till a few weeks before its UK publication. Hence me going "PREORDER!" then waiting at my kindle...

So, Roar and Liv. This is the story about Roar, who finally finds a home within the tribe of the Tides. His best friend, Perry, is more like a brother to him and Liv, Perry's sister, is the love of Roar's life. But when Liv and Perry's elder brother (and Blood Lord of the Tides), Vale, returns from trading with another tribe and makes a decision that turns Roar and Liv's worlds upside down...

Now, this is very different from Under the Never Sky. There's no Aria in it nor do we see the Perry that we meet in Under the Never Sky. And, also, this didn't feel much like a dystopia novel. This felt more like a love story between Roar and Liv, and see if/how their love will survive after Vale's decision. And the fact that this novella was told from Roar's point of view (and not in third person like Under the Never Sky), made it very different. Instantly, you felt that connection.

If you had read Under the Never Sky, you knew where the relationship goes, but if you haven't, you hope that they will find a way to be together.

The only thing some people will find is that, if you are reading this before Under the Never Sky, that Roar doesn't explain the Aether storms. This is explained in Under the Never Sky (I believe Aria explained it to us...) but it's not explained in Roar and Liv, so I can imagine some people reading this and going "Huh?"

Now, as you guys are probably aware, I do love eNovellas. Not so much a fan of the prices. This was £1.49. While I loved reading this (I had to FORCE myself to read this over several days as I could have so easily read this in one go), I'm not 100% certain most of you guys will buy this on its price. If you're a fan of the series, you would buy it without pausing for thought. If you're new to the series, I would suspect you would pause and think over it before clicking the "Buy" button.

But I loved this eNovella. I really did. I only wish Roar's story was longer as I could have SO EASILY read more about him and Liv (write another eNovella from Roar's point of view, Veronica Rossi! PLEASE!), and the teaser chapters from Through the Ever Night made me very excited. I can not wait to see where Veronica take us next year!

Monday 12 November 2012

Thursday 8 November 2012

GoodRead - Is It Just Me?

As you guys probably know, I am a huge fan of the comedienne, Miranda Hart. So, when it was revealed earlier in the year that Hodder were going to publish Miranda's novel, Is It Just Me?, I got excited. I spend a good few days trying to figure out if I should beg Hodder for an ARC or buy myself a copy and, if so, should I get the hardback edition or the kindle edition? I REALLY THOUGHT IT THROUGH!

Does this make me kinda sad? If any of you said "Yes", RUDE! 

Anyway, Is It Just Me?. Miranda takes a look at life and the struggles we all face (Christmas, Health, Holidays, Beauty, Technology, etc) and ask why isn't there a manual to cope with situations that befall us (like how to flirting while on a bar stool or asking how to drink a cocktail with an umbrella in)? And how does one cope with those situations? While trying to talk to her eighteen year old self (which has high yet completely unrealistic dreams such as being becoming a model, a lacrosse pro and Prime Minister), Miranda tries to explain life and tries to explain how to get over these small 

I know that's not the best way to explain it, but unless I use the Amazon summary (which explains nothing really), this is the best I can do. 

I loved this! It was gloriously funny! I related to the situations Miranda pointed out and went "Is it just me?". I laughed as she pointed out that Christmas, while all fun and happy, is COMPLETELY stressful. I went "Oh no!" when we talked about technology. And let's not get started on holidays...

I read this going "I wish I could sit down with my eighteen year old self and go 'You're going to be fine'." And I read this either smiling, exploding with laughter or snorting into my mug of tea or coffee. It was one wonderful read. 

Yes, I know some of you will go "She's not my cup of tea, humour wise" and that's fine. If she doesn't tickle your funny bone, don't read this. I know a good few comedians that have written books or do DVD standups. I just loved this book. It made me laugh! 

And this will tie me over till BBC One start showing the third series of her sitcom. *AM WAITING BBC*. But yes, this was a gloriously funny read and, yes, a guilty pleasure of mine (though, recently, I never go that term... Guilty pleasure. If it was such a guilty thing, why do we admit to it being our guilty pleasure?) 

Tuesday 6 November 2012

GoodRead - God of Thieves

Let's confuse you guys. If you're a fan of Aimee Carter's Goddess Test series, you're probably awaiting the collection of short stories, The Goddess Legacy, to fill the gap before the final book in the series, The Goddess Inheritance. Well, the UK publishers, Mira Ink, decided to split the five stories up and sell them individually on your eReader.

There are five stories in total to choose from. You have Calliope/Hera, Ava/Aphrodite, Persephone, James/Hermes & Hades/Henry. This is the order you're meant to read them in. But seeing as this is me, I won't do that. I have three on my kindle (Ava/Aphrodite, Persephone and James/Hermes - the other two didn't rock my world when I read the summaries on Amazon) and I decide to read them in a random order and before I read Goddess Interrupted (sorry Mira Ink!).

So, God of Thieves follows James/Hermes (I have no idea what to call him!). Now, he likes to cause a bit of trouble. But after what happened to Persephone, the family is mad at James/Hermes. But when two gods just fade, they turn to James/Hermes to find out what happened. Behind Zeus's back, Hermes/James goes down to earth to find out... But will he like what he finds?

I'm not going to lie, I read this while a space of an hour. I didn't expect to read it so fast but I enjoyed reading from James/Hermes's point of view (sorry for the dual names. BLAME AIMEE CARTER! Though... she does explain in this story why the Gods changed their names...) . I always liked him when I read The Goddess Test so I hope he's in Goddess Interrupted (and because I know Persephone features heavily in this, I will read that story quite close to or after I read Goddess Interrupted so I understand her story).

This is very much a fan's read. If you're the fan of the series, this and the other short stories will thrill you no end. I will review the other two stories on my kindle in the next few weeks (no rush!). If you're trying this out to see if you like the series, you might get a tad confused over what's going on...

Monday 5 November 2012

SMILE - Get Back Into A Good Book

I want to thank CJ Redwine's tumblr for this image and Lissy Elle Laricchia for posting this on her flickr. Such a wonderful image! 

(Not 100% certain on this but I think the photographer is the same person who did both covers for Myra McEntire's books, Hourglass and Timepiece! YEAH!!!)

Thursday 1 November 2012

GoodRead - Days of Blood and Starlight

Last year, Hodder went gaga over the first book in a trilogy that people were raving about. That was Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I read it (review here, though my feelings have changed a little bit since when I wrote it) and went to the UK launch party (was so much fun!). And it wasn't just Hodder that got excited. The US publisher, Little Brown, were excited. Universal Pictures won the movie rights to the whole trilogy after a huge bidding war (how on EARTH are they going to make these movies is ANYONE'S guess!). And readers went nuts over the world of Karou...

And now, with some hype (but nothing compared to Daughter of Smoke and Bone's), the sequel will be released in a week's time! So, Days of Blood and Starlight. Shall I review it for you?

After the events of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou is missing. Zuzana, Karou best friend in our world, is frantic with worry. Is she with Akiva? Is she ok? Why hasn't she responded to her emails? And will that scumbag known as Karou's ex go away before Zuzana drops a water balloon that might be filled with bladder tea?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. Once upon a time, they held a wishbone between them. Once upon a time, the wishbone's snap split the world in two...

Now, I had to be be careful what I wrote there because I know there is a fair few of you that would be screaming "NONONO! TELL ME NOTHING!!!" while at the same, hunger for more details. So, it's hard to get the balance right.

Now, I have read other people's reviews of this book and they're split. Some people say this book suffers a little from Second Book Syndrome. Other people disagree and rave about this book. I think it depends on how you view this book. If you put a lot of hype and pressure on a second book in a series like this, it can go one of two ways: it meets your every expectation or it will disappoint you completely.

But I LOVED this book. I think this is because, while I like Daughter of Smoke of Bone, I didn't love it. I think the hype put me off as did the back story as it slowed the whole book down (but, like I said above, my views on Daughter of Smoke and Bone have changed since I wrote and published my review. It's one of those book you have to finish and take time to think about). But with Days of Blood and Starlight... wow. It was addictive reading. I kept trying to read it when I could find time - and I started a new temp job last week so I had to sneak quick reads in my lunch break, on the Park and Ride bus, in bed at a stupid o'clock...

With Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini laid the world of Karou and Akiva out. A real fantasy that we had to make sense of as it felt like the book had taken drugs. But with Days of Blood and Starlight, we got to the meat of the story. What was hinted at in Daughter was there in full force in Days. This is a book about war where no side is the right side. And we see this from several points of views...

And the last 100 or so pages... oh, Laini, you ripped out my heart and left me gasping for air. I can not WAIT to see what you do in the third and final book in this trilogy! I don't know how you are going to top yourself. It's a good thing Hodder is going to publish Lips Touch next year as I need something to get me ready...!

PS - sorry about the Ellie Goulding video. This was the only one I could find that did the sound right and the video wasn't trying to sell you something...