Thursday, 28 October 2010

Just a note!

Hey guys!

I'm really sorry that I haven't been posting anything lately; I've been ill with food poisoning and all sorts.

Hopefully though I'll be back on track from Monday with lots more reviews - being ill really does give you more time for reading - and the like.

Best wishes to you all,

Maryam

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Teaser Tuesday #9


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My Current Read: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Random Page: # 363

Two Sentences:

I had no hard feelings about Tom Culpeper, other than those generated by him staging a hunt on the wolves and shooting me in the neck.
So my stomach clenched when I saw him standing in the driveway. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Prey by Rachel Vincent Review


Summary: (Goodreads)

Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game...

Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my Father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart forever.

I'm writing this review straight after finishing Prey; I'm still in a state of shock. Wow, just....wow.

Everything that can happen does happen in this book. It all just piles up into one big mess that isn't sorted out until the very end where a bomb-shell is dropped on us readers.

I really loved reading Prey. It kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation all the way through.

I experienced every emotion there is to experience while reading. I cried A LOT at certain points in the book and laughed at others (I laughed a whole lot less than cried I have to say). Some parts took my breath away and others broke my heart.

But as I was beginning to think this book was flawless Faythe Sanders just had to go and ruin it.

After a disastrous event in the story Faythe makes a really, irremediable mistake of the stupid kind. Whilst reading it I was constantly thinking 'Faythe...don't you dare do it!' but she did it. Why, Faythe, WHY?!

After that everything I've previously had against Faythe came rushing back and put a damper on the whole story. Kind of ruined it to be honest. I seriously don't know how she's going to make up for what she did; if she can make up for it at all in fact. I feel sorry for Marc, that's all I have to say.

Aside from that little rant, the ending of the book, admittedly made up for Faythe Sanders lack of judgement and left me reeling in shock. Goodness, it was a big cliffhanger if I ever did see one.

A definite must read!

About the author:


A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.


Prey (Werecats, Book 4)






My Rating: 9/10







Publisher: Mira 








Saturday, 16 October 2010

In My Mailbox (#2)



In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi with The Story Siren.

So I got a whole lot of books this week and absolutely every single one of them was bought! I went on a book spree!
Angel by L. A Weatherly
Torment by Lauren Kate
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Another One Bites The Dust by Jennifer Rardin
Biting The Bullet by Jennifer Rardin


         

Bitten To Death by Jennifer Rardin
One More Bite by Jennifer Rardin




Pride by Rachel Vincent Review


Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)

I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend - and killing him to cover up the crime.Infecting a human is one of the three capital offences recognised by the Pride - along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.

I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorising the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

If I survive my own trial.

First off, I have to say, the friend that recommended this series to me was right in saying it gets better with every book; I couldn't put this one down.

Faythe Sanders has been brought before the council charged with infecting her human ex-boyfriend and then killing him to cover up the initial crime, the first of which, is punishable by death.

During her trial however, Faythe gets the opportunity to prove she is worth more than her uterus when a group of strays are reported on the mountainside. Faythe soon realises that the strays are in search of a wild tabbycat and when said tabbycat is dropped off right at their door, Faythe desperately tries to prove she is capable of handling both the tabbycat, the strays and the underhandedness of one of the Alphas.

Faythe continues to improve as a character. She is forced to give up what she loves most and in doing so has to make plenty of sacrifices.

I especially love how every book is a complete continuation of the last; I felt like I hadn't stopped reading Rogue as Pride started right where Rogue left off.

Moments in this book left me with tears in my eyes. I could sympathise completely with most characters in this book it was written so well.

Over all I thought it was a brilliant read that left me eager for the next book in the series Prey.

About the author:

A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

Pride (Shifters)

My Rating: 9/10





   Author: Rachel Vincent



                                                                     Publisher: Mira  


                                 


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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Cast In Courtlight by Michelle Sagara West Review


Summary: (Goodreads)

In Elantra, a job well done is rewarded with a more dangerous task. And so, after defeating a dark evil, Kaylin must enter a place of deceit and treachery. A world where silk and jewels hide deadly secrets….

Kaylin goes before the Barrani High Court, where a misspoken word brings sure death. And Kaylin's never been known for her grace or manners. But the High Lord's heir is suspiciously ill and Kaylin's healing magic is the only shot at saving him—if she manages to dodge the traps laid for her.

Only to discover that the healing might turn out to be the simplest of the tasks before her. 

Unfortunately this is going to be another one of those short and snappy reviews because I really didn't like this book.

If you've read my review of Cast In Shadow  you'll know that I love the writing style of Michelle Sagara West. It kept me reading and made the story seem like a fairytale with it's poetic tone.

In Cast In Courtlight  though, it became very, very tedious. It just became so long, repetitive and drawn out that I started to really not like reading it. I was so disappointed. 

The plot was also really predictable which made it uninteresting.

The only time the book started to interest me was towards the end when something actually started to happen! But it didn't last very long.

I only finished this book in the hope that it would get better. But it didn't...

However, since I did quite like Cast In Shadow I will read at least one more book in the Chronicles of Elantra series to see if it gets any better.

About the author:


Michelle Sagara is a Japanese-Canadian author of fantasy literature, active since the early 1990s. She has published as Michelle Sagara (her legal name), as Michelle West (her husband's surname), and as Michelle Sagara West (a combination of the two).

She lives in Toronto and is employed part-time at Bakka.





My Rating: 3/10


Publisher: Luna




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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Teaser Tuesday #8


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My current read is: Shift by Rachel Vincent 


Random Page: #2

Teaser:

In the week since we’d buried my brother, Nick Davidson had announced his support of Calvin Malone as council chair, which meant that my father now needed the last remaining vote—from Jerold Pierce, my fellow enforcer Parker’s dad—just to tie everything up.
And a tie wasn’t good enough. We needed a clear victory.

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Monday, 11 October 2010

Just a note!

Check out the awesome trailer for Crescendo, the sequel to Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick!



ALSO!!!!!

Everyone has a chance to win a copy of Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram! All you have to do is follow her various sites like her blog, twitter and facebook. You can find out more here! A copy is being given away every week of November so make sure to check it out!

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Cast In Shadow by Michelle Sagara West Review


Summary: (Goodreads)

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade,knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered—and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin.…

Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she 
knows she can't trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers—powers that no other human has. Her task is simple—find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies! 

Seven years ago, Kaylin fled from the city of Nightshade to escape the mysterious and brutal deaths of children who just happen to know Kaylin in some way or another...they also bear the same unusual marks that Kaylin happens to possess.

Seven years later and Kaylin is a Hawk serving under the watchful eye of the Lord of the Hawks and in turn the Emperor.

But when the killings begin again and secrets are revealed to Kaylin, she is forced to return to a place of horror and nightmares to try and find answers to a mystery that could destroy Kaylin and people she has grown to love.

This book had one of the most intriguing plots I have read in a long, long time. It was original to say the least. It started off as what seemed like so many different things going on at once - which kind of made me scratch my head in confusion multiple times - but then, towards the end of the book, it all connected and was suddenly relevant like putting together a jigsaw piece by piece (I know lame analogy right?).

An example is Kaylin's past with Severn; at the beginning of the book we learn that Kaylin hates Severn with a passion and longs to kill him...but we don't know why. It was constantly mentioned throughout the book which made me want to throw the book across the room at times because this past was refusing to be revealed (God Severn, what did you DO?!). It was only towards the end when Kaylin brings to light this past which was so much more than I was expecting. It was like a light went off in my head. It was a flawless point in the story that made me say 'oh, so that's why!'. A marvellous turning point that enables you to connect the dots, if you will.

What I also loved about this book was the writing style at times. It was almost poetic, particularly during a fight scene or when Kaylin happens to use magic. It took my breath away.

Having said all that, I thought there were far too many characters involved in the story. It got to be too much at times and I had to go back to the beginning to figure out who was who. It happened too many times for comfort.

As well as there being loads of characters, their names were too similar! It got really frustrating trying to figure out what role each character played, who they were and what they did. It made the story drag and considering how long it was in the first place, that's saying something.

I also thought Kaylin's magic and marks could have been explained a little better at points in the book. I know there are still a lot of unanswered questions that will inevitably be answered eventually but for what was accounted for; it could have been better.

On the whole I enjoyed this book. It set the scene for the next book in the series, Cast in Courtlight, and left me with a whole load of questions that I definitely want answered.

About the author:


Michelle Sagara is a Japanese-Canadian author of fantasy literature, active since the early 1990s. She has published as Michelle Sagara (her legal name), as Michelle West (her husband's surname), and as Michelle Sagara West (a combination of the two).

She lives in Toronto and is employed part-time at Bakka.


CymLowell
My Rating: 7/10

Publisher: Luna






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Sunday, 10 October 2010

In My Mailbox (#1)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi with The Story Siren.


Received for Review
Confessor by Terry Goodkind 

Won 
Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings
Immortal Remains by Rook Hastings






Saturday, 9 October 2010

On My Wishlist (#7)



On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick Cityand runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I want but haven't haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

********************


Summary: (Goodreads)      Author: Kathy Charles 

IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.
Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.

********************


Summary: (Goodreads)              Author: Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

********************


Author: Meljean Brook

Summary: (Goodreads)

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

*******************


Author: Stephen R. Lawhead

Summary: (Goodreads)

In the Song of Albion saga, a breach has opened between the worlds. Wolves prowl the streets of Oxford. A mysterious Green Man haunts the Highlands. And a catastrophe threatens to devastate two universes.


********************


Author: Adrian Phoenix

Summary: (Goodreads)

There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain't going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse . . ."

Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance's annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching -- the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju -- a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer -- even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie's search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated -- back home to Bayou Cypres Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie's aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.

So that's what's on my wishlist this week; what's on yours?









Thursday, 7 October 2010

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong


Summary: (Goodreads)

Forget the cackling green hag in The Wizard of Oz, forget Samantha fromBewitched. Real witches are nothing, NOTHING like this. For years real witches have hidden their powers, afraid of being persecuted. They have integrated so well into the community, you could have a witch living right next door and never know about it. Take Paige, for instance, whom we first met in Kelley Armstrong's novel Stolen. Just an ordinary twenty-something who runs her own website design company, worries about her weight and wonders if she'll ever find a boyfriend. Okay, so she's leader of the American Coven and guardian of Savannah, the teenage daughter of a black witch. Really, life is ordinary. But then a telekinetic half-demon, Leah O'Donnell, shows up to fight for custody of Savannah. And although Paige is ready for her, she's not quite so prepared for the team of supernaturals that Leah brings with her, including a powerful sorcerer who claims to be Savannah's father.

When all hell breaks loose -- literally -- and Paige is accused of witchcraft, Satanism and murder, the Coven, fearing exposure, abandons her. Cut off from her friends, Paige is forced against her better judgment to accept the help of a young sorcerer lawyer. And she quickly comes to realize that keeping Savannah could mean losing everything else.

It was so hard to read this book without comparing the characters to Elena and Clay from the first two books in the Women of the Otherworld series. I felt that Paige wasn't as strong of a character and was a pushover in comparison.

I'm still going to try to rate it without relating Dime Store Magic to Bitten or Stolen but it's so HARD!

I loved reading about the history of the witches in Dime Store Magic; especially when it came to the sorcerers getting involved.

I also loved how the romance in this story didn't dominate the plot. It was a great change to be honest because otherwise, I feel like the story-line would have become too messy and all over the place if that makes sense.

What's great is that if a reader started the Women of the Otherworld series from Dime Store Magic they wouldn't be lost at all, simply because it seems like it could be a separate series competely.

I loved Savannah's character. She was so sassy and naive that Paige had to  run around after her like a headless chicken half the time!

I also liked Lucas's character. He was so calm and composed throughout which was great for a little change. You could also see how he would be great for Paige as they're kind of opposites in a way but complement each other.

However, I did find Paige to be a bit irritating; she just did some stupid things at times that didn't have to happen.

The world that Dime Store Magic  is set in is flawless. The idea of the rivalry between sorcerers and witches, covens and Lucas's family story were all brilliant.

Above all though, Dime Store Magic was a really fast-paced and exciting all the way through. I couldn't put it down.

About the author:


Kelley Armstrong is a Canadian author, primarily of fantasy works. She has published twelve fantasy novels to date, most set in the world of Women of the Otherworld series, one crime fiction novel, and the Darkest Powers Trilogy. The latest novel in the Women of the Otherworld series is called Waking the Witch. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children.





My Rating: 8/10










Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Teaser Tuesday #8


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My current read is: Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara West

Random Page: #298

Two sentences:

She froze. "But the darkness—"
"Yes. It will rise. It is almost uncontained now."

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rogue by Rachel Vincent Review


Summary: (Goodreads)

Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my Father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find a little energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on - and off - duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet - two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

If you've read my review for Stray you've probably guessed that I was slightly apprehensive about reading the next book in the Shifters series. 

Still, I decided to give this one a try as I was told it does actually get better and it did. Although, not one of the greatest books I have ever read, Rogue was a vast improvement to Stray.

My main problem with Stray was how intolerable the protagonist Faythe was; she was self-centred, stupid (at times) and pretty much a spoilt brat who didn't own up to her mistakes. It made it really hard to relate to her and sympathise for the mistakes she did happen to make.

Faythe develops a lot throughout Rogue. Even though she still makes a truckload of mistakes she still admits to them and tries to rectify them enabling me to sympathise with her just that little bit more.

Be that as it may, the plot-line was a little bit predictable at times and seemed too similar to the first book in the series.

What I did love about this book though was it's pace. There was always something happening throughout the book whether it was a fight with Marc, investigating another murder or just Faythe getting in trouble again. It was what kept me reading for the most part.

All things considered, Rogue was a thrilling read that was a colossal improvement to book one in the series. Plus, the ending gave me a whole lot of reason to read on. To the next book!!

About the Author: 

A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her office with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks—seriously—and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.











My Rating: 7/10


Publisher: Mira   


CymLowell