Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Brigands M.C. by Robert Muchamore

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Title: Brigands M.C.

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #11

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: September 3rd 2009

Format: Hardback | 406 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



Every Cherub agent comes from somewhere. Dante Scott still has nightmares about the death of his family, brutally killed by a biker gang.


Dante is given the chance to become a member of Cherub, a trained professional with one essential advantage: adults never suspect that children are spying on them.


But when Dante joins James and Lauren Adams on a mission to infiltrate Brigands Motorcycle Club, he's ready to use everything he's learned to get revenge on the people who killed his family…



My thoughts:


While still including siblings James and Lauren Adams, Brigands M.C. focuses mainly on new character Dante Scott. Before Cherub, Dante was the son of a Brigands M.C member who was brutally murdered in from of him along with the rest of his family. Cherub finally gives Dante the opportunity to get revenge on the man who ruined his life by going undercover and infiltrating the biker gang along with James and Lauren acting as his siblings. 


I was a little apprehensive when I picked up the book and saw that a completely new character was being introduced, especially considering it's almost the end of the series. I have to say though, I loved Dante. I adored his backstory at the beginning of the book and his introduction to Cherub. Dante was a character with an incredible amount of depth and aside from all the action that goes on in this book, the story is more about Dante's journey to acceptance of what happened to his family early on in his life. It made the book stand out from the rest of the Cherub series which was amazing.


In some ways though, this book isn't as action packed as some of the others in the series. A lot of the book isn't involving the mission at all, but Dante's life before Cherub instead. It added a lot of depth and meaning to the mission later on, but it's not as exciting in terms of fighting and actual spying.

 

Overall I loved this read. It had all of my favourite characters and then some, loads of action and a new incredibly detailed character was added which made me one happy reader.

 

My rating: 8/10

 

Robert Muchamore:

 

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Cherub:

 

  1. The Recruit
  2. Class A
  3. Maximum Security
  4. The Killing
  5. Divine Madness
  6. Man vs. Beast
  7. The Fall
  8. Mad Dogs
  9. The Sleepwalker
  10. Dark Sun
  11. The General
  12. Brigands M.C
  13. Shadow Wave

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

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Title: The Way of Shadows

Author: Brent Weeks

Series: Night Angel #1

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 04 Aug 2011

Format: Paperback | 672 pages

Genre: Adult | Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.


For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.


But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kyler Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassin's world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.



My thoughts:


Azoth has had more than enough of living in fear so when Durzo Blint comes along, the most feared wetboy in the city, Azoth takes a risk and becomes an apprentice to an assassin. As time passes, Azoth becomes Kyler, a skilled fighter with dreams of becoming all that Blint wants him to be. Things soon change though when a kingdom to the north plots an invasion that threatens everything Kyler knows and loves.


I. Loved. This. Book.


I could probably just leave it at that but it doesn't really say much about why you should read it. Just a bit of a fair warning though, I most likely won't make much sense in this review.


The characters in this book are so well written that I had a hard time figuring a lot of them out. I've rarely been in the position where I can't draw the line between good and evil - there were characters that I loathed until the very end where something's revealed that makes all of that character's actions seem like acts of love where they didn't before. I never saw it coming. Lately the books I've been reading have been so predictable that it became tiring to carry on reading them, it just made The Way of Shadows that much better in comparison. Even the characters that are clearly labelled as the 'villains' have elements to their makeup that make them seem pitiful instead of just the character you're supposed to hate. I found myself feeling sorry for some which made the read very interesting indeed.


I also thought this read was incredibly intense. I dreaded having to put this book down because it was so chocked full of suspense. There was no end to the action throughout the read as well as an amazingly detailed plot. There were a few subplots within the read which were just as intriguing as the plot mainly focusing on Kyler. I couldn't race through this one fast enough and then, as usual with a great book, I didn't want it to end.


Honestly, if you like this genre anyway, please pick up this book. I for one, am really looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. 


My rating: 10/10


Brent Weeks:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Night Angel:

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Shadow's Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadows

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

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Title: Mercy 

Author: Rebecca Lim

Series: Mercy #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication date: 28th October 2010

Format: Paperback | 288 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal 

Goodreads



Mercy wakes on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business…or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new human form each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings.


In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, and eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also taken, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.



My thoughts:


Mercy is the first book of a series focusing on a girl who doesn't know who she is past the name she's given herself - Mercy. Every once in a while she wakes up in a new body with a new name and in a new location. Things change when Mercy finds herself taking control of Carmen, a small, musically talented girl that dreams of making it as big a opera star. She finds herself fighting to find Ryan's sister where she wouldn't usually go out of her way for someone she'd only just met. But it might just end up pointing her in the right direction to find out who she really is once and for all.


Throughout this read Mercy is controlling Carmen's body but occasionally snippets of Carmen's thoughts would come through and it becomes plain to see the differences in the two characters' personalities. I really enjoyed that. It didn't happen very often but when it did, I found it really intriguing. Mercy wasn't exactly the friendliest person ever, but it was what Carmen needed to move on from her so called 'best friends' who were holding her back big time. I actually found Mercy to be a huge bitch, but Carmen balanced it out a little and stopped me from outright hating the main character which would have been disastrous.


However, I thought a lot of the characters weren't written so well. Seeing as though this read had a crime solving element to it, there was a whole list of characters thrown into the story to be seen as suspects which I didn't think worked so well. Mercy trying to figure out who took Ryan's sister is one thing, but when the characters Mercy suspects have no depth or personality traits a reader can relate to, it makes them fall short as even the most basic of criminals. Aside from that, I also found the mystery side to the story extremely predictable - I had no problem guessing who was the kidnapper far from the end of the book.

 

Overall I liked this read and I think I'll be carrying on to the second book for now. I have to say though, while I enjoyed Mercy, I think if the next book isn't any better than this one, I won't be going any further with the series.

 

My rating: 6/10

 

 Rebecca Lim:

Goodreads | Facebook 

 

Mercy:

  1. Mercy
  2. Exile
  3. Muse
  4. Fury

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: The General by Robert Muchamore

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Title: The General

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #10

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: 4th September 2008

Format: Paperback | 352 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



The world's largest urban warfare training compound stands in the desert near Las Vegas. Forty British commandos are being hunted by an entire American battalion.


But their commander has an ace up his sleeve: he plans to smuggle in ten Cherub agents, and fight the best war game ever.



My thoughts:


For those of you that haven't heard of this series before, it follows a secret organisation that uses child spies to get criminals locked away for a good long while. Of course, since children are involved, the characters get up to some crazy, hilarious stunts both during missions and at the Cherub campus. The General, mostly focuses on James and his sister Lauren as they test soldiers to the limits in a training compound in the middle of an American desert. 


I'm already a big fan of this series but this book just took the biscuit for me. I couldn't stop laughing for the life of me. The beginning of the book was great for more serious action with James' first mission, but after that went wrong, things just got a turn for the hilarious. I loved what went down in the training compound - it was a perfect mix of chaos, childish pranks and combat training. Muchamore's ability to keep reminding readers that these agents are still kids is brilliant.


I also enjoyed the great mix of characters that played a part in this story. James and Lauren are favourites of mine just because of their great relationship as siblings but the rest of the gang played their parts too and it led to some brilliant moments. The instructor Kazakov has definitely become a new favourite of mine because of his genius antics in this book. 


Nothing really comes to mind when I think about what I didn't like about this book. I suppose I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a fight between Dana and James when all that drama went down. It was over a little too quickly and James seemed to get over Dana awfully fast for someone who claimed to love her. I guess his heart's elsewhere.


Overall I loved this book and I thought it was a fantastic addition to the Cherub books. I'm looking forward to starting the next one.

 

My rating: 10/10

 

Robert Muchamore:

 

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Cherub:

 

  1. The Recruit
  2. Class A
  3. Maximum Security
  4. The Killing
  5. Divine Madness
  6. Man vs. Beast
  7. The Fall
  8. Mad Dogs
  9. The Sleepwalker
  10. Dark Sun
  11. The General
  12. Brigands M.C
  13. Shadow Wave

Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R.R Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Publication date: January 6th 2003

Format: Paperback | 807 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



Summers span decades.

Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.


As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must…and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.


The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.



My thoughts:


I'm pretty sure most of you will know a little about this series or at the least heard of it. For those who haven't, A Game of Thrones follows quite a few characters as they battle it out for the Iron Throne. There's a whole lot of stabbing in the back, war talk and heads on pikes. As for the rest, it's a pretty complicated book to narrow it down to one paragraph, you'll just have to find out for yourself.


What I love the most about this book is the characters. I was bowled over by how easy it was to hate some and really love the rest. The characters were incredibly clear cut in the way the contributed to the plot which I haven't really experienced before in any read. Since the chapters alternated between different characters' points of view, it made it really easy to get excited when I saw whose point of view was coming up next. I can't even properly express how well written these characters were - they were so detailed and had so much depth to them, a book could be written about each one.


The plot itself certainly got me racing through the book - as much as you can race through a book 800 pages long. It was original and I didn't see anything coming at all which I found incredibly refreshing. It wasn't especially thrilling for quite a lot of the book, sometimes there wasn't much going on at all, but there was no part of the story that bored me or made me lose interest.


It was only the length of the book that put me off a little. I'm used to finishing a book within a day or two at most, so this one took forever in comparison. To be honest, it's not something even worth complaining about, but for people who have more of a hectic life than I do, it'll most likely take a good long while to finish this one, never mind the rest of the series. 

 

Overall this was a fantastic read that I can recommend to anybody, especially readers who want to try a book of this genre, it's a good place to start. 

 

My rating: 9/10


George R.R. Martin:

Goodreads | Website 

 

A Song of Ice and Fire:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords
  4. A Feast for Crows
  5. A Dance with Dragons
  6. The Winds of Winter
  7. A Dream of Spring

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

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Title: Inside Out

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Series: Insiders #1

Publisher: Mira Ink

Publication date: January 2011

Format: Paperback | 315 pages

Genre: YA | Dystopian

Goodreads



I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody.

One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I just to my job and try to avoid the Population Control Police, who dream of recycling scrubs into fertiliser. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? It's not like it's dangerous…


Well, turns out it is. Because I know ever corridor, pipe and shortcut I've become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I know if we find a gateway to Outside it'll be suicide plain and simple. But guess who likes a challenge?



My thoughts:


Inside Out follows the story of Trella, one scrub among thousands whose job it is to clean out the pipes that make up the 'Inside'. While some scrubs take pride in their work, Trella can't help but feel like she doesn't belong when she sneaks around the pipes and catches glimpses of the Uppers. Because of Trella's knowledge of all the shortcuts and ways around the pipes, she soon becomes the figurehead needed to lead a revolution and change the scrubs lives for the better.


Trella was a great character. She had such a fiery personality and I really enjoyed reading her interactions with the other scrubs. Trella did kind of push people away in order to protect herself and while it was annoying at times, it was also endearing once I realised why exactly she does it. 


However, a lot of the characters, in my opinion, were lacking a lot of depth. I didn't find Cog and Riley to be relatable at all - they always came into the story where they were needed and never provided any additional support to the plot. I didn't connect to them at all and I feel that it was purely because they weren't around enough, especially Cog. Cog appeared frequently in the beginning of the book but afterwards he wasn't heard from at all. Both Riley and Cog were characters I didn't end up caring about so in the end, I wan't anxious about what might happen to them.


I have to admit as well, I lost interest in the plot very quickly. There was no issue with finding it predictable or unoriginal just because I couldn't bring myself to care enough to think about it. I think there wasn't enough suspense for me. I recognised where the author really tried, for example, countdowns to somebody's execution. But if I don't like the character in the first place, it's not going to affect me greatly if he was executed so it didn't really work. 


Overall I wouldn't really recommend this read. There have been a lot of good reviews for it though, and this is only my opinion, so check it out if it looks interesting.


My rating: 4/10


Maria V. Snyder:

Goodreads | Blog | Facebook 


Insiders:

  1. Inside Out
  2. Outside In

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Author: Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 17th Apr 2014

Format: Hardback | 528 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads

 

 

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
 



My thoughts:


Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the third and final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It starts off essentially where the second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, left off, with Karou and Akiva trying their best to unite the seraphim army, known as the misbegotten, and the surviving chimaera.

 

Every since I finished the second book of the trilogy, I've been simultaneously dreading and anticipating the release of the last book. The second book ended with such a surprising turn of events that I really didn't know what to expect to happen with this one. I just had the feeling that everything was going to get so much worse for the characters and there's no way they could get out of the situation they were left in. Especially for Karou and Akiva, I couldn't bear the thought of them not being together in the end and so I was so nervous to see what would happen between the two.

 

Honestly though, just like the last two books, this book was an absolute joy to read. Not because everything was all puppies and roses, it wasn't, it's just that Laini Taylor has this beautiful, mystical way of writing that sucks me into her world and lets me see what she sees. As of writing this review, I'm emigrating and you can imagine that takes a lot of work and a half! This book proved to be the most perfect distraction when things got a little too stressful and gave me the most amazing place to escape to so that I could forget about reality for a little while and go into a world filled with flying, blue-haired girls and angels with golden eyes.

 

The characters in this book are amazing. The story is amazing. The writing is beyond amazing.

 

There's absolutely nothing more I can say that will do this whole trilogy justice. If you haven't already, please, please give it a go. 

 

My rating: 10/10

 

 

Laini Taylor:

Goodreads | Website