Sunday, 30 September 2012

In My Mailbox #35


In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers can discuss the books we got in the mail this week.


This week I got:






Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?




Steel by Carrie Vaughn

A mysterious broken sword transports a modern teen through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past, and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as she learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home--one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.




A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

In a sparkling debut, "A Discovery of Witches" became the "it" book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar's depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense.




Starling by Lesley Livingston

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name--the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family--with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods--is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.


Jane by April Lindner

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

But there’s a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane’s much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.




Ten by Gretchen McNeil

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?



Happy reading everyone! 









Friday, 28 September 2012

Series Spotlight: The Mortal Instruments #3


Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: UK - Walker Books | US - McElderry Books

Publication date: UK - 22 June 2009 | US - August 2010

Format: Paperback - 512 pages

Genre: YA - Urban Fantasy



Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders - or against them. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary have their own decision to make: should they pursue the love they know is forbidden?

My thoughts:

It's getting harder and harder for me to even try to convey how brilliant these books are becoming to read. 


The most amazing thing to me is how Cassandra Clare managed to top the first two books in the series. To be honest after the first two I would have been incredibly happy if City of Glass was just as good but it was so much better. 


For one the plot was absolutely flawless. There was so much to it that all came together in the end in the most perfect and heart wrenching way. It's only after finishing the book that I've begun to think about how much imagination and thought has gone in to this plot with all it's brilliant timing and precision. There was not a single moment in the book where I wasn't turning pages as fast as I could to find out what would happen next and when I would find the answers to all the questions that had been roaming around in my mind since the first book. 


The characters were just as great ever. I enjoyed the fact that they seemed to have grown substantially by the end of this book and yet they still didn't differ to much from the characters they started out as in City of Bones. Plus there's an entirely new character introduced in this book that I can guarantee nobody would expect. 


Of course it didn't hurt that the writing was just as great ever. I've already promised myself that I'm going to read every single one of Cassandra Clare's books. Her writing is just too good to miss out on reading. 


All in all, I loved this book even more than the first two of the series - not that I thought that was possible before reading it. I can't possibly imagine what will happen in the next books to come. 


My rating: 10/10


Cassandra Clare:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Books in the series:

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angels
  5. City of Lost Souls
  6. City of Heavenly Fire 

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Series Spotlight: The Mortal Instruments #2


Title: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: UK - Walker Books | US - McElderry Books

Publication date: UK - 07 Jul 2008 | US - March 2008

Format: Paperback - 416 pages

Genre: YA - Urban Fantasy




Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York City's terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters - but can she control her feelings for a boy that can never be hers?



My thoughts:


I actually don't know what more I can say about this book that I haven't already said in the review of the first book, City of Bones. I absolutely adored it for all the same reasons.


More than anything though I'm starting to really love how long these books are and just how much happens in each one. I love the fact that it doesn't just take me a few hours to finish it - there's loads more of the book to enjoy for longer! Loads of books nowadays settle with one major event happening, especially books that are part of a series and it quickly gets boring. Cassandra Clare definitely has guts with how much happens in this book and yet only just enough of the overall plot is revealed.


I'm starting to really love all of the characters more than I thought I would. They're written so well and have such well-rounded personalities that nobody can help but fall in love with them. Jace is just as gorgeous as he is frustrating. I really do love his hilarious one-liners - they honestly make me laugh so much. I was a little apprehensive before reading this book actually because I wanted it to be as funny as the first book and it definitely was.


Also, the world-building is getting better and better. I could honestly read about the Shadowhunter world all day. It has such a great mix of normal life and all the different demons. I love the kind of book that plays out like a film as you read it just because it's that detailed and intriguing. It says a lot about the author.


The plot was just as great too. Incredibly fast paced and exciting. Plus, as I mentioned before, so much happens in one book! I've just about given up on even trying to guess where it's going to go from here.


Overall, if you couldn't have guessed already, I thought this was an incredibly great read. Again, if you haven't picked up this series please do - it's just as great if not better than everyone makes it out to be. 


My rating: 10/10


Cassandra Clare:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Books in the series:

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angels
  5. City of Lost Souls
  6. City of Heavenly Fire 


The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Teaser Tuesday #38


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week the teaser if from Blackwood by Gwenda Bond.

"Me, well…I…" Miranda seemed lost.Her shoulders ticked down a fraction, and Phillips was probably the only one who caught the movement before she lifted them. She shrugged. "I quit."

Make sure to check out my series spotlight of the Mortal Instruments so far! You can find my review of the first book City of Bones here.

Happy reading!!!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Series Spotlight: The Mortal Instruments #1



Title: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: UK - Walker Books | US - McElderry Books

Publication date: UK - 02 Jul 2007 | US - February 2008

Format: Paperback - 448 pages

Genre: YA - Urban Fantasy



Clary Fray is seeing things: vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan. Irresistibly drawn towards a group of sexy demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City - and the dangers of forbidden love.

My thoughts:

I have read City of Bones before but I thought it would be nice to do a series spotlight with the whole series since I haven't read the next four books. Let me start the review by saying this book is one of my all time favourites - I won't ever stop reading it or get tired of it for that matter. I guess you can tell where this review is going already.


Personally I think City of Bones is everything I could ever ask for in a book. I can't fault it at all. It has a fantastic plot and characters that really break your heart even with their little one liners - for anyone who's read the book already you can guess I'm talking about Jace in particular.


It's not that often that I mention anything about the writing style of authors in reviews but Cassandra Clare deserves all the appreciation she gets. She has this really entertaining way of writing that is most of the time incredibly sophisticated and then there are little paragraphs of hilarity that are slipped in. Not to mention how she doesn't fail to make a reader fall in love with characters immediately by instantly displaying their true characters within the first couple of lines of their appearance in the book. It's because of that excellent writing that made my heart break whenever anything terrible happened to any of the characters - the characters that are on the good side of course. 


As for the plot, I am so excited to see how it turns out. It took such a dramatic turn towards the end that I have absolutely no idea what to think when it comes to what is going to happen in the next books. It was definitely exciting the whole way through - there wasn't a dull moment. If there wasn't any fights with demons going on then there were exclamations of love and terrible betrayals. 


This is definitely a must read for anyone who hasn't read it yet - it truly is an enthralling read set in a brilliant world full of great creatures and sexy Shadowhunters!


My rating: 10/10


Cassandra Clare:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Books in the series:

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angels
  5. City of Lost Souls
  6. City of Heavenly Fire 


The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Review: Shift


Title: Shift

Author: Kim Curran

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Publication date: UK - 6 Sept 2012 | US - 4 Sept 2012

Format: Paperback 

Genre: YA - Paranormal



When your average loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he's not so average after all. He's a "Shifter" - he has the power to undo any decision he's ever made.

At first, he thinks the power to Shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him, he realises that each time he uses his power, it results in terrible, unforeseen consequences. In a world where anything can change with a single thought, Scott has to decide exactly where he stands.

My thoughts:


 This book was a pleasant surprise. It wasn't what I was expecting at all but instead a really entertaining read that had quite a bit of humour added in throughout.


What I loved about this read from the get go was Scott. I thought he was such a loveable character that captured my attention straight away and made me root for him for the whole book. He didn't change drastically in the middle of the book somewhere which is a plus since it happens so much in books nowadays. I did find it weird about a quarter of the way into the read when he 'Shifted' for the second time - his appearance changes in a certain way. It felt a little unnecessary to me. 


The plot was pretty good. I loved how it wasn't confusing - after reading the blurb of this book I realised it could be a really all over the place read easily enough. Given that the characters can change decisions that they have previously made I was expecting a lot of mess to be honest - the way the 'Shifts' were written was incredibly well done so I had no problem following what had happened. 


I did find that a big chunk of the book wasn't as exciting as the rest of the read. The rest of the book made up for it though - it was incredibly fast-paced at some points and the story moved along especially quickly. Admittedly, I didn't like the ending too much. I thought it was too fast and it did come to the point of it seeming rushed. I always feel like I've missed something somewhere in the story when that happens - it's slightly frustrating since the ending of the book is probably the most important part. 


Kim Curran's writing was really enjoyable. The first page drew me right in with how serious and yet hilarious it was. There were moments where it was completely inappropriate to laugh and I did anyway because these little one liners were thrown in that were so out of place that I couldn't help but find it hilarious. 


All in all I enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend it. It's a quick read that has an exceptional plot, brilliant characters and funny moments. 


My rating: 7/10


Kim Curran:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads





Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: Chosen Ones


Title: Chosen Ones

Author: Tiffany Truitt

Series: The Lost Souls #1

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication date: April 10 2012

Format: eARC 

Genre: Dystopian YA



Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

My thoughts:

Chosen Ones was a little bit of a roller- coaster ride for me. I spent most of the read trying to decide whether or not I like it because the pace of the story kept changing so much. 

I enjoyed how I was sort of thrown into the deep end of the story. It starts off with no explanation of the world the protagonist, Tess, is living in and just dives right into the action. It was nice in a way because it was intriguing and I wanted to find out more about this different world that punishes women for being infertile and leaves the children to suffer for everyone's mistakes. But it did leave me thinking I'd missed out an entire book in a series.

A lot was explained after a while with memories, flashbacks and letters so it was left to the reader to put the pieces together which was really different and enjoyable. I just felt that the book as a whole was out of order in some way which is why I can't decide if I like it or not.

The plot was nice to read. It wasn't original so much, but it was still pleasant. A lot of it was incredibly fast paced which I always enjoy and it left me turning pages which is always a good thing! I did find the ending to be way to abrupt for my liking - it really did come out of nowhere and seemed entirely too rushed.

Chosen One's characters were another confusing point for me. I didn't really understand Tess as a character because she changed too drastically for my liking too early into the book. She was such a strong and sometimes stubborn person that I felt she wouldn't be easy to change if change needed to happen - and it did. The fact that she was of one mind one second and of another a page later with no in between occurrence made her too hard to relate to in my opinion. 

And then there was James and Henry. Henry was another character who seemed to be something else entirely different to what he turned out to be. He was also a little bit too much on the sidelines for a character who was supposed to be important in the end. James, however, was my favourite character. He was just James the whole way through and didn't become anything else or change completely - he only became more sure of himself and his actions - yeah, I loved James.

Overall this was an average read for me although it did have it's intense and heart stopping moments. 

My rating: 5/10

Tiffany Truitt:

Goodreads | Blog | Twtter | Facebook

Books in the series:

  1. Chosen Ones
  2. Naturals


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Teaser Tuesday #37


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I'm reading City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare:

The wind whipped at her hair and coat as she walked over to join Sebastian and Jace. They all set off again, the two boys conversing softly; she could have joined the conversation if she'd wanted to, she supposed, but there was something about the still loveliness of the city, its spires rising into the mist in the distance, that made her want to be quiet, to look and to think on her own.

Page 287

Happy reading!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Review: Bad Blood


Title: Bad Blood

Author: Kristen Painter

Series: House of Comarre #3

Publisher: Orbit (UK | US)

Publication date: UK - 24/11/2011 | US - 12/1/2011

Format: Paperback - 418 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy



A spate of violent murders is plaguing Paradise City, all the victims being girls masquerading as vampire servants. The Kubai Mata have long battled against othernatural atrocities, but have their hands full as they work with the police to stop this bloodshed.

As their city becomes increasingly dangerous, Malkolm and Chrysabelle hunt the Ring of Sorrows - hoping its power will provide an essential edge against the dark otherworld forces. But forced to make a life and death decision, Chrysabelle realises her relationship to Malkolm could prove fatal. Meanwhile, the night of Samhain approaches, bringing the final melding of mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows what to expect - except that war is coming.

My thoughts:

First off, I have reviewed the first two books in this series so if you'd like to read them you can find the first one - Blood Rights - right here and the second - Flesh and Blood - here.

I did enjoy the first two books in the series so it's disappointing for me to say this book wasn't as great as the first two in my opinion. It was a nice read but compared to the first two it didn't meet my expectations. It's always a problem with books in a series - they have to keep getting better just because it's so easy for a reader to get bored of the storyline if it stays relatively the same. 

One of the major problems for me was that there was no way near enough focus on Chrysabelle. The first book starts off mostly about Chrysabelle with occasional other p.o.vs and the second introduces another big character which is fine. But this is the third book in the series and most of the focus is taken off of Chrysabelle and onto a completely random character who I thought was not important enough to have that much to say in the book. It was too random for me.

Also, I'm finding the plot to be getting a little on the dry side. It's been dragged on way to long now without much change. It feels like this book was a little all over the place - like it was written in thirds and put together in the wrong order somehow. Plus parts of it were entirely too predictable.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I did think it was a nice read. I loved the main characters that were there from the start for all their variety and quirkiness. Doc makes me laugh for some reason and Fi is great. Of course Malkolm is my favourite and I really wish he and Chrysabelle would just get together it's driving me crazy. 

Although Bad Blood was a little disappointing it was still an entertaining read full of mystery and suspense. All of my negative opinions come from comparing this book to the first two which is slightly frustrating but it's what always happens with books in any series. 


My rating: 6/10



Kristen Painter:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Website | Facebook


Books in the series:

  1. Blood Rights - review here.
  2. Flesh and Blood
  3. Bad Blood
  4. Out for Blood