Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Down below are a few lovely covers that were revealed in the past few weeks.

Embers and Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight
(US Edition)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater
(US Edition)
Gravity (The Taking #1) by Melissa West
(US Edition)
Defiance by C.J. Redwine
(US Edition)

What do you all think? My reaction was "pretty!" when I saw the cover for Embers and Echoes which is the same reaction I had to Wildefire. What are your favourites here?

Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by Sandy


Monday, 20 February 2012

Book Blogger Confessions is a new bi-weekly meme hosted by Tiger @ All Consuming Books and Karen @ For What it's Worth Reviews.

Social networking with authors: Do you interact on Twitter/Facebook etc. with authors? Does it affect how you review their work or do you look at their books differently because you are on friendly terms with them?

I follow many authors on twitter and will occasionally send them tweets if they ask a question or comment on a fandom I am apart of but I am not close with any of them except one or two author’s and even those couple of authors I only communicate with through the occasional tweets. I am not a gregarious person so getting me to talk to people I don’t know is already hard enough let alone getting me to talk to authors who I kind of worship xD. I think knowing an author on friendly terms does affect the way I approach the book because before I pick it up I am already hoping that I love it because I don’t want to let the author down with a negative review so I might be a bit more forgiving towards the book if it does have things I don’t like but in the end I have to be honest with myself and to my readers and say what I couldn’t look over if the book did disappoint me.

Posted on Monday, February 20, 2012 by Sandy


Friday, 10 February 2012

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

Dark Lover took me only a few hours to read and that only happens when the book is wonderful. I felt like this story was actually written about two real people who fell in love who are actually vampires. Well to be precise this story is about one full-breed vampire who seems heartless but is just afraid of putting himself out there and a half-breed vampire who does not know what she is, who are brought together because of the death of a father she never got a chance to meet.

Wrath, the only full breed vampire left in the world and also now king of the other vampires was afraid of letting people down and so decided that rather than lead his people he wanted to be a warrior and fight alongside them.

Beth, whose father was a vampire and mother human, never met either of them. So she grew up in a home and then when to college and became a writer for a newspaper. She has just turned 25 which is when half breeds go through transformation to become a vampire, of course not a lot of half breed go thought this transformation and even if they do , they do not survive.

Daruis, who is a part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a band of vampires who fight to keep their own kind alive, was not only very close to Wrath but was also Beth’s father, knows that she is on the verge of changing and wants her to live. Darius asks Wrath to help his daughter through this tough time because he lost all of his sons to the transformation and would like his only daughter to make it but Wrath turns him down. Unexpectedly, however, as Daruis leaves their meeting place he is killed.

Wrath then decides he owes it to Daruis who was truly his only friend to try and get his daughter through the transformation and they end up falling in love but no matter how good something gets it never seems to last.

This book is a must read and I think I like it so much because it reminds me of the Dark Hunter Series. It is like Ash’s book and to be honest I gave Ash’s book 5 out of 5 so for this one I would give a 4.8, so rounding that off to a 5.

There is a lot going on and there are a lot of twists and turns, this book jumps out at you and once you’re in you are in there is no turning back. This is a beautiful story and I can’t wait until I start book two.

Thanks J.R. Ward, this first novel was a page turner.

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Posted on Friday, February 10, 2012 by Reeshe

1 comment

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

I think this story was great but it was dragged on a little too much by the main girl dying over wanting to know if her best friend likes her the way she likes him. In fact that is my only complaint about the book.
I find that the story was different from others books I’ve read, her power or curse, which ever you want to call it, is unique in its own little way. I like the book I even like some of the characters in the book, like Chelsea, she is not seen much but she is one of those friends that everyone hopes to have (kind of like my friend Sandy).

Violet is a normal girl, other than the fact that see can sense when something dead is near and the thing that killed it. She has grown up with this gift and at the age of six she discovers her first human body, it was a body of a girl. They never found her killer.

She has a best friend, his name is Jay and he is the only other person that knows about her gift/curse other than her family. When they both turn seventeen, Violet finally starts seeing him as the cutest boy in the world I guess you can say, and so do other girls. Of course Violet and Jay come to a disagreement and she ends up going to the homecoming dance with someone else and he with the most beautiful girl in school. Of course the disagreement will be over Violet leaving his side, while in searcher for this murderer that has come into town killing teenage girls.

Violet decides that she has this power and wants to use it to find this killer, and she does. The killer admits to everything even the girl Violet found when she was 6. The town thinks it is safe again, but what Violet doesn’t know is that the serial killer has a partner and that the partner knows she’s responsible for the caught killer ending up in jail. He decides that before leaving town she needs to die or she might catch him too.

So Violet and Jay end up together before homecoming of course, so they are dating now and loving it, but one day Jay has to leave the house from there make out sessions held in Violet’s room, every day after school to help his mom with something and Violet feeling safe decides to go for a run by herself on a trail she always takes, it wasn’t until she was far enough away from her house she senses something and figures out that it is following her, she looks back and sees a man hiding his face painted in army camouflage colours. She gets scared and starts to run, of course, and he starts to chase her, then as she runs she hear Jay calling for her and she starts yelling for help, she ends up rolling down a hill and hurting her leg. Jay finds her and takes her to hospital, where she tells her uncle who is the Chief of Police what happen and he tells her he thinks the serial killer had a partner. The doctor tells her that she won’t be able walk on her injured leg for a while and that it will take weeks to months to heal.

Jay followers her everywhere now and of course Jay tells her family about their relationship and he is still taking her to dance, to show her off even though she can’t run or walk and a killer is out to get her. Please. And her parents agree to that, I don’t care how much I trust my daughter’s boyfriend, she was almost killed and she can’t run if she tried, why in the world would I let her go to the school dance, Hell to the NO!!!

Not only that but at the dance Violet goes to the bathroom farthest away from the dance area and insists that her friends leave her there alone so that they can go back to the dance and wouldn’t have to wait while she re-wraps her foot. Then she doesn’t listen to herself either, the echo’s (murdered people imprints) were playing so loud in her ears and she was not listening, so while the guy stood beside her in the bathroom she didn’t notice until it was too late. Again if you know someone is after you, you shouldn’t insist on being left alone, that is just dumb.

In the end she was again saved by her boyfriend and slowed them down so much that he ends up getting shot, good thing the guy was off balance from where she hit him and her uncle Chief of Police came right around just in time to shoot the guy. Oh and did I mention that the second guy was the police officer that she ran into before she got his partner taken away by the police. I mean come on!!!!
 Spoilers End

This book was a bit of a disappointment, I guess I held my expectations up a little too much… I don’t think I will be reading book two. Maybe if someone can give me a good review on it, I might pick it up but I will not buy it on my own. I mean don’t get me wrong I love the whole you can see where the murder victim is buried and who killed them but Violet was a little to whiny and self-centred to me and I think that her stupidity is what destroyed this book for me personally.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 by Reeshe

1 comment

Blood Bound (Unbound #1) by Rachel Vincent

Bound by blood, condemned by fate

As a bloodtracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv's learnt to survive by her own rules.

Rule number one? Trust no one.

But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe.

And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam.

A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game.

No matter what the cost.

First of all let me say this, if you want to read books by a creative and innovative author then look no further than Rachel Vincent. Blood Bound is the third book I have read by this talented author, the second of hers that is targeted to adults and by far my favourite. Set in a world where your name is your most precious secret Blood Bound takes the term "binding agreement" to a whole new level in this action packed, urban-fantasy about a woman who fights every day to keep her freedom in a world where freewill can be signed away with a few drops of blood.

Olivia or Liv is a blood tracker, meaning if she has a drop of your blood she can track you down from miles away. Unfortunately for Liv being special in her city usually leads to gaining the attention of unsavoury characters, in her case, one of the leaders of the warring crime syndicates plaguing her city, the abusive Ruben Cavazos. The specifics of Liv’s job for Ruben are a secret, a secret even the reader isn’t privy to except for a few occasional hints throughout the story and although this isn’t the main plot of Blood Bound it is quite important.

From the very first few pages the story is set when Olivia gets a visit in the middle of the night from her estranged best friend Anne who has come to ask for her help, an act that should have been impossible due to a binding the two women signed along with two other friends when they were still teenagers. Why would they each make such an agreement? To override a deadlier one each of them unwittingly made years before - to help each other if one of the four girls merely asked. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal except refusing to help leads to your body slowly and painfully shutting down until you agree to help or die. And what’s worse is that not only does Olivia have to help Anne against her will she has to do it with her ex-boyfriend Cameron Caballero.

My favourite part of this novel was the world Rachel Vincent had created because despite it having similarities with other books I have read before (people with unnatural talents) it wasn’t just about the individuals but the rules they have to follow. People may be powerful but the more powerful they are the more careful they have to be because of the attention they can attract and even if a person isn’t “special” they have to protect themselves. Not just their identity or every drop of blood they ever spill in the normal measures a person would take in our world but they have to go beyond that by using nicknames, carrying around first aid kits wherever they go - first aid kits that include bleach. Rachel Vincent took such great care in every detail from rules, to loopholes, to the government and law that it wasn’t difficult at all to immerse myself into her novel, especially since she took care to thread details throughout her narrative piece by piece instead of piling it on top of the reader in one big info dump.

My other favourite part of Blood Bound was the host of characters the reader is introduced to. Characters that are strong but flawed and damaged by the choices they make, characters that may not all be likeable but are most certainly intriguing that you can’t help but want to know more about, and not just main supporting characters but characters you only hear about or see for just a chapter that I hope to hear more about in the next book. Speaking of the next book it’s going to be told by one of the side-characters I had quickly grown to love in this first instalment of the Unbound series so I have very little doubt I won’t love it just as much.

Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 by Sandy

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Monday, 6 February 2012

Book Blogger Confessions is a new bi-weekly meme hosted by Tiger @ All Consuming Books and Karen @ For What it's Worth Reviews.

Deadlines for reviewing and blogging. Do you set them? How do you keep them? What do you do if you can't meet a deadline?

Referring to Scribing Shadows: For review books I have set myself a 30 day deadline but like all deadlines I have never always met them and of course felt guilty about it. Now I’m not even taking requests because I know I have no time for them. As for deadlines outside of requests I have given up doing that because I know something will come up, I will procrastinate. I will get distracted and not meet it, which is why my blog posting is so inconsistent. I took a break in January however to get over a blogging slump and to actually schedule posts a month in advance so we will see how long that lasts :).

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2012 by Sandy


Saturday, 4 February 2012

You want a show that will have you emotionally invested with just six episodes? Heck you want to have a show that will have you loving it with just 1 episode? Then watch this show. Watch Sherlock because this is one of the most brilliant things that have ever graced the television screen in years. In my first post about Sherlock I talked about the writing and the actors which have not only continued to excel but have also improved now that relationships have been firmly established and characters have continued to develop. So I won't go into too much detail about them this time around but will mention other important elements of the show that I completely overlooked when I watched the first series.

In series 2 Sherlock picks right back from where series 1 ended, with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson facing off against the finally revealed Jim Moriarty, one move away from all of them being blown up until something unexpected happens in one of the most hilarious but typical ways possible. Moriarty gets a phone call announced by the Bee Gees "Staying Alive" ring-tone and after threatening to skin the caller if they are lying (lying about what? the viewer doesn't know) cancels Sherlock and John's murder for the day. Switch scene and we have a very scantily clad Irene Adler, holding a riding crop, and entering a room with a woman strapped to a bed.

This year’s series was comprised of the three most popular Sherlock Holmes stories - A Scandal in Bohemia, The Hounds of the Baskervilles, and The Final Problem. Now I haven’t read any of the books yet but I have heard a bit about them, and internet forums are very useful places for gathering information so I had a basic understanding of what to expect.
Alice X. Zhang
Portrait of Martin Freeman
as John Watson by Alice X. Zhang
Along with seeing the modernized twists on the above titles I knew I would see Steven Moffat’s version of Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outwit Sherlock Holmes, Mark Gatiss’s turn to differentiate his take on Hounds from all other previous adaptations (it’s the most adapted story), and that I would cry during the last episode. Now for those of you who don’t know anything about the books I won’t tell you why I knew I was going to cry but I will say that I did (thanks for that Steven Thompson) and that Sherlock fans on tumblr are kind of masochistic.

Besides excellent storylines and solid acting my favourite part about this series is how much effort is invested in every detail of the show because it’s not just the characters and their story that makes this show such a treat but the dedication everyone has to make it the best. What I didn’t notice in the previous series until after listening to commentaries and watching extras is how (one) the writers LOVE Sherlock Holmes and (two) the creative camera work, art direction, soundtrack, and editing that goes into each episode that when you stop to think about the amount of time it must take to complete one episode they really are like, in the words of Martin Freeman, “three feature films” or in my words, three fantastic feature films.

Are you getting tired of my gushing yet? I don’t mean to sound like a fangirl or to get your hopes too high if you haven’t seen this show yet because I myself get wary of shows/books/movies that are incredibly popular because I don't want to be disappointed. But I also think if I love something that I think other people will also love then I should do my best to convince them to at least give it a try.

Have I convinced you yet?

Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2012 by Sandy

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Friday, 3 February 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was very interesting and is one of those books that will stick with you. Not only does it leave you thinking about it but you never truly realize this until the end of the book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns had me tearing up whenever certain parts came along; Rae Carson wrote the book in a way that you feel as if Elisa… is a part of you. You feel what she feels. Then there are times when you wish you could strangle her for her blind trust in people, but then you see where the story leads her and you understand why she is supposed to be that innocent. Even with a war happening, Elisa still believes in and tries to protect everyone.

There is a lot about this book that I like but at the same time you have to pause and think about it because it is very easy to be drawn in and then after the book does hook you it can leave you feeling a bit lost. I must also admit that the story was really slow in the beginning, but after that it picks up in no time and from then it moves at a constant fast pace.

This book took hold of me and it held me for two whole days from beginning to end. If I were to describe this book I would say The Girl of Fire and Thorns reminds me of the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy by Kristen Cashore, except instead of having a particular group of people with unusual talents you have one girl. Overall my rating was 4.8 but I will round it up to 5.

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Posted on Friday, February 03, 2012 by Reeshe

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