Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Summer Fun Mini Challenge #3

One of my all time favourite genres is science fiction and after much discussion between Rebecca and I we decided to make the rest of the mini challenge, themed.  Because this is my day to make the challenge I chose the theme of science fiction.  Yay!!!

For this challenge there will be a link to a form at the bottom of the page and what you have to do is unscramble five YA science fiction titles.  I've tried to make this a little bit easy because even though it's my favourite I know that not everyone loves sci-fi.
Hints: When I say sci-fi I mean things like dystiopian fiction.
All the book titles are of books that have been reviewed on this blog.  Some even very recently.
The titles to unscramble are:

You get one point for each correct answer.  The scrambled words are on the form too!
Answers will be given the 4th of January.  If you haven't signed up for the contests yet, go here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Keys to The Repository

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Published: Hyperion, 2010

Pages: 212

Series:  Companion to Blue Bloods

Summary: Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Midterms. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, exists a wealth of revealing information about the vampire elite that dates back before the Mayflower. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: You have to have read the first four books in the Blue Bloods series to fully understand Keys to the Repository, that and it has major spoilers otherwise.  I picked it up because I’m a fan of the Blue Bloods series and there’s always a long wait between books so I thought I’d read this one to get my Blue Bloods fix.  I’m glad I did because it puts everything into perspective and refreshed my memory about what happened in the previous books, because sometimes it’s hard to remember.
It’s a really quick read, I managed to sit down and read through it in one setting and I just think it’s a good overall background to the Blue Bloods series.  It’s gotten me really excited about the next book in the series Misguided Angel and I hope to read it soon.
If you’re a fan of the Blue Bloods series and are interested in looking at the background story of some of the Blue Bloods then Keys to the Repository is worth checking out.

Source: Library

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren.

This week I had quite a big week in the way of books.  Which is awesome but at the same time I had a slow reading week so my reading pile is ever-expanding.

I got one ebook this week and it is:

Dead is Not An Option by Marlene Perez

It’s springtime of senior year, and psychic sleuth Daisy Giordano is preparing to say goodbye to Nightshade High. But no college acceptance letters have arrived yet, and she’s beginning to worry about where she’ll end up come fall—and if it will be anywhere near her boyfriend, Ryan. But that’s not the only uncertainty Daisy’s dealing with. There’s a vamps versus shifters war going on in Nightshade, and things are so tense that there is talk of canceling the prom. The conflict is carrying over to the Giordano home, since Rose and Daisy are both dating werewolves and Poppy’s new boyfriend is a vampire.

Then I got three books in the mail for review and they were:

Diamond Eyes by A.A Bell

Orphaned as a child after the bizarre deaths of her parents, Mira has been tormented by visions of ‘ghosts’ ever since puberty. As a carrier of the Fragile-X gene, her eyes have crystallised more than usual, causing her physical and emotional pain. Diagnosed as blind-sighted and institutionalised in the Serenity Centre -- a sanctuary for handicapped adults -- she can see convicts of the past, yet she cannot see any of her real surroundings or even her own body. After a number of failed escape attempts, Mira has regressed under increasing medication to a near-child-like state; paranoid, terrified and unco-operative. 
Then two medical specialists arrive at Serenity to do a health survey -- while secretly testing new technology that interrogates the human subconscious. The project leader is also selling military secrets, and when he murders one of the bodyguards to cover his crime, Mira is the only witness …

Reunion in Carmel by Tim Comstock

Police officer Will Kempton moves his family to the tourist town of Carmel, Calif., thinking it will be the perfect change of pace after his 14 years as a hardened New Jersey detective. But when a string of gruesome murders rattles the quiet town and comes too near his own family, Kempton must draw on skills he never thought he would need again to track down the killer.

Logic of Demons by H.A. Goodman

LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul takes you on a journey inside the psyches of men and women forced to deal with the supernatural consequences of their decisions. Through the lives of a demon, two Angels, and a mysterious teenage girl, a plethora of politically and socially relevant issues ranging from the roots of genocide and sex trafficking to child conscription and religious fundamentalism are addressed in this fantasy thriller. Life as well as the afterlife converge in this novel to explain certain peculiarities of the human condition. Whether you are a God fearing individual or an atheist, LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul addresses moral and theological issues of interest for people of all backgrounds.

And that was my week in books.  Can't wait to see what everyone else got!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Title: Hunger

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler

Published: Harcourt Graphia, 2010

Pages: 180

Series: Book 1, Horsemen of the Apocalypse

First Line: "Lisabeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine."

Summary: “Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.” 

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?  
(Taken from Goodreads)

Review: When I started reading Hunger I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I found it a little confusing and sort of slow to get into.  I continued on and I have to say that through the whole book I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.  Then when I got to the end everything sort of came together and I thought that overall it was definitely a good book.
I love the premise of Hunger.  I’d vaguely heard of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but I didn’t know very much about them so this was new subject matter and I really loved it.  It was definitely interesting.  I loved being introduced to all of the different Horsemen and there was a little bit about Death that only clicked in my mind after I got towards the end and it made me smile.  There were so many little allusions to this that I thought it was really funny and just a cool mini mystery that wasn’t part of the main storyline to add.
I think to really enjoy this book you have to read the whole thing.  It may seem slow at first but as a whole Hunger is really good.  It’s a really short book so it doesn’t take very long at all to read it which is good.
One thing I hated about this book was that it made me want to eat.  It scared me a little bit, just because the parts about anorexia are really serious and somewhat graphic which made me want to go and eat because I didn’t want to feel the pain that Lisa felt.  I know I’m nowhere near being anorexic but it still impacted me pretty hard.  I think it really puts things into perspective and it’s a good idea to cherish food and not care about body image because anorexia is a serious destroyer.
I think that Hunger is well worth a read.  It’s something really different and I loved the language Jackie Morse Kessler uses and it’s just a great book.  It’s quite short so it’s not like it would take very long to read and it certainly is worth it.  If there is one book about eating disorders that you should read it’s this one and I look forward to reading the next book, Rage.

Source: NetGalley

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trackers by Patrick Carman

Title: Trackers

Author: Patrick Carman

Published: Scholastic Press, 2010

Pages: 192

Series: Book 1, Trackers

Summary: In the 21st century landscape of bits and bytes, everyone leaves a digital footprint ... even the most advanced cyber criminals. And that’s where the Trackers come in. Four tech-savvy kids armed with high-tech video cameras and esoteric coding skills, the Trackers can find almost anyone, anywhere. Told through a collage of videos, text, and websites, Trackers #1 follows Adam, Finn, Lewis, and Emily as they become entangled in a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat and mouse with Shantorian, the world’s most dangerous hacker. At least, that’s who they think they’re tracking....

As the four dig deeper into the shadowy world of online crime, they soon learn that things aren’t always as they seem. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Tracker’s is similar in style as Patrick Carman’s book Skeleton Creek.  Basically, this means that you read part of the book and then you get to a page that has a password and website so you go to the website, type in the password and watch a video that is part of the book.  I absolutely love this idea, it just makes it really fun and it’s something different.
The story itself is a really interesting one, basically, Adam is telling the story of what happened and you don’t really know anything about who he’s being interrogated by and why he’s being interrogated, so it’s a bit of a mystery which I definitely love.
I love how it revolves around digital technology and the premise that Big Brother is watching stands out very strongly.  While I am a fan of science fiction I think this is one book that would be good for anyone who isn’t a huge fan of science fiction.  This is more science fiction on the technology side of things with some mystery thrown in.  It’s also very suspenseful.  I actually got a little creeped out by the whole idea that this mysterious person was able to know all of this information about Adam and his friends.  It’s pretty creepy.
The ending was quite a cliff hanger and I am really interested to know more.  Trackers is definitely worth a read.  If you’re looking for a quick book that’s a little different in its formatting then I think you’ll enjoy Trackers by Patrick Carman.

Source: Library

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell

Title: Trickster's Girl

Author: Hilari Bell

Published: Houghton Mifflin, January 2011

Pages: 288

First Line: "Friends we are gathered here to commemorate not the death of Johnathan Peter Phillips, but his life."

Summary: In the year 2098 America isn't so different from the USA of today. But, in a post-9/11 security-obssessed world, "secured" doesn't just refer to borders between countries, it also refer to borders between states. Teenagers still think they know everything, but there is no cure for cancer, as Kelsa knows first-hand from watching her father die. 

The night Kelsa buries her father, a boy appears. He claims magic is responsible for the health of Earth, but  human damage disrupts its flow. The planet is dying.

Kelsa has the power to reverse the damage, but first she must accept that magic exists and see beyond her own pain in order to heal the planet.
(Taken from Goodreads)

Review: The idea of Trickster’s Girl sounded really interesting.  It was incorporating science fiction and magic which I always find intriguing.  I give really high marks to the idea behind the story.  It’s just that I thought it was a bit poorly executed.
It took a really long time to get into Trickster’s Girl and then when it did get into it, there wasn’t much excitement.  There were no moments when I was sitting on the edge of my seat reading more because I just had to know what was going on.
I got to about halfway and considered stopping reading this book but instead I went to Goodreads and read a couple of reviews for it.  The reviews I read mentioned that yeah, it was a really slow book but they also mentioned the ending was a bit odd.  Curiosity and my own need to finish absolutely every book I start made me force myself to finish the book.
When I got to the ending, wow, I was quite astounded.  I think I understand what the author was trying to do with the ending but at the same time, I didn’t think it was a very good ending, at all.  It makes me wonder if there will be a sequel or if that was just the ending.
Don’t think that I hated every part of Trickster’s Girl though, because I didn’t.  I found the parts with the magic and the healing of leys and things to be really interesting.  I just didn’t think the rest of the book was very good.
While Trickster’s Girl wasn’t my kind of book, don’t be deterred.  I’m letting you know now that the ending is very unexpected so if you like unexpected endings then you might enjoy this.  Trickster’s Girl also deals with the idea of climate change and how it’s bought on and what is happening in the future.  If Trickster’s Girl sounds like your kind of book from that, then definitely read it.

Source: NetGalley

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Title: Restoring Harmony

Author: Joelle Anthony

Published: Putnam Juvenile, 2010

Pages: 320

Summary: The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. 

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help. 

Review: I’m really busy at the moment and I didn’t think I would have very much time to read Restoring Harmony so I started out by reading little bits at a time right before bed.  Then when I got about a quarter of the way in I just could not stop reading it!!! Restoring Harmony is a perfect summer read, or for any time.
For a dystopian novel, it’s surprisingly light and fast-paced but it is still magnificent.  I loved Molly and think she totally rocks as a character.  Being a huge fan of dystopian fiction I’m probably biased in my review but I highly doubt that.
Restoring Harmony is one book that has barely been read and I think it deserves more attention than it’s been given.  Definitely pick up a copy!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Summer Fun Mini Challenge #2

This week's challenge involves comments.  We're trying to do each weeks challenge revolving around a certain theme or something like that.  So this week, what you have to do is between this mini challenge post and next week's we will have our book reviews as usual.
For every review between this post and next mini challenge that you comment on, you will get one point.  We tried to make the first couple of challenges easy and we'll make them a little harder next week and hopefully more fun.

So all you have to do is wait until tomorrow to comment on any review that appears here between now and the 30th of November.
If you haven't signed up for the giveaway then you can here. You can check out the rules there too.

So we'll see you tomorrow and look forward to your comments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Burns

Author: Ilona Andrews

Published: Ace Books, 2008

Pages: 260

Series: Book 2, Kate Daniels

First Line: "The phone rang in the middle of the night."

Summary: As a mercenary who cleans up after magic goes wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate's going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale; a divine one. 

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest - and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive... 

Review: Magic Burns is the second book in the Kate Daniels series and it is so good.  I love Kate, she’s such a kick-ass character and I love reading about her adventures.
I absolutely loved the first book in this series and didn’t think the second book could be any better but yes it was.  Magic Burns was just amazing.
All of my favourite characters returned and we were introduced to some new characters, I loved Bran he was very interesting.  The relationship between Curran and Kate is really exciting.  I just wish they’d hurry up and get together instead of dancing around each other but however.
I think that the thing I love the most about this series is that not only is it a fantasy but it is a mystery as well and those are my two favourite genres.
Kate’s universe is highly fascinating, there is so much magic in the air and there are so many different magical creatures that I love to read about.  The take on vampires is really different and I think it’s really interesting.
One thing that annoys me about the series is that they still have yet to mention what’s so special about Kate, I am dying to know!  I guess it’s one way to get me to continue to read the series.
If you love fantasy books with awesome female characters who can stand on their own two feet, then I think the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews is definitely worth a read.

Source: Library

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

For 2011 I'll be taking part in the Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.
The goal is to read at least 12 so I'm going to do that and below is a list of Debut books that I am going to try and read.  I'll link my reviews to them when I do and also I'll add more as I read them/find interesting ones.  The ones in bold are ones I have read and you can click on them to be taken to reviews!

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Dead Rules by Randy Russell
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

In My Mailbox

This week I had a very quiet week in getting books.  Mostly because the post here seems to be a little off.  So this week I got two books and they're both ebooks. But they're both very very very exciting books.

The first one I got was:

Adversary by Kate Kaynak

Things are more dangerous than they seem at Ganzfield, and not everyone will survive. Does Maddie have what it takes?
I'm really excited to read this one because I absolutely loved the first book in the series and cannot wait to read this one.

The second book I got was:

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

My name is Meaghan Chase.
I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

I'm really excited to read this but at the same time scared in case it has a sad ending.  We'll see.

And that was my week in books, can't wait to see what everyone else got!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kiss in the Dark by Lauren Henderson

Title: Kiss in the Dark

Author: Lauren Henderson

Published: Delacorte Press, 2010

Pages: 247

Series: Book 3, Scarlett Wakefield

Summary: Returning to the elite English boarding school her grandmother runs, sixteen-year-old Scarlett confronts a scheming classmate out to steal her best friend and boyfriend, and reluctantly investigates a mysterious death on campus.

Review:This is the third book in the Scarlett Wakefield series, and I loved every bit of it.  Kiss in the Dark is full of mystery, three different mysteries are presented and I was very curious about all three of them.  Lauren Henderson is a terrific author who captures mysteries very very well.
Scarlett and Taylor are at it again, somehow mystery always finds them and of course this time like the other time, they can’t help themselves and just have to try and solve the mystery of the mysterious death.
As the big mystery in the first two books was solved and done and dusted I was really surprised to see another book in the series, but I’m glad that there was another book because it was really awesome.
The book is a really fast read and doesn’t take very long to get through.  It’s the kind of mystery that you just have to keep reading to find out what happened, so I whizzed through it to find out the whodunit.  My one complaint is that it seemed really rushed with what happened, but I’m pretty sure there’s still more to it than meets the eye.
I was happy with the ending because it means more mystery in the next book which I’m really looking forward to.
If you love mysteries, then I suggest the Scarlett Wakefield series by Lauren Henderson.  All three books in the series are really good.

Source: Library

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny

Title: Jack of Shadows

Author: Roger Zelazny

Published: Corgi Books, 1974

Pages: 160

First Line: "It happened when Jack, whose name is spoken in shadow went to Igles, in the Twilight lands, to visit the Hellgames."

Summary: He awoke - if it could be called waking - in the Dung Pits of Glyve. He was naked, on a mound of offal in the middle of a vile, polluted lake, and when he recalled how he came to be there he swore vengeance on his enemies... 
Through a world half of light, half of darkness, he carried his vendetta, through realms peopled by monsters, witches, vampires, until finally he came to a place where he could destroy his arch-enemy - the Lord of the Bats... (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: It took me a really really long time to read this book even though it’s such a tiny book.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy reading it because I did.  When I started reading this book I was looking for a book that would be different to what I would normally read.  Jack of Shadows was pretty different and I found it to be enjoyable for the most part.
There were some parts of the book that I wasn’t too fond of because I thought what they described were a bit too inappropriate and I didn’t see how adding them in incorporated into the overall plot.
I liked Jack as a character.  He was very interesting and there was just something about him that intrigued me a lot and made me really like him.
Being written in the 70’s Jack of Shadows uses different language for a lot of the book.  Which made it quite enjoyable for something a little different.
I think that Jack of Shadows is better read in one or two sittings than stretched out over a long period of time.
If you’re looking for something different and you don’t mind something a bit older, then I think you’d enjoy Jack of Shadows.  It’s a really awesome fantasy and the ending is quite a good one.

Source: Borrowed