Friday, 24 October 2014

The Iron Trial - Book Review

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

What is it about:
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

What did I think of it:
Having really enjoyed the books of both Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, I was curious if a book they wrote together would be just as enjoyable.

And I can tell you: this is a really cool read.

I love how this story plays with existing tropes and puts those up side down at times. There were several times I thought I could see where the story was going, but then Black and Clare would surprise me again.

When reading this book you can't escape comparing it to a certain other series about a boy being send to a school for magic. And there certainly are similarities, but enough differences that this book can easily step out of the shadows of that certain series and deserve a fan base all of its own.

I really liked Callum. He's sneaky, flawed and a troublemaker, but I could relate. I also liked a couple of the other students, and fell in love with a minor character I hope to see more of in upcoming books.

All in all I very much enjoyed this book and I will most certainly keep an eye out for the next book, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and entertaining read for Middle Grade and up

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Support The Nothing!

Kerry Schafer (awesome author, owner of the random penguin, and patient listener when I bug her about zombies) is running a kickstarter campaign to be able to publish the third book in her Between trilogy.

I love the first two books, and really want to read the last book, so I'm asking you to head over to the kickstarter page and read all about Kerry's books. And if they sound cool: Support The Nothing!

Find out more here

On McPig's Wishlist - House Immortal

This sounds like my kind of read!

House Immortal (House Immortal #1)
by Devon Monk

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece...

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Valiant - Book Review

Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2)
by Holly Black

What is it about:
When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends.
And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

What did I think of it:
This is the second book in a series, but as it has different characters than the first book (as far as I understand) it can be read as a standalone. I haven't read the first book, but I didn't feel like missing out on anything.

I will confess being surprised by how dark and gritty this book is. I've gotten used to YA books that shy away from really serious topics, but this book takes you down in the underbelly of society. There's drug use, abuse, bad language, and more. It made for intense reading and I really liked it, but I can understand how some people could be disturbed by the grittiness of this book.

For me the darkness of the world building fitted with the story. I was drawn into the events and couldn't escape until I finished the book. I liked getting to know Val, and to see how she handles being out on the streets. The people she hooks up with are also very intriguing, and the events that unfold had me guessing at what was going on, and what would happen next.

There were some things I'd have wanted to read more about. Especially Ravus, one of the creatures Val encounters, didn't get enough scenes in my opinion. He does play a rather important role in the story, so I wanted to learn more about him, and see more interaction between him and Val.

That grumbling aside I really enjoyed this book and finished it way too fast. I will most certainly try to get hold of the other books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a dark and gritty YA Faerie Tale in a modern setting

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Her Avenging Angel Blog Barrage - Promo Post

Her Avenging Angel, the seventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Her Angel, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website.

Find out how to enter the Her Avenging Angel international giveaway (ends October 26th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 6 chapter sample of the novel:

Here’s more about Her Avenging Angel, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.

Her Avenging Angel (Her Angel Romance Series Book 7)
Felicity Heaton

Once a proud angel of Heaven, Nevar is now a servant of Hell, bound to a new master—the King of Demons. Consumed by darkness and driven to seek revenge, he set in motion a series of events that awakened the Great Destroyer, a force that will bring about the apocalypse. Now, he is the creature’s master and the fate of our world rests in the hands of an angel with only darkness in his heart.

Lost in the mortal realm without any recollection of how she came to be there, Lysia is only aware that she has survived a great battle. When she stumbles into a demon bar, she finds more than a chance to discover what happened to her—she finds a dark and deadly angel warrior who stirs fire in her veins and awakens soul-searing passion she cannot deny.

With the mounting threat of the Great Destroyer, the forces of Heaven and Hell against him, and a band of dangerous angels intent on capturing Lysia on his heels, can Nevar protect the beautiful woman who is light to his darkness and find the strength to save the world?

Her Avenging Angel is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Her Avenging Angel – Excerpt

“Pull it up over your chest.” Nevar averted his gaze and rose to his feet.

She wriggled in the corner of his vision and then grumbled something as her arms moved. She waved the two lengths of fabric that were designed to hold the top up.

“What do these do?”

Nevar took them and placed them around her neck, and slowed as her silken hair brushed his skin and the heat of her washed over him, becoming painfully aware of how close she was to him, the bar at her back stopping her from being able to move away.

He breathed in her sweet dewy fragrance and savoured the soft warmth of her skin as his thumbs brushed her neck. He drank in her beauty as she tilted her head back, bringing her eyes up to his, and listened to her breathing as it hitched with each sweep of his skin across hers. She filled all of his senses, stealing his awareness of the world from him and narrowing it down to only her. He stared down into her eyes, mesmerised by the way they widened and overflowed with dark allure, and how her lips parted, tempting him to taste her and making him hunger for her.

He swallowed hard, forgetting what he was meant to be doing, transfixed by her and lost in the moment.

“I told you not to linger.” Asmodeus’s deep voice rumbled through the silent room and shattered the spell she had cast on Nevar. “I should have known you would.”

Nevar drew back and looked over his right shoulder, towards his dark master.

Asmodeus’s golden eyes fell on the female and widened. “What is she?”

Nevar kept asking himself the same thing. She shrank back as Asmodeus advanced, casting her gaze downwards and shifting behind Nevar.

“I do not know what she is.” He moved in front of her, blocking Asmodeus’s path and earning a glare for his chivalry. “But I have to get her out of this place before the boss loses her temper.”

He quickly snagged her wrist and pulled her with him, making a break for it. A hot jolt ran up his arm at the feel of her soft flesh giving beneath his bruising grip and she gasped, as if she had felt it too. He tugged her towards the door.

Asmodeus stepped into his path. “Is she demonic?”

Nevar growled. “I do not know.”

“I have never seen a demon like her.” The dark angel pressed his palm to Nevar’s breastplate, holding him in place, and peered around him. “She is powerful.”

He nodded. He could feel just how powerful she was now that he had his hand on her and it was far beyond the level that he had previously thought.

It sent him back to his initial thoughts about her.

“I do not think she is a demon.”

Asmodeus drew back and studied him. “If not a demon, then what is she?”

“I do not know.” Nevar rubbed his thumb across the inside of her wrist as she emerged from behind him, her free hand clutching the two pieces of silver material to hold her top up and her leathery wings curled around her shoulders in a protective way. He looked down at her. “What are you?”

“Born of Hell.” She looked certain about that, but he still wasn’t sure she was a demon.

There were other beings born of Hell that weren’t demon. Asmodeus was one of them. He was all that was evil in his angelic twin, Apollyon. The Devil had tortured Apollyon until he had lost all good and had then used his blood to create Asmodeus, his own powerful angel of destruction.

Nevar took the two lengths of material from her and tied them behind her neck, afraid he would lose his temper if the top fell down and exposed her to Asmodeus’s golden eyes. He wasn’t strong enough to fight his master right now, but he wouldn’t be able to stop himself.

“Interesting, but we are leaving. Did you eat?” Asmodeus said and he shook his head.

“I was rather preoccupied. The boss of this place told me to make her leave.”

Asmodeus’s black eyebrows met in a hard frown and his gaze drilled into him. “Why you?”

Nevar shrugged but could see his master wouldn’t take it as an answer. He scrubbed his hand over the jagged back of his white hair and flicked a glance at the female. Her hazel eyes flitted between him and Asmodeus, the glimmer of curiosity back in them.

“Apparently, only I can understand the language she is speaking, although I do not know how.”

“I can understand her.” Those words leaving Asmodeus’s lips gave him pause. The angel had understood her when she had informed them she was born of Hell.

He looked back at Asmodeus. “How?”

Asmodeus lifted his huge black wings in a shrug. “I did not question it. I understand many languages. Hers is as old as the Earth.”

“It is still spoken?” Nevar said and the dark-haired male shook his head.

“I have not heard it in millennia.”

Nevar’s gaze drifted back down to her and she smiled, a beautiful one that struck him hard in his chest and knocked the wind from him. “How old are you?”

She looked little more than thirty to his eyes, but then he was beyond two thousand years old and didn’t appear much older than she did.

Her black eyebrows pinched together and she mimicked his master, lifting her slender pale shoulders and shifting the clawed tips of her wings. “I do not know. Ancient. I recall the birth of the King of Demons.”

Asmodeus choked. “Excuse me?”

She beamed at him. “I remember your creation, although I did not witness it.”

Nevar stared at her. “Just how old are you and how can you recall the birth of Asmodeus but not the battle you survived?”

Her hazel eyes turned troubled and she lowered her head, her smile falling away. “I do not know. It hurts when I try to remember it.”

Asmodeus moved closer, studying her in a manner Nevar didn’t like. He wanted the male’s eyes off her.

“Erin told me that when Heaven tampered with Veiron, he experienced great pain when attempting to recall events from his true past,” Asmodeus said and Nevar growled at the casual mention of his ward. His master knew that when he was weak and tired, just the sound of her name was enough to cause him pain, stirring all the terrible things he had done.

Things he hoped she never found out about.

Things he regretted with every drop of his blood.

Asmodeus slid him a warning look and then turned back to the female. “Perhaps Veiron can assist you in regaining your memories, and he may know of your species.”

“No,” Nevar barked, a knee-jerk reaction to the idea of heading to the island where Erin lived. “You said yourself that we have a mission that needs our focus. We shall escort the female away from this place and then continue that mission.”

“You are leaving me?” she snapped and shot between him and Asmodeus. Her power rose so swiftly that Nevar’s knees almost buckled under the sudden pressure of it on his body. Her eyes darkened, blazing violet and her pupils stretched thin in the centres of her irises. “I will not let you leave me again.”

She snarled and claws curled from her fingertips, as black as night, and the tips of her sleek dark hair fluttered as if a breeze played with them.

Asmodeus’s left eyebrow shot up and then he grinned at Nevar, flashing his short fangs. “It would appear you have an admirer.”

His smile dropped from his face when she turned on him.

“What are you?” he said and Nevar knew he had seen her eyes too.

He had never seen eyes like them.

They matched the colour of his, and Asmodeus’s, when he lost his temper, but her pupils were elliptical.

“It is time we found out.” Because Nevar had the dreadful feeling that her origins were more than merely born of Hell. “But we will not ask Veiron. We shall seek the advice of another.”

Their presence wouldn’t go down well, but it was the only choice he had and his only shot at discovering what the female was without taking her to Veiron.

And Erin.

But not because he feared seeing his ward and seeing the pity in her eyes.

The female’s power began to lower, the weight of it lifting from his shoulders. She was dangerous and he wouldn’t take her to Veiron for that reason. He wouldn’t place Erin in danger, or her infant son. He would protect her. Them.

Asmodeus looked over the female’s head to him. “Where are we taking her?”

Nevar stared straight back at him.

“To the half-demon. Taylor.”


Her Avenging Angel is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:

Books in the Her Angel paranormal romance series:

Book 1: Her Dark Angel – FREE in ebook at selected retailers
Book 2: Her Fallen Angel
Book 3: Her Warrior Angel
Book 4: Her Guardian Angel
Book 5: Her Demonic Angel
Book 6: Her Wicked Angel
Book 7: Her Avenging Angel

About Felicity Heaton:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Her Angel series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Monday, 20 October 2014

Unmade - Book Review

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3)
by Sarah Rees Brennan

What is it about:
Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I was both excited and scared to start on this book.

It's the last book in a trilogy, and I've had it happen before that I really enjoyed the first two books in a trilogy, only to discover in the final book that the author couldn't deliver a satisfying conclusion.

So it was with a certain nervousness that I started on Unmade.

And soon discovered I had worried for nothing!

Saran Rees Brennan managed to write a conclusion to The Lynburn Legacy that was everything I hoped it would be and more!

There's suspense, humor, romance, and bone chilling situations in this book. Kami is such a great heroine. She knows she isn't perfect, and she has her flaws, but she fights for what she believes is right, and for the people she loves.

I love how Sarah Rees Brennan shows that being the 'hero' isn't as wonderful as so many tales try to tell us. She shows it comes with responsibility, difficult choices, and sacrifice. I rooted for Kami and her friends, and wept for their losses.

All in all I'm happy with this conclusion, and sad that there won't be more books in this series, because I fell in love with Kami and her friends. I will most certainly reread this trilogy in the near future, and keep an eye out for other books by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Why should you read it:
This is an awesome mix of humor, suspense and magic.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Moth and Spark - Book Review

Moth and Spark
by Anne Leonard

What is it about:
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

What did I think of it:
I totally bought this book because I was lured in by the cover. That it sounded like it might be a nice Fantasy was all the excuse I needed to get hold of this beauty.

And it turned out this is a really enjoyable Fantasy!

Although the blurb promises lots of dragons and action, the first part of the book is mainly about Corin and Tam getting to know each other. I can't say I minded: their banter and the court intrigues were very pleasant to read. I really liked both of them, especially Tam, who's not just smart, but also level headed.

There were some events and things that happened that were a bit too convenient in my opinion, but the overall story was cool enough that I decided to let it slide.

Once Corin and Tam set themselves to getting the dragon problem solved, the action kicked in and the story sped up. With the dragons not being very cooperative and with visions entering the story, it was a bit difficult at times to make sense of what was going on and why. But luckily things got clear after a while.

The ending wasn't the strongest point of this book, but all in all I very much enjoyed Moth and Spark. The setting, the writing style, and the characters all drew me in and I will most certainly reread this book, and keep an eye out for more books by Leonard.

Why should you read it:
If you're looking for lots of dragons, this isn't your book, but if you want a very entertaining and enjoyable Fantasy read, you should pick this up.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery