Thursday, 28 August 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Crustaceans

This book is a little bit over the 10 Euro limit I set myself for print books, but it is so tempting!

A horror with evil crustaceans!! What's not to love about that?!

by William Meikle

It begins slowly, with a dead whale on a Boston shoreline--no tin itself an unusual occurrence. But the things that claw their way out of the blubber are very unusual indeed.
The Crabs are back, bigger and meaner than ever.

Soon they are swarming around Manhattan, hunted and harried by a SWAT team tasked with ridding the city of the menace...before the menace gets big enough to rid itself of the city.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Spider's Bite - Book Review

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)
by Jennifer Estep

What is it about:
My name is Gin, and I kill people.
They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

What did I think of it:
This book left me feeling a bit disappointed.

I guess it's because most reviews I've read about this series were raving. I had expected to fall in love with this book.

Instead it left me feeling lukewarm.

I'm not sure what was missing. Is Gin too much of a hard-ass for me? Too jaded? I'm not sure. I've read books with hard-boiled heroines before where i loved the heroine. Is it because she's an assassin? Now that's more likely. I even suspect that my dislike of another assassin character colored my opinion of Gin.

Anyway: I never warmed up to Gin, which made me not that interested in reading how she gets herself out of trouble. I also didn't much care for the 'ít's lust, not love' relationship between Gin and her Caine. That I did finish reading the book had more to do with the fact I didn't have another book with me, than that I was in any way invested in the story.

I will confess that I liked the writing and the world building though, so it wasn't all meh.

So as you might guess I won't be continuing this series, although I think I might give Estep's Mythos Academy series a try, to see if another lead character might make me fall in love with Estep's writing.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice UF read with cool world building.

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Enchanting the Lady

Today a teaser from Voodoo Bride's current read.

When Katie gasped with fear, followed by the sound of dishes crashing to the floor, Felicity felt tempted to open her eyes.
But then she heard that voice, the husky tone of it making her shiver, and she didn't want this dream to end.

(page 172, Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy)

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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!

Monday, 25 August 2014

My Soul to Take - Book Review

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)
by Rachel Vincent

What is it about:
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

What did I think of it:
I've been eyeing this series for a while now, and what kept me from picking it up, is my previous experience with Vincent's books. I read Stray, and that was a nice read, but it didn't convince me to continue that series. I read Blood Bound, and loathed the characters. So even though this series sounded intriguing, I kept putting off buying the first book.

Then I had the opportunity to get my trotters on the first two book in this series in a book trade, and I took the plunge.

And I must say: My Soul to Take is the first book by Vincent that makes me eager to pick up the next book in the series.

I will confess I did think Kaylee was much too trusting, and ready to believe impossible things from people she barely knows, but that's not anything new in YA. :-p I really feel like I must have been one of the most cynical and distrusting teens ever.

That aside this is a really fun and original story. I really liked the use of mythology in this book. I also actually liked most of the lead characters for once. I did grumble a bit over the peppy cheerleaders are evil message, but overall I enjoyed this story.

Some things were a bit predictable, but as I mentioned in reviews about other predictable books, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

All in all this book was a pleasant surprise after the trouble I had with Vincent's other books, and I'm happy I already have book two waiting in my tbr-pile, because I'm curious where Vincent will take this series next.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 22 August 2014

Zombies vs. Unicorns - Book Review

Zombies vs. Unicorns
Anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

What is it about:
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

What did I think of it:
Because this is an anthology I will tell you a little bit about each story, but first I will tell you about my overall reading experience.

This is a very cool anthology. It is meant to settle once and for all which creature is cooler: the zombie or the unicorn.

I myself don’t need to read a book full of zombie and unicorn stories to know the answer to that question (team zombie all the way), but this anthology sounded cool enough that it had been on my wish list since it was published in 2010. You can imagine how happy I was when Aurian gave it to me.

Overall I loved this anthology. Out of all twelve stories I enjoyed (if not loved) nine of them. There were just three stories that I didn’t much care for (all three were unicorn stories coincidentally enough).

There was one thing that was off for me though. Before each story Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier are discussing the stories with each other. Justine Larbalestier is a lot snarkier than Holy Black, which made her seem a lot less likable than Holly Black. I think they should have tried to keep their banter at the same levels of snark, now it felt uneven.

But in the end this book is about the stories and not about two editors snarking at each other, so I didn’t mind that too much.

On to telling you a little bit about what I thought of the stories:

The Highest Justice
By Garth Nix

A young girl and a unicorn are on a journey to fulfill the dying wish of the girl’s mother.

I wasn’t too impressed with this story, even though it had a kind of zombie next to the unicorn. It didn’t feel like a complete story, more like it should be part of a larger story.

Love Will Tear Us Apart
By Alaya Dawn Johnson

A zombie discovers he might still have feelings after all.

I really liked this story. It was moody and atmospheric. And it was named after one of my favourite songs, so how could I not like it? ;-)
Seriously: this is a beautiful zombie love story. The one thing I can say against it, is that some things were kept too vague in my opinion.

Purity Test
By Naomi Novik

A unicorn asks a ‘virgin’ to help him rescue baby unicorns from an evil wizard.

This was a really funny story. The heroine is a modern day woman who doesn’t believe in fairytales, so she is reluctant to help out the unicorn who asks her for help. There’s more banter than action in this story, but I enjoyed it none the less.

By Carrie Ryan

This post apocalyptic story is set on an island that is supposed to be a safe haven for the relentless zombies.

This story is beautifully written and has a heroine who starts out unlikable, but I ended up rooting for her. The story switches from Before to Now to show you how Iza used to be and how she changed over time. I really liked the ending: it really showed how much Iza has grown. There’s also some really cool zombie mayhem in this story.

A Thousand Flowers
By Margo Lanagan

A story about people witnessing the relationship between a young girl and a unicorn.

I didn’t much care for this story. There were several view point changes that were unclear, so I was confused who was telling the story at times. The first view point character was also very coarse and that didn’t help getting into the story.

The Children of the Revolution
By Maureen Johnson

A young woman has to baby-sit some unusual children.

A really cool zombie story. The lead character has to take care of some creepy children, and you just know what’s going on. Still I was grabbed by the story and was creeped out it.

The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn
By Diana Peterfreund

A girl rescues a baby killer unicorn and tries to raise it.

This was a really cool story. The unicorns are the proper kind of goaty unicorn, and they’re lethal killers! The world that’s set up in this story was intriguing and cool. I understand that Peterfreund has a series that is set in this world, and I’ll definitely am going to get my hands on the first book in that series to give it a try.

By Scott Westerfeld

In a post apocalyptic world it might be the children and teens who will adapt the quickest and find new ways to survive.

This story was both beautiful and strange. The adults in this world are trying to hold on to what was, while the younger generation is longing for change. The way they set this change in motion was original and a bit creepy.

Princess Prettypants
By Meg Cabot

A teenage girl gets a unicorn as a present for her sixteenth birthday.

Another really funny unicorn story. Cabot manages to take all the unicorn clichés and puts them in this story in a way that had me snickering. The story was fun, sweet, and very entertaining.

Cold Hands
By Cassandra Clare

Adele’s fiance gets killed, but in Lychgate that doesn’t have to mean the end, because the dead don’t stay dead.

I loved this story. It’s a beautiful and touching story about love that reaches beyond the grave. The setting was really intriguing, and I’m a bit sad this is a standalone story, because I’d love to read more about Lychgate and its inhabitants.

The Third Virgin
By Kathleen Duey

A unicorn is trying to find a special kind of virgin.

This wasn’t a bad story, but it was very depressing. The lead character in this story is a unicorn, and I didn’t much like him. He’s both moody and unlikable.

Prom Night
By Libba Bray

In a post apocalyptic world only teens survived and they try to keep their town running.

A very disturbing story. It was well written and I was totally engrossed in this depressing view on the zombie apocalypse. Not much happens, but the mood and the world building were so well done, I didn’t miss the action.


All in all this a very cool and entertaining anthology, that I can recommend to everyone who loves unicorns and/or zombies. I will check out the bibliography of several of these authors.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool anthology full of zombies and unicorns

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 21 August 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Bound by Ink

I loved the first book in this series, so I can't wait to get my trotters on this book. And I think that cover is gorgeous!

Bound by Ink (Living Ink #2)
by Marcella Burnard

After being kidnapped and forcibly Inked with a Living Tattoo named Murmur, Isa thought she’d survived the worst her enemies could throw at her. She was wrong. Murmur is walking around her world in someone else’s body, and without him, Isa is losing control of her magic.

Then, in the middle of rush hour, a Live Tattoo comes off its host, killing over a hundred people. Isa discovers that Murmur’s nemesis, Uriel—a demon she believed defeated—is responsible. He’s seeking the power to force his way back into Isa’s world. If he succeeds, everyone Isa loves will be destroyed. There may be a way to stop him, but it will mean sacrificing Murmur—or herself…

Expected publication: November 18th 2014 by InterMix

Pre-order here

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Black Heart - Spoilery Book Review

Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)
by Holly Black

What is it about:
In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

What did I think of it:
Warning: I'm going to get a bit spoilery about the end.

I very much enjoyed the other two books in this trilogy, and overall I also really enjoyed this book.

It's well written, original, and with characters I really could root for. Cassel is getting himself in a difficult position, working for the law, while also getting involved with Lila and her criminal family.

I was drawn into the story from the start and was eager to find out how Cassel would get out of everything intact, and if he and Lila would reconcile. Overall I was loving the book, even though there were some unnecessary side quests, that took attention away from the main story.

And then I came to the end...

Now, I don't need a tidy ending. Often when people complain about an open ending, I love that ending, because it gives me the opportunity to fantasize about what happens next. So it wasn't so much the fairly open ending that bothered me.

What bothered me was that basically Cassel was back where he started from in the first book. So he got the girl, rides off into the sunset, blah, blah... But apart from that: nothing. He's been running for three books to escape the life he's living, only to end back at square one.

Maybe this is what Black wants to show the reader. Maybe this is about the inevitability of your fate. Still... I thought it sucked. So after really loving these books and rooting for Cassel, I was left feeling bummed.

I love Black's writing enough to continue reading books by her, and I will most probably also reread this trilogy, because apart from the ending it is a great read, but I will secretly imagine a different ending.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery