Friday, 22 May 2015

The Vampire's Assistant - Book Review

The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque du Freak #2)
by Darren Shan

What is it about:
Darren Shan was just an ordinary schoolboy - until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now, as he struggles with his new life as a Vampire's Assistant, he tries desperately to resist the one temptation that sickens him, the one thing that can keep him alive. But destiny is calling... the Wolf Man is waiting.

What did I think of it:
Just as the first book in this series, this is a very entertaining read.

I did grumble a bit about the generalizations in this book: Environmentalists are all unwashed, spacey vegetarians. Yeah, right!

But that aside this is a fun story. Darren is trying to fit into his new life, but is struggling with it. At Cirque Du Freak he makes a friend, but when he and his new friend also befriend a normal boy, things get hairy.

There's lots of action, creepy creatures, and Darren being a rash teenage boy. If only he would stop to think about some of the things he does, he wouldn't get himself in trouble. But then we wouldn't have a cool story, so I didn't mind his stupidity most of the time.

All in all this is a fast and enjoyable read. I will pick up the third book in this series soon.

Why should you read it:
It has snake boys and wolf men!

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

On McPig's Wishlist - Dancing With Werewolves

This is one of those series I really would want to try, but with this paperback being priced at €17.54 that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Dancing With Werewolves (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator #1)
by Carole Nelson Douglas

It was the revelation of the millennium: witches, werewolves, vampires and other supernaturals are real. Fast-forward 13 years: TV reporter Delilah Street used to cover the small-town bogeyman beat back in Kansas, but now, in high-octane Las Vegas - which is run by a werewolf mob - she finds herself holding back the gates of Hell itself. But at least she has a hot new guy and one big bad wolfhound to help her out...

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Talon of the Hawk - Early Book Review

The Talon of the Hawk (The Twelve Kingdoms #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead...

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love the first two books in this series, so I was very excited to get an ARC of The Talon of the Hawk.

Now I will have to confess that I had a difficult relationship with Ursula in the previous books, especially in book one. Half the time I liked her, and half the time I wanted to kick her for being a big bossypants to her sisters. So even though I longed for this book ever since finishing The Tears of the Rose, I was wondering if I could love Ursula as much as her sisters.

I shouldn't have worried: this is such a wonderful read and Ursula is an awesome character.

Ursula is a strong heroine, but with hurts and doubts that might break her if she lets them. She's learned to keep her feelings hidden, while trying hard to do what's right and to do what's honorable, but those might not be the same. I felt for her and cheered her on. Hoping she'd find a way to balance her love for her sisters with her feelings of duty.

Then she meets Harlan, a mercenary who sets his eyes on her. He sees more than just the mask that Ursula shows the world, and tries hard to get to the woman behind it.

The way Harlan and Ursula interact with each other is wonderful to read. Their courtship is half battle, half romance. Ursula is stubborn, but in Harlan she met her match. I was rooting for him to get Ursula to open up and let him inside her defenses.

As for the overall story: The events started in the first book find a thrilling climax in this one. This series was meant to be a trilogy at first, so the major storylines are solved. still there are lots of things that would lend themselves perfectly for more stories, and I'm happy that there will at least be two more books in this series. You can bet I'll be impatiently waiting for those.

I'm not sure if this book is readable as a standalone. You would probably miss out on things. But apart from that: this series is too good to just skip the first two books. so if you haven't started on this series yet: Get reading!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Fantasy Romance

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Teaser Tuesdays - Fireborn

But here I was, out on the streets in the cold, dead hours of the night, trying to keep warm as I waited in the shadows for the man who was slated to die this night.

(page 1, Fireborn by Keri Arthur)

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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, 18 May 2015

Godsquad - Book Review

by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

What is it about:
The Team:
Joan of Arc, the armour-plated teen saint of Orleans.
Francis of Assisi, friend to all the animals whether they like it or not.
St Christopher, the patron saint of travel who by papal decree has never existed – no matter how much he argues otherwise.

The Mission: An impossible prayer has been received by Heaven and it’s a prayer that only Mary, Mother of God, can answer. Unfortunately, Mary hasn’t been seen in decades and is off wandering the Earth somewhere. This elite team of Heavenly saints are sent down to Earth to find Mary before Armageddon is unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

A breathless comedy road trip from Heaven to France and all points in-between featuring murderous butchers, a coachload of Welsh women, flying portaloos, nuclear missiles, giant rubber dragons, an army of dogs, a very rude balloon and way too much French wine.

What did I think of it:
This book is set in the same world as Clovenhoof, which I very much enjoyed. so when I was given the opportunity to get my hands on a review copy, I jumped at the chance.

And I think I like this book even more than Clovenhoof!

I really liked Joan of Arc. She's a feisty heroine on a mission, but is hampered by her two blundering sidekicks. She's been 19 for centuries, and is dying to do something other than being a saint in Heaven.

Christopher is a really fun character as well. he soon discovers being a saint who never existed has its whole set of problems and perks. Francis was the character I connected with the least, although he does have some funny scenes.

From the start there's lots of action and silliness. I kept snorting at all the strange situations the heroes manage to get into. The humor is leaning a bit towards the banal at times, but not enough to annoy me. Mostly I very much enjoyed this book.

If you take religion seriously, you should stay clear of this book, but if you can handle a bit of humor with your religion, and are looking for a fun and action-packed read, you should give this book a try.

Why should you read it:
It's a funny and action-packed read.

Buy it on Amazon

Friday, 15 May 2015

Grave Consequences - Book Review

Grave Consequences (Emma Fielding Mystery #2)
by Dana Cameron

What is it about:
Archaeologist Emma Fielding is beginning to doubt the wisdom of spending her vacation in England helping friends excavate a twelfth-century abbey, especially when they uncover an all-too-modern skeleton in a nearby medieval graveyard. But it's the second discovery--of a murdered graduate student recently missing from the dig--that suggests to Emma that Marchester isn't exactly the quiet riverside town that it appears to be.

There are dark passions and lethal secrets buried here, heinous crimes that shake the conflicted community to its core. And it's up to Emma, an outsider far from home, to delve into a past that too many people--including her friends--would do anything to hide.

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so was eager to give the second book a try as well.

And this is yet another really great read.

I like Emma. She has her flaws, and she keeps digging into secrets she should possibly leave untouched, but then we wouldn't get a cool mystery, so I'm only too happy to see Emma soldier on forwards where others would back away.

After the American setting in book one, I very much enjoyed the change to a British setting in this book. Emma is out of her element and a stranger, but still she manages to find people who can help her with her investigation.

Next to the murder mystery there's lots of other things going on. People at odds with each other, secrets, jealousy, and lots more. Slowly things fit together and you get a picture of what is going on. I very much enjoyed reading how things developed and how Emma tried to solve all the mysteries that surround her.

All in all this is a really enjoyable read, and if not for the fact that the next book in this series got lost in the mail after I tracked it down online, I'd be reading it now. But I will hunt down another copy soon, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Murder Mystery.

Buy the Kindle version on Amazon

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Dystopia - Book Review

Dystopia: Post-Apocalyptic Art, Fiction, Movies & More
by David Golder

What is it about:
We have an obsession with broken societies set in futuristic worlds, curious but terrifying new technologies and post-apocalyptic dusty wastelands where survivors grow more desperate every day. Dystopian worlds created in art, books, movies, TV shows and even music have always been hugely popular, stemming from such fantastic literature as 1984 and Day of the Triffids, but their popularity is, if possible, increasing.

This exciting new book explores why we are so captivated by gritty, violent worlds and looks at how recent releases such as The Hunger Games have created an incredible snowball effect, encouraging new works and reminding us of the classics. Fantastic contemporary artwork by a range of great artists features alongside punchy text, bringing to life dystopian worlds full of cyberpunk fashion where the cameras are always watching...

What did I think of it:
You might know I'm a sucker for a good Dystopian story, so when I saw this book at the local bookstore I just couldn't resist.

The cool cover and the artwork inside the book were huge factors in my decision to buy this book as well!

And after reading the book I can advice this book to anyone who likes the artwork, and who wants a list of Dystopian books and movies.

The whole blah about why Dystopian books and movies are popular isn't very interesting, but this book is a joy to look at, and it names lots of Dystopian books, I hadn't heard about before. I will certainly investigate further, and get my trotters on some of the works mentioned.

This book will end up on my keeper shelves, and I will drool over the beautiful artwork from time to time.

Why should you read it:
It gives a great list of Dystopian books and movies to check out.

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