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.

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Lovely, Dark, and Deep - Book Review

Lovely, Dark, and Deep (The Collectors #1)
by Susannah Sandlin

What is it about:
When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.

What did I think of it:
I don't normally read contemporary adventure romance, but having loved all other books Sandlin has written, I wanted to give this book a try.

And I'm glad I did.

This is a very enjoyable story. It has suspense, evil villains, an unlikely hero, and an awesome dog!

There's also lots of action, a very enjoyable romance, and did I tell you about the awesome dog?

Seriously: this book is a lot of fun. The characters are interesting and likable. Both Gillian and Shane have their secret hurts, and I liked seeing them slowly opening up and starting to trust each other with their secrets.

The villains are of course of the very evil and creepy kind, and at times I wondered how Gillian and Shane would ever get out of this whole adventure alive, but Sandlin delivers in a way that satisfied me.

All in all this is a book that I can advice to anyone who's looking for a story filled with adventure, romance, and treasures. I already preordered the next book in this series, so I can read it as soon as it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool action-packed Adventure Romance

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Grim

I'm pretty sure the original fairy tales also had a dark and sinister twist before the brothers Grimm cleaned them up, but who can resist a cool cover like this!?


Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, "Grim" contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovron

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

City of Fallen Angels - Book Review

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)
by Cassandra Clare

What is it about:
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed the first three books in this series, even though they're a bit predictable. The end of the third book does give enough closure that I could have stopped there, but I'm liking this series enough that I wanted to give book 4 a try.

And I think it's the best one so far.

The setting and creatures are still just as enjoyable as in the first books, and the story was less predictable. I actually wondered what was going on at times. Even Simon is starting to grow on me.

There are several things going on, and I was drawn into the story, eager to find out if they might eventually be part of one big plot, or if they were unrelated. There are some new characters introduced as well. Some I liked, others not so much. And as always there was not enough Magnus in my opinion.

Overall this was a very enjoyable read, with enough hints of what is yet to come to make me eager to pick up the next book soon, because this series is addictive.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining Paranormal YA read.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - The Fear

She was so hungry. She was imagining the taste of the children. Imagining sinking her teeth into their soft flesh. The blood in her mouth. The feel of the meat as she chewed it...

(page 125, The Fear by Charlie Higson)

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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, 13 October 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Book Review

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
by Laini Taylor

What is it about:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What did I think of it:
Everyone who read this book seemed to love it, so I decided I had to give it a try.

And for most I really enjoyed this book.

The world building is dark and magical. The creatures are intriguing, and even though I didn't particularly like Karou, I was invested in the story. Then of course a character was introduced who I really liked, and that character died of course...

No problem, I'm used to that, and Akiva was introduced as well, and I also really liked Akiva. And when Akiva and Karou got to know each other, I even started to like Karou more.

The developments and discoveries where really suspenseful, up until there was a flashback in the story. I know it was needed to show the reader some important things, but for me the story lost steam at this point and I had trouble getting through this part of the story.

The ending did make me curious to what's going to happen next though, and all in all this book was cool enough that I most probably will continue to read this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a Paranormal Ya read with a very cool setting.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre - Book Review

With Halloween coming up in a few weeks I thought I'd repost this review of a really cool Halloween themed anthology.

Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre
edited by Paula Guran


What is it about:
The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of the past, the more we've come to love Halloween - the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favor of the bizarre, the "other side" is closest, and everyone can become anyone (or anything) they wish... and sometimes what they don't. Introducing eighteen original stories from mistresses and masters of the dark celebrate the most fantastic, enchanting, spooky, and supernatural of holidays.

“Black Dog” by Laird Barron
“From Dust” by Laura Bickle
“Angelic” by Jay Caselberg
“Pumpkin Head Escapes” by Lawrence Connolly
“All Hallows in the High Hills” by Brenda Cooper
“We, the Fortunate Bereaved” by Brian Hodge
“Thirteen” by Stephen Graham Jones
“Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still” by CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
“Trick or Treat” by Nancy Kilpatrick
“Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story” by Jonathan Maberry
“The Mummy’s Kiss” by Norman Partridge
“All Souls Day” by Barbara Roden
“And When You Called Us We Came To You” by John Shirley
“The Halloween Men” by Maria V. Snyder
“Lesser Fires” by Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem
“Unternehmen Werwolf” by Carrie Vaughn
“For the Removal of Unwanted Guests” by A.C. Wise
“Quadruple Whammy” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

What did I think of it:
I totally bought this anthology for the story by Laura Bickle in case you hadn't guessed yet. But I really like anthologies. They're a great way to discover new (to me) authors. This being an anthology with a Halloween theme was just the icing on the cake.

And this is a great anthology. Of the 18 stories in this anthology there were only 4 that didn't manage to click with me, the other 14 were all very intriguing and cool.

My favorite was 'From Dust' by Laura Bickle. Not just because I'm a total fanpiggy when it comes to Laura, but also because it's about one of my favorite kind of birds: crows. It's a story that breathes autumn and that's rich in atmosphere.

I also loved 'The Halloween Men' by Maria V. Snyder. Snyder creates a world where people wear masks every day, only to take them off at Halloween. This story is imaginative and disturbing in my opinion.

The other stories range from classic Halloween tales to futuristic Halloween myths. There are scary stories, disturbing stories, beautiful stories, and sad stories, but all of them are original and make you long to draw your curtains, light candles and roast chestnuts or make pumpkin pie. It's a great read for those cold, wet autumn evenings and I will be rereading this anthology for sure.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Halloween themed anthology.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery