Friday, 29 November 2013

The Demon's Lexicon - Book Review


The Demon's Lexicon (The Demon's Lexicon #1)
by Sarah Rees Brennan


What is it about:
Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . .

What did I think of it:
This is a really cool read.

After reading Unspoken, I was eager to read more books by Sarah Rees Brennan, so I was very happy to get hold of The Demon's Lexicon, the first book in a trilogy.

The mood of this book is very different from Unspoken. Where Unspoken is filled with humor, this book is more serious, and even dark at times. And this mood fits the story very well.

Nick is a very interesting character. He's not a self sacrificing hero, he's calculating and always looking out for himself. The only other person who's important to him is his brother Alan. I must say I could relate to Nick a lot of the time, especially when his brother would do or suggest something noble I would advice against as well.

The story is intense and full of suspense and action. There were some things I guessed very early in the story, but that didn't spoil the story for me. There were enough other things to keep me on the edge of my seat.

The ending is satisfying, but leaves enough open to make me eager to read the next book. You can bet I will try to get hold of it soon.

Why should you read it:
it's a cool and intense Paranormal YA read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 28 November 2013

On McPig's Radar - Dies The Fire

Many times I've held a book by Stirling in my trotters at my local bookstore, but they always managed to only have a second or third book in a series, so I never dared pick them up. At World Fantasy Con I talked to Nikki and she told me to start with Dies The Fire if I wanted to try Stirling's books. And I must say it sounds really good!


Dies the Fire (Emberverse #1)
by S.M. Stirling


The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Giveaway (closed)


I have two signed copies of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, and only one of them is dedicated to me.

So if you want a chance to win a signed (slightly read) copy of The Coldest Girl In Coldtown:

- Leave a comment
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- Do so before December 8th 2013

The winner is Blodeuedd

Open internationally to anyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - Queen's Hunt

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!


All the details returned with hideous clarity. She stumbled from bed and into her study, but he had already vanished. Outside a gibbous moon hung low in the sky; bells rang whisper-soft through the night.
(page 84, Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich)*



*This is from the Uncorrected ARC, so the final version may be different. And yes: the book released in July 2012, so I'm way behind in reading this ARC ;-)




Monday, 25 November 2013

Mars Evacuees - Early Book Review


Mars Evacuees
by Sophia McDougall


What is it about:
The fact that someone had decided I'd be safer on Mars, where you could still only sort of breathe the air and sort of not get sunburned to death, was a sign that the war with the aliens was not going fantastically well. I'd been worried that I was about to be told that my mother's space fighter had been shot down, so when I found out that I was being evacuated to Mars, I was pretty calm. And, despite everything that happened to me and my friends afterwards, I'd do it all again. Because until you have been shot at, pursued by terrifying aliens, taught maths by a laser-shooting robot goldfish and tried to save the galaxy, I don't think you can say that you've really lived. If the same thing happens to you, this is my advice: Always carry duct tape.

What did I think of it:
This is a fun read.

Even though this book is aimed at the age group 8 to 12, it's a great read for older readers as well. I for one was greatly entertained and couldn't put this book down until I finished it. The writing is fast paced and humorous, and the world building and descriptions fit into the narrative perfectly.

Alice Dare, the lead character, is a twelve year old girl, who gets send to Mars with other children and teens to be away and out of danger from the aliens that are slowly taking over the earth. Once on Mars her troubles are far from over though, and the reader gets taken along on a fun, action-packed adventure.

I like how this book tackles subjects like bullying, working together and tolerance without it being an obvious lesson or learning experience. McDougall integrates these things into the story seamlessly and lets the readers draw their own conclusion.

All in all this is a great read and I will keep an eye out for a sequel.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun SciFi adventure.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Expected publication date: 27 March 2014


Friday, 22 November 2013

Pretty Girl Thirteen - Book Review


Pretty Girl-13
by Liz Coley


What is it about:
Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?


What did I think of it:
I'm not sure how this book ended up on my wishlist, but I do know I thought it was a Paranormal YA thriller.

That is not the case!

This is a contemporary YA about a girl who gets kidnapped at age 13, and 3 years later she turns up again with no memory of what happened. The book is about how she slowly regains some of her memories and how she comes to terms with herself and what happened.

That being said: although I was thrown at first by the subject of this book, it is a really beautiful read. I was gripped by Angie's ordeal from the start, and kept rooting for her to reclaim her memories and to conquer her problems.

Th story is intense, emotional and dark at times. The things that happened to Angie are most of the time merely hinted at, but in such a way that it was more powerful than when it would have been openly flashed in the reader's face. I will confess there were scenes and revelations that made me sniffle.

All in all this was a surprising and beautiful read for me. Coley handles subjects like trauma, kidnapping, and abuse with care and makes this an emotional story about surviving, courage and hope. I will most certainly keep an eye out for more books by Coley.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and emotional Contemporary YA read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 21 November 2013

On McPig's Radar - Clovenhoof

This sounds like a really fun and cool read. Once I managed to make at least a dent in my TBR-pile I'm going to read it.


Clovenhoof
by Heide Goody and Iain Grant


Charged with gross incompetence, Satan is fired from his job as Prince of Hell and exiled to that most terrible of places: English suburbia. Forced to live as a human under the name of Jeremy Clovenhoof, the dark lord not only has to contend with the fact that no one recognises him or gives him the credit he deserves but also has to put up with the bookish wargamer next door and the voracious man-eater upstairs.

Heaven, Hell and the city of Birmingham collide in a story that features murder, heavy metal, cannibalism, armed robbers, devious old ladies, Satanists who live with their mums, gentlemen of limited stature, dead vicars, petty archangels, flamethrowers, sex dolls, a blood-soaked school assembly and way too much alcohol.

Clovenhoof is outrageous and irreverent (and laugh out loud funny!) but it is also filled with huge warmth and humanity. Written by first-time collaborators Heide Goody and Iain Grant, Clovenhoof will have you rooting for the bad guy like never before.



Buy from Amazon


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Twinmaker - Book Review


Twinmaker (Twinmaker #1)
by Sean Williams


You can be Improved....

In a near-future world in which technology can transport you anywhere instantly, can a coded note enable you to change your body—to become taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious—but powerful—stranger called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

Action and danger fuel Sean Williams’ tale of technology, identity, and the lengths to which one girl will go to save her best friend.


What did I think of it:
This is a nice read.

The future world that is imagined in this book felt a bit unbelievable to me. It didn't feel as if it was thought through. I saw lots of problems and ways to manipulate the technology that is used. Then I found out this story is mainly about manipulating the technology and I felt a bit cheated. If I can see the things that can go wrong, surely more people than just a few would have seen it as well in that future world. It seemed to me that Williams didn't perfect his world, so he could write the story.

That annoyance aside, I did enjoy the story.

Clair starts out as an average teenager, but the things that are happening, change her, and it was fun to see her growth. I also really liked Jesse. He's not the typical pretty boy with muscles and charm you see in most YA, instead he's an outcast geek.

The story is suspenseful and full of action. There were some things I frowned at: Clair is too trusting at certain moments, while she's suspicious at others, and I figured out some things long before it was revealed. Still this book was entertaining enough that I didn't mind. The ending makes that this book can be read as a standalone, but also leaves enough open to make people curious what will happen next.

I might give the second book a try if I run into it.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable and entertaining Dystopian YA read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - Mars Evacuees

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!


We did ask sometimes exactly when the Colonel was coming back and what he was doing, but the robots plainly didn't know, so we stopped. In the meantime, it was quite nice having a break from being yelled at, even if it meant the Goldfish got to make us sing even more songs about teamwork and having a positive attitude.
(page 105, Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall)*


*This teaser is from the Uncorrected Proof, so the final version might be different.
Expected publication date: 27 March 2014

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide





Monday, 18 November 2013

The Gospel of Loki - Early Book Review


The Gospel of Loki
by Joanne M. Harris


What is it about:
Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.


What did I think of it:
I fell in love with the way Harris writes Loki in Runemarks, so I was more than eager to get my trotters on The Gospel of Loki, which is a retelling of the Norse myths, but from Loki's point of view. Imagine my excitement when I managed to get hold of an Advance Reader Copy of The Gospel of Loki, and get it signed by Joanne Harris as well!

This book is so good!

I've always wondered why Loki is painted as plain evil most of the time, while his Shakespearian alter ego Puck gets to keep the ambiguous status that, in my opinion, is the heart of Loki: neither good or bad, he's chaos after all. He's trickster, prankster and even a bit of a clown.

Harris understands this perfectly and shows Loki as I see him. Her writing is both fun and funny and even while a lot of the stories were familiar for me, I enjoyed reading them and seeing them from Loki's point of view. Harris manages to make you understand Loki, loathe those Gods who are mean to him, and root for Loki to succeed in his plans.

All in all this book is even better than I hoped it would be and I will most certainly reread it often. And reading this book has made me even more eager to read Runelights, the sequel to Runemarks, and which also features Loki.

I can advice this book to everyone who loves retellings of old myths and to anyone who ever thought Loki wasn't getting a fair treatment.


Why should you read it:
It's a funny and cool retelling of Norse Myths.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Expected Publication: 27 February 2014

Friday, 15 November 2013

Jessica McClain Series Promo + Review of Cold Blooded


You might have noticed how much I enjoyed reading the Jessica McClain books, so it might not surprise you that I think everyone should try them.

What's so cool about this series?

Jessica is the only female werewolf in existence and lots of people are unhappy with that. She keeps getting thrown into danger and has to be resourceful to survive. So what if she seems a bit too powerful at times? This series is too much fun to let that bother me. There's plenty of cool action, great characters, and suspense and intrigue galore.

I love how there are many other characters who get screen time as well, and they are not just there to compliment Jessica, they all have their own specialties that help Jessica save the day. I especially love Rourke, who starts out as a mysterious and definitely dangerous shifter in book one, and who you slowly get to know. He might lose some of the mystery, but in return you learn just how dangerous he can be.

Did I not really know what to expect from this series and Jessica when I read Full Blooded, three books in I know Amanda Carlson will always make sure you get taken on a non-stop thrill ride with lots of action, danger and adventure along the way.

I can tell you I'm already looking forward to book 4 in this series, and if you haven't tried this series yet: get yourself to a store and buy the first book.

To tempt you even further, here's a repost of my review of Cold Blooded:


Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3)
by Amanda Carlson


What is it about:
Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked.

On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early.

Arriving on the Vampire Queen's doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious
skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.

The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn't realize is just how soon she'll have to cash it in...


What did I think of it:
This series is getting better and better.

Did I have my doubts about liking Jessica at the start of Full Blooded, I love her now. She's a cool and fun heroine even though she still seems a bit too powerful at times. I also really loved that Rourke had a bigger role in this book compared to the previous book. I think Jessica and Rourke make a perfect team and I very much enjoyed getting to know Rourke better. The scenes between Jessica and Rourke were my favorites I will confess.

The story is intense and full of action. Just when you think Jessica gets a chance to take stock of the situation and recover she and her friends are thrown into danger again. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book.

I like how not only Jessica is growing into her powers over the course of this series, but how other characters are developing and changing as well. Apart from Tyler (Jessica's brother, who I just don't like for some reason) I really like the team Jessica has surrounded herself with, and I'm curious what will happen next for them.

The ending was another major cliffhanger, but while this annoyed me a bit in the first book, I didn't mind it in Cold Blooded. It tells me the next book will be another cool, action-packed adventure and it hinted deliciously at the things and dangers yet to come.

Why should you read it:
It's a thrilling and cool Urban fantasy read


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Deadlands - Book Review


Deadlands (Mall Rats #1)
by Lily Herne


What is it about:
Ten years after Cape Town was destroyed in the War with the living dead, zombies ramble free in Cape Town's suburbs (known as the Deadlands), and the remaining living are either in fenced in on farms or in urban shantytowns.

The living are watched over by the mysteriously robed Guardians, a race of humanoid figures who appeared at the end of the War and who keep the living dead at bay, albeit for a steep price. Every year the Guardians stage a human Lottery and select five aspiring teenagers to be whisked out of the enclave for a secret purpose. To be one of the chosen five is a highly sought after and prestigious accolade.

No one (yet) knows why it is that the Guardians prize teenage bodies so highly, how they control the zombies or what they look like under the robes that cover their bodies...


What did I think of it:
This is a nice zombie read.

I was excited to see it was set in Cape Town and had high hopes for this setting, but apart from some of the language that was used, it felt like any other post apocalyptic setting and the story could just as well have been set in any other town.

That aside: the story is intriguing and I really liked Lele, the lead character. She's chosen as one of the teenagers to be handed over to the Guardians, but instead of going along, she escapes and takes her chances outside of the safety of the compound. She's stubborn and brave, two qualities that get her in trouble, but also make for a cool story.

The people she meets are also very interesting, and when Lele and some of the other characters clashed, I could understand both sides. It was hard at times to decide who to root for.

There's lots of mystery and intrigue and I kept guessing and wondering what was going on, especially as some things that happened, felt a bit convenient, and I wanted to know if it was lazy writing or if it had a explanation in the story. Luckily it turned out to be the latter.

This book can be read as a standalone, but also leaves enough open to make me curious what will happen next and what secrets will yet be uncovered. I will most probably pick up the next book when I come across it.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Derangement is Another Form of Love - Guest Post + Giveaway by Robert Kent

Today Robert Kent is visiting my blog with a guest post about writing. Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig, Robert.


Robert Kent is the author of the young adult novel ALL TOGETHER NOW: A ZOMBIE STORY. He runs the popular blog for writers, MIDDLE GRADE NINJA, and lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he's hard at work on his next book.


Derangement is Another Form of Love

Thank you, Sullivan McPig, for hosting me! I'm so thrilled to be here I'm going to GIVE AWAY (for free!!) a copy of my book, All Together Now: A Zombie Story, to a commenter on this post, chosen at random by Sullivan.

When I asked Sullivan what I should chat about today, he suggested I give some advice on writing. You may want to check out my book before you decide if my advice is worth paying attention to:) But I run the (free) blog for writers, Middle Grade Ninja, where lots of undeniably talented authors, editors, and literary agents have been giving me advice on writing for years.

I ask every writer the same seven questions and it never ceases to amaze me that no two people have ever answered those questions the exact same way. There are plenty of overlaps when it comes to advice on writing, of course: read a lot, write a lot, never give up, study the market, and follow your heart. What I've learned asking so many writers the same questions is that there is no one way to be a successful writer. If there was, every writer would make Rowling money and every book would win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which would just be a printed list on a blog at that point:)

My advice: pay attention to the advice of all writers and weigh it against what works for you. Cherry pick the best bits of advice, and give more consideration to the advice of writers closer to where you want to be. Author Mike Mullin likes to drive to actual locations and experience them to help him visualize the Ashfall books (he also ate cat food to write about its taste). I set my story in a fictional town so I could make up the landscape as I went. But we both get up everyday and do the writing, we study the market, and we both read as widely as we can.

And we follow our hearts.

I wrote All Together Now: A Zombie Story because I love zombies and it's the zombie book I most wanted to read. It's the only way I know to write a story. And the only reason I think readers might like my book is because I do. I have to.

I love a story in which a horde of slow moving, walking corpses shamble their way toward the terrified living. I like my zombies violent and awful and really gross. If a zombie baby can show up at some point in the story and be just all kinds of unconscionable and a moral outrage, I think that's swell. I may be deranged, but I know who I am and what I love.

Writing a book is a lot of work. Publishing a book is even more work. Crafting a story that's going to be worth the reader's time and money takes everything you've got-otherwise, why bother? And as there is no one path to success, or even a guarantee of achieving it, I say write the thing you love... even if that thing is dead people chewing the eyes out of the screaming faces of the living.

And readers will know if you're following your heart. People can tell if a person talking to them on the phone is smiling. People know who's happy to be here and who'd rather be someplace else. Your readers can tell if you love the story you've written and will be more likely to love it because you do.

Put another way: if you don't love your story, how can you possibly expect a reader to?



About the book:

Fifteen-year-old Ricky Genero is writing a journal of the zombie apocalypse. His high school has burned to the ground, his friends are all either dead or shambling corpses roaming the earth in search of human flesh, and his best friend died saving his six-year-old brother Chuck from a zombie horde. When Chuck is bitten and infected with the zombie virus, Ricky must travel among the walking dead in search of a cure.

Click here to get your copy

-----------

Giveaway Rules:

to be entered for a chance to win a digital (Kindle) version of All Together Now: A Zombie Story
- leave a comment for Robert on this post
- leave a way for me to contact you
- do this before November 24th 2013

I will pick a winner at random on the 24th or soon after


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Teaser Tuesdays + Giveaway - Tales of Eve

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!


Ellie scowled, watched the priest race the storm, and tried once again to keep her temper in check. Clouds had been building above Elysian Island for the last ten minutes and the priest had got steadily faster as Ellie hunkered lower in her flight jacket, glowering at him.
(page 19, Ellie Danger, Girl Daredevil by Alasdair Stuart, Tales of Eve anthology.

Tales of Eve:
Weird Science, Stepford Wives, that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Genre fiction abounds with tales of men creating (or attempting to create) the perfect woman.

Now it's the woman's turn.

But being female, she's flexible. She doesn't just want to create the perfect man. She wants the perfect companion, be it man, beast or washing machine.

This collection brings together both established scribes and the up-and-coming for a journey into the female mind, with all the desperation, adoration, commitment, creativity and love that you would expect. From contemporary science fiction by Juliet McKenna, to high fantasy from the pen of Adrian Tchaikovsky, and every degree of speculative fiction in between, join us in this exploration of what a woman's perfect partner can be in these, our Tales of Eve.



Giveaway:


I have a copy of Tales of Eve, that is signed by 8 of the 10 authors (including Juliet McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Alasdair Stuart and Suzanne McLeod), for one reader of my blog . I will also include two Spellcracker pencils that were donated by Suzanne McLeod and some of my bookmarks.

Rules:
- Leave a comment naming a female character you really love
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- Do this before November 21st 2013
- Open internationally and you don't need to be a follower of my blog


I will pick a winner at random on November 21st or soon after

The winner is Erin!



Buy from Amazon

Monday, 11 November 2013

Runemarks - Book Review


Runemarks (Runemarks #1)
by Joanne Harris


What is it about:
Seven o'clock, on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again...

Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand - a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic. Even if it is just to control some pesky goblins. And every time her friend, One-Eye - a good-for-nowt Outlander - comes by, he teaches her more and more about the gods and the runes. Now he wants Maddy to open Red Horse Hill and descend into World Below to retrieve a relic of the old gods. Otherwise it is likely to be the End of Everything.

Again...


What did I think of it:
This is a really great read.

For anyone familiar with the Norse mythology it will not come as a surprise who Maddy's one-eyed friend is of course, but that only made me more curious to read the book, to see how Harris uses Norse mythology in her book.

And she does this wonderfully. I was pleasantly surprised to find she has much the same view of the Norse gods as I do, and this made the already very cool and suspenseful story even more enjoyable.

The point of view switches from Maddy to some of the other characters and this gives you a greater insight in what's going on. And there's a lot going on! Maddy is being used by multiple people and has to figure out who she can trust and who might stab her in the back.

I also really liked the new world order Harris created. The Order, which rules the world, is a sinister and mysterious organisation with it's own agenda. Next to using magic it's also forbidden to dream, which created a scary world in my opinion.

All in all this is a wonderful story, filled with intrigue, adventure and suspense. It can easily be read as a standalone, but you can bet I will be reading the sequel.

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


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday, 8 November 2013

Agave Kiss - Book Review


Agave Kiss (Corine Solomon #5)
by Ann Aguirre


What is it about:
Chance was gone; he’d sacrificed himself so Shannon and I could escape Sheol. We’d raised him on Shan’s spirit radio, which meant his soul wasn’t wholly destroyed by the demon gate….

Once Corine Solomon only had the touch—the ability to read an object’s past by handling it. Then she inherited her mother’s magick, and that ended up being a hell of a burden. But if Corine can wrestle a demon queen and win, she can bring back her lover Chance after he’s made the ultimate sacrifice. Can’t she? All Corine knows is that she can’t leave Chance behind if there’s anything she can do about it.

But the clock is ticking—and she still has to deal with debt-collecting demons and a maniacal archangel who’s running a recruitment drive. The stakes have never been so high…and this time it’s truly Corine’s last chance to save the love of her life.


What did I think of it:
I have a confession to make.

I'm a big Ann Aguirre fan, I really love this series, but... I never liked Chance.

I know! He's the main love interest in this series, and knowing Ann Aguirre's thoughts about endings I knew where this series would lead to, so I knew I shouldn't hold hope for a certain other character. Still I did!

That's the power of Aguirre's writing: You get gripped by the story and forget about everything else. This book made me hope, fear and cry. It's a fitting, bittersweet ending of a great series.

I loved how there was a story line revolving around Booke, a character that has showed up throughout the series as a minor supporting character. It was cool to see him take the stage for once.

All in all this is a great, compelling and intense book, and I was both happy with the conclusion and sad to have to say goodbye to this series. I will most certainly reread it in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's an intense and awesome Urban Fantasy read.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Upcoming Giveaways Alert


I went to World Fantasy Con 2013 and arrived back home on Monday. For those interested in my trip and the panels I visited: I added a page here where I'm posting the links to my posts about my trip to Brighton and WFC.

I didn't come back empty handed, and I have some giveaways coming up, starting somewhere next week.

Here's a teaser:


This piggy has two signed copies of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and needs only one! So yes: soon someone could be winning a signed, slightly read copy of this book.


I also seemed to have gotten hold of an extra signed copy of the anthology Tales of Eve, so keep your eyes open for a giveaway of this book as well.

And there might be some other giveaways of some extra treats as well.



Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Firelight - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Firelight (Darkest London #1)
by Kristen Callihan


What is it about:
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a nice read.

I will confess I have a weakness for stories that use the Beauty and the Beast theme. In fact A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss was one of the first romances I ever read. So I was excited to pick up Firelight, which promised a similar theme.

Sadly enough Firelight doesn't deliver on the romance for me. It missed bite, and it missed the tension I want from a good Beauty and the Beast story. I wanted more conflict and more darkness.

The overall paranormal storyline was entertaining though, and the story was well written, so even though I didn't connect with Archer and Miranda this was an enjoyable read. I might give the next book in this series a try if I come across it, but I won't be hunting it down.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice Historical Paranormal Romance.


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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - Agave Kiss

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!


"But... you were flogged in the arena." I remembered his scars, and the way he'd trembled when I ran my fingertips across them, how he flinched when I traced the place on his shoulders where his wings used to be. "What for, if not refusing to fall in line?"
(page 51, Agave Kiss by Ann Aguirre)


Monday, 4 November 2013

On McPig's Wishlist - The Compound

This sounds like it might be a really cool read.


The Compound (The Compound #1)
by S.A. Bodeen


Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—or sorry?


Friday, 1 November 2013

Halloween: Magic Mystery, and the Macabre - Book Review


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

Anthology

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.

Stories:
“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.


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