Monday 31 January 2011

Teaser Tuesdays on a Monday

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!

Yup, one day early, but I got something special planned for tomorrow!

It took the remainder of the twenty minutes for Selah to recount the origin of the Guardian corp to him. Lucas listened in silence, trying to take it all in - and certain the mental overload he was experiencing had little to do with the animal blood.
(page 110, Wild Thing Anthology by Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day and Meljean Brook (excerpt from the story Paradise by Meljean Brook))

Sunday 30 January 2011

Hellforged - Book Review

Hellforged (Deadtown #2) by Nancy Holzner

What is it about:
A demon is stalking Vicky's dreams-just as several of Deadtown's zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. And when Vicky realizes she is the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown's living nightmare.

What did I think of it:
A worthy sequel to Deadtown. I liked how the zombies (especially Tina) got more screen time in this book as they're really cool zombies in my opinion. Holzner further expands on the world she created in the first book in a believable and intriguing way. There are some minor storylines that are clearly leading up to events that will unfold in later books in this series, but this is done in a way that doesn't frustrate or annoy, instead it make me eager to keep reading this series. The main storyline is intense and actionpacked. The one thing I could say against this book is that I got the feeling that Vicky is so busy dealing with the horrors facing her and others that there's no time for her to stop and look at herself. Don't get me wrong: This is a great series and you bet I'm going to get hold of book three when it's released, but I'd love to see Vicky get some downtime and go through some personal growth in future books.

Why should you read it:
It's a kick-ass UF book with demons and cool zombies!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Swallowing Grandma - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Swallowing Grandma by Kate Long

What is it about:
Katherine Millar is eighteen, and desperate for lots of things – to be thinner and less swotty, and to have cooler friends. But most of all she wishes that she had two parents instead of one grandma, Poll.

Katherine’s father, Poll’s adored only son, was killed in a car crash when she was a baby. According to Poll, the crash was the fault of Katherine’s mother, who disappeared shortly afterwards and hasn’t been seen since. Poll is pushing seventy, half-blind and utterly poisonous. Her ambition is for things to stay exactly the same for ever, and for Katherine never to leave their pit village of Bank Top; indeed for her to leave the house only when strictly necessary.

Katherine has other ideas, especially when on her birthday she receives a mysterious parcel of glamorous, grown-up clothes – so unlike the ones Poll makes her wear. And then the handsome and self-assured Callum turns up, claiming to be a cousin she never knew she had. Katherine can feel that change is coming; the omens are all around her. In the meantime, she cleans up after Poll, revises for her exams, watches daytime television and surfs the net at the library trying to find out how to be bulimic. What she doesn’t quite realize yet is that life won’t always wait for you to catch up.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I really liked this book. It's well written, emotionally intense and at times funny. Katherine's problems and fears are very recognisable and I found myself wanting to scream at her grandmother and to kick Katherine into taking control of her life, while at the same time asking myself if I wouldn't have acted the same if it had been me in Katherine's position. All in all a powerful read about discovery: of self, of family and of the world.

Why should you read it:
If you want to read a powerful YA book without the almost inevitable love triangle this might be your read.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Petals and Thorns - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Petals and Thorns by Jennifer Paris
(ebook novella)

What is it about:
In exchange for her father’s life, Amarantha agrees to marry the dreadful Beast and be his wife for seven days. Though the Beast cannot take Amarantha’s virginity unless she begs him to, he can and does take her in every other way. From the moment they are alone together, the Beast relentlessly strips Amarantha of all her resistance.

If Amarantha can resist her cloaked and terrifying husband, she gains his entire fortune and will be allowed to return to her family and a normal life. But the Beast seduces her at every turn, exposing, binding, tormenting, and pleasuring Amarantha until she no longer knows her own deepest desires.

Increasingly desperate to break the curse that chains his humanity, the Beast drives Amarantha past every boundary. But her desire for a normal life may jeopardize the love that will save them both.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I love the story of Beauty and the Beast, but always thought that for a story featuring a Beast it was too sweet and lacked a certain edge. This retelling fixes that problem once and for all. It's a hot and intense BDSM romance that is strictly for adults that aren't too squeamish about the darker side of lust. I really enjoyed it and can recommend this story to anyone who likes their Beast beastly not only in looks, but in certain appetites as well. My one negative point would be that sadly enough this retelling is just a novella, so much too short in my opinion.

Why should you read it:
If you like BDSM and Fairytales this is your story

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Taken by the Others - Book Review

Taken by the Others (H&W Investigations #2) by Jess Haines

What is it about:
Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest's most pressing problem was keeping her agency afloat. Now she's dealing with two dangerous, seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia--for very different reasons.

Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing his progeny, while Royce's interest is a lot more personal. That's not sitting well with Shia's werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were the bad guys, but she's discovering unexpected shades of grey that are about to redefine her friends, her loyalties--and even her desires. . .

What did I think of it:
Hunted by the Others was among my top 5 books from 2010, so I can safely admit I was really looking forward to reading book two in this series.

And I must say: Wow!
It exceeded expectations!

I love this book and it's characters! Haines knows how to keep a tense and intriguing story going and how to shake the expectations of her readers. No black and white villains and heroes in this book: There are many shades of grey that keep shifting so I wasn't sure who to trust or not.

Shia is still the character I fell in love with in the first book, but she too is shaken by the things happening around her and has some personal growth to go through to keep up with the frightening world of the Others around her.

All in all a wonderful, tense and action packed story that leaves me yet again hungry for more. Luckily there are many more books planned.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome UF read

Monday 24 January 2011

Witches, the Dunwich Horror - Movie Review

Witches, the Dunwich Horror (2009)

What is it about:
In Louisiana, the thirty-five year old single mother Lavina delivers a baby boy and a monster in the evil Whateley House. Ten years later, Dr. Henry Armitage and his assistant Professor Fay Morgan discover that the page 751 of every copy of the Necronomicon is missing and The Black Brotherhood has summoned the gate keeper Yog Sothoth to leave the portal opened to the demons and ancient gods. They invite the arrogant and skeptical Professor Walter Rice that can translate the Necronomicon to help them to seek the book. Meanwhile Lavina's son Wilbur Whateley ages very fast and seeks the missing page to open the portal.

What did I think about it:
I've seen many horror movies based on Lovecraftian mythology, so by now I know most of those have two ways they can turn out:
- Horribly bad in a good way
(A great example of this is the movie Dagon (2001) or Necronomicon (1993))
- Horribly bad in a bad way
Witches, the Dunwich Horror falls among the second category.
It was both boring and over the top, which is quite a feat, but not something I want from my horror movies. Lovecraft's mythology was butchered in such a way I felt violated by the end of the movie. Add some annoying lead characters to that and you got me wondering why I even bothered to watch it till the end. I must have really hoped it would still redeem itself, but alas. Luckily it was on sale, so I didn't spend too much money on it.

Why should you watch it:
If you want to play a drinking game, you can watch this movie and drink a shot every time there's a new reference to a story by Lovecraft. You'll get so drunk you won't notice how bad this movie is.

Saturday 22 January 2011

A Brush of Darkness - Early Book Review

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

What is it about:
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

What did me and Voodoo Bride think of it:
We loved this book. The story is cool, creepy and intense and had us biting our nails/trotters. The world Pang creates is intriguing to say the least and the characters are awesome! This book gets bonus points for the unicorn being the proper goaty kind of unicorn I must add. The romance is well woven into the story and made Voodoo Bride cry at several points (which means it's a good romance according to her).

There are two small negative points, although both are (probably) very peronal. The first I can't even get into as it would be too spoilery. The second: There's too much bacon in this book according to this piggy! ;-)

All in all we really enjoyed this book and are hoping there will be more books from Pang set in this fascinating world and with Abby and a certain incubus in the lead!

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

* A Brush of Darkness will be coming from Pocket Books on January 25, 2011

Thursday 20 January 2011

Feast - Book Alert

You might know by now I'm a sucker when it comes to cool titles.
So it might not be a surprise that the below title drew my attention when I first heard it mention by Merrie Destefano.

Then I read her book Afterlife and became even more curious about the below book as Afterlife was a great read. And it sounds like Feast might be just as cool a read if not even more so:


What is it about:

Halloween is a bad time to return to the woods…

Madeline MacFadden (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she’s always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn’t remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest…the time to feast.

Once again Maddie’s dreams—and her soul—are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own…

Will I be buying this book when it comes out on June 28, 2011:
You bet!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Reading Pet Peeves once more

Don't you hate it when a lead character of a series does something you can't forgive him or her? I do!

Take Sookie Stackhouse from the Southern Vampires series for example.

I always thought she acted very rash at times, taking people's words for granted instead of checking facts before acting. So yeah, I will admit my thoughts about her weren't all positive from the start, but still I could live with her character flaws, until....

She blames another person for doing stuff she does herself all the time!

It doesn't help that the person she blames and bans from her life is my all time favourite character in the series either.

I really tried reading the book that came after the book where this happens, but I just can't get over my dislike of Sookie and I keep putting the book away.

How about you?
Can you read books where you do not like the lead character?

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Hellforged (2)

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!

I'm still reading Hellforged. Yes, I know: I'm slow at the moment, but I'm addicted to an X-box game, so been playing more than I've been reading.

"Sit child." Mab nodded toward the wing chairs as she went to a bookcase.
Ipaused in the doorway, reluctant to cross the threshold.
(page 136, Hellforged by Nancy Hozner)

Monday 17 January 2011

Feast - Movie Review


What is it about:
In a remote bar, costumers are advised by a newcomer to seal the place since hungry monsters will attack them in a couple of minutes. (...) The clients organize a strategy to defend the place under siege of deadly creatures.

What did I think of it:
Reading the above description I expected a cheesy, over the top horror movie and luckily that's exactly what I got! Don't expect an in depth story with lots of character development or you will be disappointed. This movie is one big, bloody, hilarious battle between man and monster. The perfect movie when you're in the mood for some mindless horror.

Why should you read it:
Mayhem and Monsters!

Friday 14 January 2011

Fallen Angel - Book Review

Fallen Angel by Margaret and Lizz Weis

What is it about:
Matthew Gallow is a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for daring to disbelieve. Furious, frustrated, and empty, he roams the earth, pretending to cast out demons and preserve souls. He doesn't have faith in anything—or anyone—until the night he nearly dies fighting a true fiend. His whole world is shaken. And when he meets Natalia, he isn't sure if he can trust her...or the attraction he feels for her.

Natalia works for Cain, a rocker living on the edge, and she invites Matthew to be a part of his wild stage show. It's perfect—an exorcism for a man who says he's sold his soul to the devil. Only Cain really is in league with Lucifer, and all mankind is at risk. Matthew never before cared whether or not the world went to hell. But as his passion for Natalia grows, he'll fight to the death to rescue her from evil's grasp...and realize that love is the one thing that can save a fallen angel.

What did I think of it:
I'm a roleplay geek and even have Margaret Weis' authograph, being a fan of her as she's co-author of the Dragonlance Saga. So I was surprised to see she had ventured into Paranormal Romance. Surprised and curious enough to pick up this book. And I wasn't disappointed. Margaret and Lizz write a convincing story. Matthew might be a fallen angel, he's likeable enough that you want him to get out on top of things. He can be a bit dense at times I must confess and there were times I wanted to kick him, but all in all he's a very cool and believable character. The story is well written and very entertaining, although the romance is a bit slow which might be a problem to those who pick this story up for the romance. There's at least one other book in this series and I will certainly pick that one up too if I run across it.

Why should you read it:
A Fallen Angel, Demons and Ghosts! What more do you want?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Phantoms - Book Review

Phantoms by Dean Koontz

What is it about:
The lights are on in Snowfield, California, a cozy ski village nestled in the Sierra Madres, but nobody seems to be home. When Dr. Jenny Paige returns to the small town, she finds tables set for dinner, meals being prepared, and music playing in living rooms, but there's no trace of the people who put the water on to boil or set an extra place for company at the dinner table. As she explores the town, Paige finds friends and neighbors felled by a mysterious force--the bodies show no visible signs of violence or disease, and no known plague kills victims before the ice in their dinner drinks has time to melt. But the deep quiet that surrounds her offers few clues about the fate of the town's inhabitants.

What did I think of it:
A very suspenseful story with a creepy mood. I love the way Koontz sets the mood in his stories and in Phantoms he's at his best I think. There's lots of spooky and scary moments in this book. There's one setback however, and it's one that plagues almost every Koontz story I've read: the resolution of the story isn't that great. As soon as you get to the unveiling of the big mystery the story fizzles out.

Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful, creepy horror/thriller.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Hellforged

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!

As they passed, each glared at me with the same scowl and made the same harrumphing sound. These guys had to be the spitting image of Tyler's boss. Or maybe his father. I'd bet tonight's fee on it.
(page 76, Hellforged by Nancy Hozner)

Monday 10 January 2011

The Interpretation of Murder - Book Review

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld

What is it about:
Despite the outward success of his visit to the USA, Sigmund Freud always spoke as if some trauma had befallen him there. He blamed the country for physical ailments that afflicted him long before his visit. Freud's biographers have been bemused by his reaction, wondering whether some terrible unknown event might have happened in America that could explain this. The Interpretation of Murder is strikingly written literary thriller constructed around Freud's American visit. An attractive young debutante is discovered bound, whipped and strangled in a luxurious New York apartment and another society beauty narrowly escapes the same fate. But nothing about the attacks--or the victims--is as it seems.

What did I think of it:
I bought this book because I thought it would have Freud solving murders, but in that I was disappointed. Instead of Freud being a lead character he's more of a bumbling minor character, giving ocassional advice to the lead character Dr. Stratham Younger. That setback aside this is a nice murder mystery I must say. It's nicely written, has lots of suspense going on and things aren't all what they seem (as it should be in a decent mystery).

Why should you read it:
It's a very decent murder mystery.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Voodoo Bride's version of Hunted by the Others *

This isn't true to the book 'Hunted by the Others' by Jess Haines, but a short play about how Voodoo Bride thinks the story should have gone.

Veronica: I want you to steal an item from a nasty vampire named Royce.
Shia: I'm not to sure if that's a good idea.

Veronica: He's the brain behind many evil plots. You must do it!

Sara: I don't think this is a good idea.
Shia: Trust me, I can handle this. I got weapons from the nerdy mage.
Sara: Nerdy mage? Hmmm... Maybe we should check him out.
Shia: No time, wait for your own story. I got to check out a vampire first.

Shia: Egh.... Now what?
Slimy Vampire: I know where Royce is.

Shia: Wait a minute, you don't look like a giant brain.
Royce: Of course not! I'm a sexy vampire.
Shia: Hmmm... Veronica lied to me.
Royce: Did I mention how cool and hot I am?
Shia: You don't have to, I can see that for myself. I like you much more than Veronica and all the other creeps.

*Lots of smooching*

the end

brain added at Sullivan's request

Thursday 6 January 2011

Close Encounters - Book Review

Close Encounters (Alien Affairs #1) by Katherine Allred

What is it about:
Kiera Smith is not like ordinary Genetically Engineered Persons . . .

The Bureau of Alien Affairs needed a special GEP agent with empathic abilities to handle their most extraordinary assignments—and a rogue geneticist saw to it that Kiera fit their specifications. But she turned out stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to harm than anyone anticipated. A reluctant "superhero," Kiera wishes she were normal, but it is not to be.

On Orpheus Two, the indigenous Buri race faces extinction, a prospect the powerful Dynatec corporation welcomes and, in fact, may be actively hastening. It is Kiera's job to protect these beautiful, exotic aliens . . . and to discover what there is on Orpheus Two that Dynatec feels is worth killing for.

But the magnetic allure of Thor, the breathtaking Buri leader, is proving a dangerous distraction. And now, to save Thor's people, Kiera will need a power she's never before possessed—something hidden in the unexplored recesses of her heart.

What did I think of it:
As a SciFi Romance this book was a pleasant enough read, but a bit too easy in my opinion.

First there's Keira:
she's just too much in my opinion. I like my lead characters to have some flaws, but Keira is just nearly perfect in every way. Ok, she has her emotional issues, but those are added to an otherwise complete and perfect package and didn't make me feel for her, instead it made her look whiny.

Then there are the Buri:
Why is it that in every SciFi Romance I come across the aliens are basically humans? Especially when it comes to love interests! The Buri are just as Keira human in shape, only bigger, better and more gorgeous. Now I can live with humanoid aliens when the story is set on earth. I mean: a tentacle beastie would stand out in a crowd and therefor for earth based SciFi humanoids are just the most likely to be able to fit in on earth. But I really would like to read about an off-world SciFi romance where one of the two is looking a bit more alien. If anyone has any recommendations let me know!

All in all this was a nice read though. Most of the world building was fun. I really liked the dragonbirds and Keira's rock cat Crigo. If I'm looking for a pleasant, easy read I might even pick up the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very pleasant SciFi Romance

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Teaser Tuesdays once again on Wednesday

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!

Crigo raised his nose in the air, gave a disdainful sniff, and stalked into the building radiating injured pride. Oh, this was just great. I'd hurt his feelings. No telling what he'd come up with to punish me.
(page 245, Close Encounters (an Alien Affairs novel) by Katherine Allred)

Sunday 2 January 2011

Witch and Wizard - Book Review

Witch and Wizard (#1) by James Patterson (with Gabrielle Charbonnet)

What is it about:
The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

What did I think about it:
A decent, action packed YA adventure set in a slightly dystopian world. Wisty and Whit are teen characters you can actually like and there are little to no teen-angsty moments which often manage to spoil my YA reading. The action is cool, the story intense, the setting kind of creepy. The one negative thing is there's little to no explanation about Wisty and Whit's powers which seem to pop up out of nowhere just at the moment they're captured. I'd also would have liked a bit more of a background story about the rise of this New Order government. Otherwise it's a fast, enjoyable read.

Why should you read it:
It's an action packed fantasy Young Adult story.

Saturday 1 January 2011

Afterlife - Book Review

First of all a happy 2011 to all!
Now on to my review:

Afterlife (Resurrection Chronicles #1) by Merrie Destefano

What is it about:
Chaz Dominguez is a professional Babysitter in New Orleans, helping to integrate the recently deceased into their new and improved lives. Though Fresh Start has always been the only game in town, resurrection isn't all it's cracked up to be. Nine lives are all a person can get—and a powerful group of desperate, high-level Nine-Timers will stop at nothing to possess the keys to true immortality.

Now the only hope for Chaz and his family—and the human race—lies in the secrets locked away in the mind of Angelique, the beautiful, mysterious Newbie he must protect . . .

What did I think of it:
A very original story in a well thought-out setting. The world building is very good: it paints a future that's dark, sinister and gritty. Destefano doesn't leave it at that though, she really thought about how the world would be affected by an invention like resurrection and integrates this in the story seamlessly. The story is written from multiple viewpoints, but all are very interesting and each has it's own voice. (My favourite was Neville's viewpoint as he's got an almost poetic way to describe things.) The use of multiple viewpoints does blur the lines between good and evil as you get insight in the minds of all major characters and I really liked that as it makes for a more nuanced story. So all in all a very good story and I'll certainly read the next book once it's released.

Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful UF story in a complex, cool setting.