Friday 31 January 2014

The Elite - Book Review

The Elite (The Selection #2)
by Kiera Cass

What is it about:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, so I just had to get my trotters on The Elite.

And although I still enjoyed many elements of this flawed Disney-flavored Dystopian fairytale, I was also seriously annoyed.

I mentioned in my review of The Selection how I thought Aspen was the most pathetic excuse for a love interest I encountered in quite a while. In this book he plays a much bigger role and he managed to get me even more pissed off than he did in book 1. Really: I can't understand why America likes him. Any sane girl would run for the hills instead of throwing herself in his arms.

And if Aspen isn't annoying enough: both America and Maxon are changing their feelings about things more often than a chameleon changes its colors during a firework show.

But even with all those annoyances this story has something addictive. I read this book in almost one sitting, totally captured by the sugary, disastrous love triangle.

There's more about the rebels in this book, as I predicted, but still its vague what they want and why. There's also some new characters introduced, and even though they had small parts in this book, I really liked some of them, and hope to see more of them in the next book.

Overall I enjoyed this book, although not as much as the first. Still I'm very curious what will happen next, so I will be reading the last book once it releases for sure.

Why should you read it:
Despite the most annoying love interest ever this is an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 30 January 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - The Medea Complex

This sounds like it might be a really intense and intriguing thriller.

The Medea Complex
by Rachel Florence Roberts


1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?

Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands.

The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

Buy from Amazon

Wednesday 29 January 2014

The Queen of the Tearling - Early Book Review

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)
by Erika Johansen

What is it about:
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

What did I think of it:
Yes, I know! The title on my copy is completely different from the actual book-title, but I got an ARC of this book and for some reason they put another title on the front.


This is a nice read.

I will confess I was annoyed from time to time by obvious flaws and gaps in the world building, but most of them didn't influence the main storyline, so I tried to let them slide.

Those flaws aside the story was interesting. Kelsea starts out as a character I didn't much care for, but there were other intriguing characters that kept me reading. Luckily Kelsea shapes up quickly, and I could start to root for her as well.

The events unfold in a calm, but steady pace, and you get taken along on Kelsea's journey from reluctant teenager to a queen who has to rule a country that's in trouble. I liked seeing the character growth, and how Kelsea and the people around her interact with each other.

There is some intrigue going on, but because there are several viewpoint characters, there's no surprise or suspense for the reader, apart from one event.

All in all this book is enjoyable because of the writing and the characters. I might give the next book in this series a chance if I come across it.

Why should you read it:
It's a pleasant Fantasy read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Undead

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!

"Come on!"I cry, seeing the shadow of my backpack under the desk, diving for it, and scrabbling to my feet again. In the dim half-light I can see that Alice and Pete are already through the office door into the cafe, and the knife-wielding Smitty is in a ninja squat a few feet from the writhing mound on the floor.
(page 114, Undead by Kristy McKay)

Monday 27 January 2014

Left Hand Magic - Book Review

Left Hand Magic (Golgotham #2)
by Nancy A. Collins

What is it about:
Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city's supernatural neighborhood for centuries. Populated by countless creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood's most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with New York City's humans...

Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham and made it her home. Unfortunately, a magazine has alerted trendsetting hipsters to its existence and they've descended upon the community-along with an anti-Kymera faction known as The Sons of Adam. The sudden influx of tourists escalates racial tensions to a boiling point when two Kymerans are murdered and rioting fills the streets.

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

The setting is imaginative and fun, although the mood in this book is a bit darker than in the first book, but I must say I liked it better because of that.

The story, dark though it is at times, isn't very complicated though, and even predictable. In my opinion the clues were a bit too obvious, and I even was a bit annoyed at Tate for not seeing what was right in front of her.

That aside: the writing is very pleasant and the story is fast paced. Even while seeing things coming from miles away, I very much enjoyed the book. It's a quick and easy read, perfect for when you want to relax and be entertained.

I will most probably get my trotters on the next book in this series somewhere in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Urban Fantasy read

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 24 January 2014

Summoning the Night - Book Review

Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell #2)
by Jenn Bennett

What is it about:
After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She's gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she's dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club's wayward son, she can hardly say no.

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members' children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady's loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she'd better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, so I couldn't wait to read more.

And Summoning the Night doesn't disappoint.

Just as the first book it's both fun and suspenseful. There's again lots of action and intrigue, and I got caught up in the story from the start. There's a lot going on and I couldn't put the book down, I had to know where things would lead to.

Again Jupe (the teenage son of Cady's love interest Lon) is part of the story and I will confess I'm loving his antics. He's a really cool character. And then there's Lon of course: I love Lon as a love interest. I really like how the relationship between Cady and both Lon and Jupe is woven into the story. I was growing to like all three of them more and more with each chapter I read.

All in all this is a delightful and suspenseful Urban Fantasy read, and you can bet I will get my trotters on the other books in this series. For now I have another book by Bennett in my tbr-pile: Bitter Spirits. I hope to be able to read it soon, because I'm very curious if this first book in another series will be as cool as the Arcadia Bell books.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and very enjoyable UF read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 23 January 2014

On McPig's Radar - Undead Reckoning

I'm always on the look out for cool zombie stories, and this one sounds like it might be right up my alley.

Undead Reckoning: A Tale of Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse at Sea
by Zack Lynn

Kevin needs to get his family away from the swiftly-degenerating chaos of zombie-infested Seattle. With the roads and bridges jammed, escape by boat seems like a good idea. But survival at sea is not without complications, and danger lies ever in wait, in forms both living and undead...

Find buy links here

Wednesday 22 January 2014

God's War - Giveaway

God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha #1)
by Kameron Hurley

Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference...

On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on...

There's not a chance in hell of ending it.

Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price?

The world is about to find out.


I have an extra copy of this book that I'll be giving away to a reader of my blog!

The winner is Melissa (myworldinwordsandpages)

Open internationally to anyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway and old enough to read this book.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - The Silver Bough

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!

Now, standing in the quiet, breathing darkness, listening to her trees murmur and softly creak, Nell was as close to happiness as she could ever be. The apple trees were like her children, although she would never have said so, not even to herself.
(page 77, The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle)

Monday 20 January 2014

Clovenhoof - Book Review

by Heide Goody & Iain Grant


What is it about:
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.

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

The idea of Satan having to live as a human intrigued me, and I must say Goody and Grant did a great job in showing the world as seen through the eyes of Satan. Simple things like shopping, Christmas songs, and going out for a drink were painted in a whole new (and funny) light.

The things Satan/Clovenhoof does were both funny and a little frustrating. You can see things going wrong, and at times I both had to laugh and cringe at his antics and his views on the world. But however outrageous his actions were, I couldn't help rooting for him and hoping he would either win back Hell, or manage to fit in on earth. Because even though some things he does were insensitive and catastrophic: Clovenhoof is a likeable character.

Next to Clovenhoof trying to fit in on earth (and not doing to brilliantly at that) there's some other things going on as well, and I had to keep reading to see where this story would lead. The ending was satisfying, but also leaves room for a very promising sequel.

All in all this is a fun and very enjoyable read. I might pick up more books by Goody and Grant in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's a very funny and entertaining read.

Buy it from Amazon

Friday 17 January 2014

The Replacement - Book Review

The Replacement
by Brenna Yovanoff

What is it about:
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

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

I will confess I had hoped it would be a creepy read when I picked it up, but apart from a few scenes it's not that creepy.

It is a very intriguing read though. I liked that the lead character is a changeling instead of a human. Mackie's problems feel real and I could easily relate, even though he's not human. He's been trying to keep a low profile all his life and suddenly he's asked to step into the limelight. His reluctance to help Tate was something I could understand.

The mythology that is used was familiar to me, but the way Yovanoff used it, and integrated it in the story, made it feel fresh. I was captured by the story within the first few chapters and couldn't stop reading.

So even though it wasn't the creepy read I had hoped, I really enjoyed it. I will most certainly reread this and get my trotters on other books by Yovanoff.

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

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 16 January 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Sinner

I love the Wolves of Mercy Falls books, so I'm looking forward to reading this companion book.

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)
by Maggie Stiefvater

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Scholastic Press

Wednesday 15 January 2014

The Last Princess - Book Review

The Last Princess (Last Princess #1)
by Galaxy Craze

What is it about:
A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless. When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become... The Last Princess.

What did I think of it:
This was an OK read.

The world building wasn't used enough in my opinion. There are some mentions to what consequences the disasters have on the world, but the way the story is written you don't really get to see and experience it. Most of the story is set in mansions, wooded areas and places like that, where you don't see what the world has become. You also only get to see the world as Eliza sees it, and that further keeps you from seeing the true devastation, because Eliza leads a pretty privileged life up until the point where it gets taken away by the bad guy.

That was another point of annoyance btw. The bad guy is this cardboard cutout with the words bad and evil written all over him in big letters. I would have liked it if there had been some shade of grey to him.

I will give this book one thing though: it was entertaining enough that even with all its flaws I kept reading and finished it. It isn't entertaining enough to make me pick up the next book in this series though.

Why should you read it:
It's a fast and entertaining Post Apocalyptic YA read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Taste of Darkness

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!

"Oh, no," Flea said with his voice full of horror.
Odd turned. Flea stood next to Yuri, who had his dead gaze trained on me.
(page 116, Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder)

Monday 13 January 2014

Wool - Book Review

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool #1-5)
by Hugh Howey

What is it about:
In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

What did I think of it:
I thought this was a Dystopian Young Adult book when I picked this up. So while I was hoping for a dark and gritty story, I was expecting it to be just entertaining, like so many Dystopian YA.

Imagine my surprise when within the first chapter I discovered this isn't YA, and that there was lots of grit to this particular Dystopian tale.

Soon I was caught up in the politics and intrigues of the silo, and was cheering on some characters, while hoping others would get what they deserved. The story is grim, intense and shocking at times. Howey paints human nature both at its worst and its best. He doesn't pull any punches and isn't afraid to sacrifice characters for the good of the story.

There were of course some flaws in the world building. If I had been in charge of the silo I would certainly have done things differently and with better results. But the flaws were needed for some crucial plot points, so I will just grumble instead of crying foul.

All in all I really enjoyed this story. It was suspenseful and with lots of intrigue. I will most certainly try to get hold of the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a gritty Dystopian read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 10 January 2014

The Naturals - Book Review

The Naturals
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

What is it about:
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

What did I think of it:
This is an entertaining read.

Cassie is a bit of a Mary Sue: Smart, pretty and desired by all, even though there are two other female teens as well (one who did date one of the boys before Cassie showed up, but now that Cassie is here, her chances are gone). And of course: Cassie is a redhead. It's either that or being a prefect blonde in YA it seems... Where are the dark haired girls and the brunettes? Why are they the cardboard sidekicks, there only to compliment the more awesome than awesome heroine?

Ok, now I've vented about that, on to the good stuff.

The story idea is really cool I think. Teens working for the FBI! I know it's not very likely, but I really enjoyed this set up and the overall story. Cassie gets training, gets secretly involved in a real case and gets herself in danger. Pure entertainment from start to finish.

The story is what kept me from tossing this book every time Cassie was being brilliant again. It was fun and enjoyable. The writing was very pleasant and fast paced, making this a book you can finish in an afternoon.

I enjoyed this book enough that I might reread it when I'm in the mood for something entertaining and I will investigate what other books Barnes has written.

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

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 9 January 2014

On McPig's Radar - Snowblind

I love Golden's Soulless: zombie mayhem and human nature at its worst. Great read! So when I heard about Snowblind I was pretty sure I had to have it. Then I got a signed teaser of Snowblind from Christopher Golden last November and I pre-ordered it asap. I'm counting the days!

by Christopher Golden

In Christopher Golden’s first horror novel in more than a decade--a work reminiscent of early Stephen King--Snowblind updates the ghost story for the modern age.

The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as---tonight---another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

Expected publication: January 21st 2014 by St. Martin's Press

Wednesday 8 January 2014

The Coming Dark - Book Review

The Coming Dark
by Erin McCarthy

What is it about:
Liana Matthews’ mother was murdered when she was two, with her in the room. Raised by her grandmother, she has always been the school freak, but when she starts spewing Latin and exorcising demons she didn’t know existed, she has no choice but to change schools or be tossed in a mental hospital. Her guardians say she is being chased by a demon, and the safest place for her and her best friend, Abby, is in a boarding school for demon hunters in training, where she’ll have a bodyguard in the form of a brawny seventeen year old named Chase.

Yet training as an exorcist and living in constant fear of the demon Axel who attacked her the night she came to school, has Liana unsure who she should trust. With her grandmother in a nursing home and Abby locked away in another building, the one person Liana finds herself wanting to spend time with isn’t a person at all… but a demon. Darius is supposed to be her final exam, the demon she has to exorcise to graduate, yet there is something about him that intrigues her and she knows she can’t kill him. Especially since he says he has information about her father, who she’s never met.

With rumors about her mother’s murder still swirling, Axel trying to kill her, and her feelings torn between the guy who is sworn to protect her and the demon who may endanger her, Liana has to face THE COMING DARK…

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

I will confess:
Put a boarding school in a book and you have my attention.

Sometimes this leads to me reading books that turn out to be a disappointment, but not this time. The Coming Dark is a very entertaining Paranormal YA. At first I was fearing the focus would be on yet another love triangle, but this wasn't the case. Instead this book is full of action, demons and suspense. There's a lot of angsting as well of course, but it's more focused on Liana's powers, the decisions she has to make, and her friendship with Abby.

At times the story leaned towards using too much religion, but that's probably to be expected in a book about exorcists. It never got to the point were it got in the way of the story or started sounding like propaganda though, so I didn't mind.

The ending set itself up for a sequel, lots of things are still unresolved. I will keep an eye out for that sequel, because I'm curious what's next for Liana.

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

Buy it from Amazon

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - The Last Princess

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!

Grotesque images flashed through my mind, and I pressed my hand to my mouth. I could see the blood spurting from his wound.
(page 95, The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze)

Monday 6 January 2014

The Ghost Bride - Book Review

The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo

What is it about:
"One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride..."

Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.

Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.

After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim's handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy—including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

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

I loved the atmosphere in this story. It's a haunting and suspenseful in a dark way. You can't help but worry for Li Lan, and I had trouble putting the book down.

The Chinese-Indonesian mythology used in this story was mostly new to me and very intriguing. The depiction of the land of the dead was colorful and even though unfamiliar with the Chinese beliefs and rites I could easily picture it.

I will confess the story took a much different route than I had expected it to take. I was a bit thrown at first, but I must say it turned out to be a much better story than when it had followed my expectations. Not knowing where things would lead I was caught up in the mood and mystery of the story.

I finished the book much too soon in my opinion. I wouldn't have minded if it had been longer and if there had been a few more scenes along the way involving Er Lang, who was a very intriguing character. I wanted to know so much more about him. I also wouldn't have minded reading more about Tian Bai as well.

But even without those scenes I very much loved this book. It's a beautiful ghost story, with a very intriguing mythology. I will certainly be rereading this book, and I'll keep an eye out for other books by Choo.

Why should you read it:
It's a haunting and beautiful historical ghost story.

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Friday 3 January 2014

Allegiant - Ranty Book Review

Allegiant (Divergent #3)
by Veronica Roth

What is it about:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

My ranty review:
I will start with telling you a secret:
My owner is a princess!

What? You don't believe me? You want proof?

Ok, here's my proof:
My owner owns a tiara! Why would she have a tiara if she's not a princess?
There's no reason to own a tiara if you're not a princess, right?
So there you have it:

My owner is a princess.

I sure hope not!

And there you have the one thing that annoyed me in Allegiant!
Not the ending, which seems to enrage so many people.

False arguments and people falling for it!

I wanted to kick Tris and Tobias for believing what others told them. And when they did ask for proof, they got bogus proof and didn't question that bogus proof. It was so frustrating. At one point of the story I really hoped Tobias would get killed or hurt for acting like a brainless idiot.

And let's not forget the reveal!
We finally get an explanation for the weird world building in this series...

I won't spoil, but I was not impressed.

And don't get me started on Tris' holier than thou attitude, or the fact that Tris and Tobias sounded so much alike I got confused at times which viewpoint I was reading.

So when I finally got to the ending that had so many people angry and upset, I felt underwhelmed.

So was it all bad?
Well, to be honest it was an entertaining read, although it was so much less than I hoped. I will say I loved the second book in this trilogy best, and I will probably reread the first two books in this trilogy when I'm in the mood for an action packed Dystopian read. I even already preordered the short story collection that will release in a couple of months, before picking up this book, and I will read that as well.

This book however...

I most probably won't reread.

Why should you read it:
It is an entertaining though flawed Dystopian YA read.

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Thursday 2 January 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - The Mark of the Tala

I'm really looking forward to this book and you can bet I will get my trotters on it as soon as it releases.

The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala
by Jeffe Kennedy

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

Expected publication: May 27th 2014 by Kensington

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Wednesday 1 January 2014

The Selection - Book Review

The Selection (The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass

What is it about:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

What did I think of it:
There's a lot of things in this book you could completely pick apart.

There's America: the 'too good to be true' fiery redhead, desired by two men.

Maxon: The crown prince of the country, who is being groomed to be a leader, but doesn't know why there are rebels and what they want.

Aspen: the most pathetic excuse for a love interest I saw in quite a while.

The way the country is set up: a caste system that is bound to fail.

From these points of critique you might think I didn't like this book, but I have a confession:

I found this book to be very entertaining.

Really: this book is like a Disney movie: overly sweet, predictable, but so enjoyable.

I was hooked from the start and even though America was sugarcoated perfection (with some dark chocolate added to the mix to add some bite), I rooted for her and the girls she befriended. Maxon, in all his ignorance, was a sweet love interest, and I was a bit bummed that Aspen was thrown in the mix. (After something Aspen complained about at the start of the book, he made it impossible for me to ever like him again, I will confess.)

The story is entertaining and a mix of The Prince and Me and America's Next Top Model (or another such reality show), complete with bitchy girls who try to steal other girls' thunder and get them kicked out of the Selection.

The inclusion of rebels was a bit unnecessary in my opinion, but I'm guessing there will be more about what they are for in the next book.

All in all this book was an enjoyable read. I will certainly read the next book in this series, because this sugar rush is addictive.

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

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TBR Orphans - How Did I Do, and Resolutions for 2014

Happy New Year!

So 2013 has come and gone and it's time to see how I did with my TBR Orphans Challenge.

I set myself the goal to read at least one book every month that has been on my shelves for over 3 months.
I didn't succeed every month, but here's what I read:

Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Riveted by Meljean Brook
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Queene of Light by Jennifer Armintrout
Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre
Blood Before Sunrise by Amanda Bonilla
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong.
Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett
Bloodstone by Nancy Holzner
Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich

Thirteen books!
So even though there were months I didn't pick up and read an orphan I did manage to read at least one orphan a month on average.

So I'm planning on continuing this challenge in 2014 and I will set myself the same goal as in 2013:

Read at least one orphan each month.

How did your book resolutions go in 2013?
Any resolutions for 2014?