Monday, 21 September 2015

No Mourners. No Funerals. Except for My Poor Heart.

Six of Crows
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Publisher: Indigo
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The Grisha Trilogy introduced readers to the irresistible fantasy world of the Grisha - and now Leigh Bardugo brings us a new sweeping epic.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first.

Leigh Bardugo's writing has captivated readers since SHADOW AND BONE was published in 2012. SIX OF CROWS will take Leigh's fans back into the world they know and love. As gripping, sweeping and memorable as The Grisha Trilogy, this is perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Kristin Cashore and Game of Thrones.

Let it be noted that, I read Six of Crows straight after Queen of Shadows, and it was not the wisest decision I have ever made. All. The. Feels. For. Days. And days. And days.

So I have a confession to make…I only read the Grisha trilogy for the first time a book before Six of Crows, and feel free to shot at me for waiting so long (and if you’re yet to read it, READ IT. NOW. GO. GO. GO.) because holy damn, I fell in love. But, you know the problem that enlists with that now, don’t you? How is a companion or a spin off series in the same world, going to beat the original? 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Shhhh...Or Else.

The Unquiet
Publication Date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books 
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

 For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.

IS IT BAD I’M ONLY NOW NOTICING THE COTTAGE ON THE COVER? Probably. The comparison to Never Let Me Go-which I haven’t read-so guess who’s out of her depth? Yes, Me-but now I do want to read it because The Unquiet was bloody brilliant. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

From Russia, With Love

The Wolf Wilder
Publication Date: September 9th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~ 

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

I’m torn about The Wolf Wilder, because there was just something about it that felt missing to me, I enjoyed it, but at the same time I was expecting something more. I don’t have a lot to say about The Wolf Wilder, it’s pretty short, and not a lot is going on, so I’m doing a little more What I Liked vs What I Had a Problem With.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Edge all the way to the Water. (I don't know, I couldn't come up with something catchy.)

Publication Date:  September 8th 2015
Publisher:  Amulet Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~ 

Lorrie Hollander used to be a rich girl, but now she’s lost everything because of the secrets and lies of the people around her. It’s been 12 years since Lorrie’s mother skipped town and left Lorrie in the care of her unstable aunt Gigi. Together they live in a neglected, decrepit mansion called Edgewater, the eyesore in a town of extraordinary wealth and privilege.

When Charlie, the son of an esteemed senator, takes an interest in Lorrie, her shame for her family and lifestyle runs deep. But what she doesn’t know is that Charlie’s family is hiding something, too, and that their secrets are inextricably tied. Now Lorrie must confront the truth about her family—and everything she ever thought she knew about herself.

I have mixed feelings about Edgewater, mainly because for the most part, I wasn’t really into it, but once I got passed the first half, it started to get better, and the ending really did save it for me, mainly because while I saw one twist coming, I hadn’t even thought of the second one, so that surprised me.
That said…I was bored for most of it, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t, ugh – I – need- to -  put- this- down- boring, just not a lot was happening, and my main issue is with Lorrie. Firstly, I have to say she isn’t a terrible character, but she isn’t exactly nice either, and I do get it, and I get her frustration, but she was burning her bridges with people along with it, and she was so full of anger and self-pity and had no empathy whatsoever with her family that she went into the bitch zone. And for most of her characterisation has something important to do with the plot, so I can’t say what, but I will say she does grow, she isn’t entirely likable by the end, but she’s getting there.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Yo, Queen of Shadows, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Crown of Midnight was the best book in one of my all time favourite series.

Queen of Shadows 
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

 Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Actually, the more I think about it, the angrier I'm getting. Plot wise, I fucking loved it. It was sly, and sneaky and conniving and just SO DAMN GOOD. And most of the side characters, WERE SO DAMN GOOD. And, I, personally, LOVE Manon, yeah, the first lot of her chapters were rather boring, but they did add up to something, and that was just perfect.

Everything else? Nope.

So, here's a game for you.

Friday, 4 September 2015

#DarkSummerRead: Guest Post by Virginia Boecker and Giveaway!

Look who has free reign of the blog, yes, indeed, it's Virginia Boecker, talking about creepy stories and summer and imagination. Enjoy! And thanks for taking the time to write the guest post, Virginia! We also have a giveaway for the #DarkSummerRead below!

When I think of childhood summers, I think of the month my brother, cousins, and I spent together with our relatives, far from home. They lived in a small town (the inaptly named Metropolis), on the edge of a lake at the end of a long dirt road, surrounded by trees of all shapes and sizes filled with creatures of all shapes and sizes. Both house and town were a bit of a place time forgot: creaking doors, odd drafts, and strange nocturnal sounds in the former; roadside food stands, barefoot children, gravel roads, and rust-fendered trucks spewing exhaust in the latter.

The days were hot and sticky, the air full of humidity, the sound of cicadas, and the briny scent of catfish and bluegill that stocked the lake.  The five of us spent hours on the water: canoeing (read: tipping the canoe), sailing (read: idling; there was never much of a breeze), fishing (read: watching the fish; none of us wanted to hook a worm) swinging from the death-defying heights of the tree swing before returning home to make homemade ice cream (always vanilla, always more melted than frozen.)
Our afternoons were the things of stories. Our nights were too, albeit stories of a different kind. We took advantage of being temporarily parentless to indulge in the things “forbidden” to us at home (no, not that): hair-raising books and movies of the R-rated variety.  Stephen King’s Christine, Friday the 13th, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None were a few of our favorites: they were what frightened us and got our imaginations running. We took the stories and made them our own, twisting them in an ever-escalating effort to raise the hair on one another’s neck.
Maybe those ancient trucks we saw rattling around Metropolis during the day were waiting somewhere at night, maybe in a garage like Darnell’s, their fenders popping out dents by themselves, their ripped vinyl seats stitching themselves back together, the long broken radio tuning itself to a long-defunct am station to play 50s hits from Buddy Holly, The Coasters, Dale Hawkins, before turning out, driverless, to cruise the streets.
Maybe the lake wasn’t just a place for fishing and fun. Maybe a boy drowned here once too, the body never recovered. Maybe he’s come back for revenge, living in a shack in the woods, sharpening his machete by day and stalking the woods by night, looking for children alone, away from their parents, to flay with his machete… (now I’m freaking myself out.)
Or maybe, just maybe, my loving aunt and uncle weren’t so loving at all. Maybe they brought us here to atone for our “crimes” (being tardy to class, passing notes during class, doing poorly in class: this was all high treason for thirteen year old). There would be no escape from this house, from this town, until justice was served. We could choke, we could drown, we could be stung by wasps or have an “accident” with a kitchen knife or simply, one by one, the five of us would begin to disappear.

Since then, time has caught up: the home of our summers has been remodeled: no more cold drafts from nowhere or things that go bump in the night. As for Metropolis itself, riverside casinos have swept into town, bringing with them paved roads, heeled feet, and restaurants. My cousins and I have moved on, too. But any time we get together we still love to dig into the archives, pull out a VHS or a paperback or two, and delve back into the dark summers of our past. 


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Dark Room Blog Tour: Review & Extract

Dark Room
Publication Date: September 10th 2015
Publisher: Stripes Publishig
 ~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it'll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose - the 'Selfie Slayer'. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

Dark Room is the latest instalment in the Red Eye series, and it seems that I’ve been loving every other book in it, and although I have a few little issues with it, it was a damn good one. Dark Room is very standard for YA mystery/crime, it follows the same formula and isn’t anything new, that being said, the added use of technology and a surprising killer made the Dark Room stand out.