Thursday, 31 October 2013

Monthly Wrap Up - October 2013

It's the end of October and that means that there are only two months left until the end of the year. Where has all the time gone? This month I didn't read a much as I usually do due to work commitments. I am attempting to find more time to read. If only there were more hours in a day.

Book of the Month:

My book of the month is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I had a hard time trying to pick a favourite book this month but ultimately I decided to go with this vampire tale. I absolutely loved this book. It was the perfect blend of dark and bloody. An honorary mention to runner up The First Third by Will Kostakis. This book has so much heart and is a must read.

Books Reviewed in the Month of October:

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
The First Third by Will Kostakis

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #13

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
Currently, I'm reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I am slowly making my way through this book. I love getting sucked into this world. I really want to sit down and finish it but alas real life and sleep keep getting in the way. Hopefully I can find some more time to read.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading The First Thrid by Will Kostakis. I loved this book. It's was filled with so much heart, love and family. It a book with a lot of soul.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me is Mirage by Clive Cussler. I can't wait to read the next book in the Oregon files. I also want to read The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Review: The First Third by Will Kostakis

Title: The First Third
Author: Will Kostakis
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: 24th July 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description: Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you're embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you've made. That's how Billy's grandmother explains it, anyway. She's given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it's his job to glue their family back together. No pressure or anything. Fixing his family's not going to be easy and Billy's not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end some time. And then what? It's a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.

The First Third is a heart warming story filled with charm, love and wit. Will Kostakis’s endearing story is one that is sure to capture your attention as you learn about Bill, his family and his friends. Centred on family relationships The First Third delves into the bonds that shape us and the complicated temperament of family. Bill’s moving story is one that will make you smile, laugh, and cry. Most of all it will affirm your faith in in love and family.

Bill’s grandmother “Yiayia” gives him a bucket list when she goes into hospital for surgery. Now its up to Bill to finish the list and fulfil his grandmothers wishes. Bill has to fix his younger brother Peter, find a husband for his mother and find a girlfriend for his gay older brother.  In his attempt to complete the list Bill learns not only about what he wants in the future, he also learns about the value of family and friends. I read this book with a huge smile on my face. Kostakis’s writing is so effortless to immerse yourself in.  This is a story that is instantly relatable with characters that will become your friends.

The relationships in this book are front and centre. Kostakis explores the value of family and the various forms of love. The First Third delves into the bonds between brothers, friends, parents, and grandparents. Each relationship is complicated and never the same. Family might not do what you expect them to, but deep down you love them and will be there for them. Family can be difficult, messy and intricately complicated and it’s a lesson that Bill learns in earnest. It’s not only about the family you have but the family you make.  Parts of this story are light and humours but underneath it all loss, fear and uncertainly play a role in shaping Bill’s journey.

Greek customs are infused into this story. Bill’s family is Greek and the influence his Yiayia has had on his family’s life is evident in his upbringing. Even though this story is about a Greek family, you can see reflections of your own relationships with family members and friends in The First Third. The situations and experiences encountered are certain to mirror your own. As Bill tries to complete his grandmother list and put his family back together he faces many challenges, most of which put him in numerous awkward situations. The comedy of errors that play out are sure to make you grin, especially when he tires to find his mother a husband or go to the gym. Oh, the horrors of online dating and exercise.

The love between these characters is palpable and you can see how much they care for one another. Yiayia is such a vibrant character who is larger than life. She’s a loving grandmother who holds everything together. Peter was difficult and Simon was distant. All three brothers were very different from each other. Bill is a wonderful protagonist. He is nerdy, geeky and selfless. He has such devotion towards his family and friends. Bill is someone I would love to have a friend, Lucas too. Lucas and Bill share a bromance that was just simply brilliant. Bills status updates also provide much hilarity. The First Third is also a book of firsts. First love and first kisses.  The romance in this book was sweet, even though Bill goes through many romantic woes. The First Third is built on small touching moments that occur between the characters, right from Bill learning how to ride a bike, cooking moussaka and blind dates.

The First Third is a book that is not to be missed. A heart-warming story that is simply charming. I highly recommend this book. It has plenty of soul.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Review: Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter

Title: Through The Zombie Glass
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: Inspired by the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland, this harrowing and romantic story features teen zombie slayer Alice Bell who has lost so much—family, friends, her home. After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind as well. A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things. The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more—including her boyfriend, Cole—than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all

There is something bewitching about the White Rabbit Chronicles. When I first read Alice in Zombieland, I fell in love with the world that Gena Showalter created.  There was a brave girl learning how to move on with her life in the wake of a massive tragedy. Her story was filled with sexy romance, vibrant characters, loving family and last but not least zombies. Through the Zombie Glass takes us back into Ali’s complicated life and presents new challenges for our courageous protagonist. The second instalment in the White Rabbit Chronicles is not as good as the first book but it is still a rollercoaster ride. It was equal parts frustrating, maddening, and romantic. Inner demons and drama are the words I would use to sum up this book.

The White Rabbit Chronicles is like Buffy with zombies instead of vampires. There is a group of people called slayers who protect the world from zombie attacks and dear old Alice is a slayer with special abilities. It’s these special abilities that cause her so much pain in Through the Zombie Glass. Through the Zombie Glass heads in a different direction than the previous instalment. The plot focus more on the characters and their relationships than on external events. If Alice in Zombieland was about Alice figuring out her slaying abilities and learning how to survive in the wake of her family’s death, Through the Zombie glass is about Alice fighting her own inner demon after a zombie attack. Alice has to fight to save the life she has built for herself.  As a result there are quite a few changes in important relationships. It’s an all out battle between Alice versus her darker zombie self.

Alice is a very loyal friend, sister and granddaughter. In a fight to save herself and those around her she has many hurdles to overcome and gets into a bit of trouble. One of Ali’s best qualities is her courage and loyalty but at times she can be a very frustrating character. She makes some bad decisions. There were times when I just wanted to shake her and talk some sense into her. Alice also never backs down from a fight. She’s a fighter in more ways than one. She always tries to protect those around her. I also like her humour and wit. Her to do lists were always fun to read about, as were her pep talks. I also enjoyed her banter with the boys. I also loved how Ali wanted to take care of her grandmother, even though she might have been going about it the wrong way.

This book had a lot of relationship drama and sometimes it just bugged me. I really liked Cole and Ali together but this time around they were a tad annoying. There relationship was like a rollercoaster, constantly moving up and down, back and front. Cole is a great leader and friend but when it came to Ali he was mega jealous and made some bad judgement calls. However though it all, you can see that he cares for Ali and is very protective of her. He finally see’s some sense by the end of the book.

Kat is one of my favourite characters. She is such a ball to read it. I love her loyalty to Alice. She just oozes with confidence and sass.  Her relationship with Frosty also deepens. We also get to meet new characters. Gavin takes a while to like. There is an impression of love triangle between Cole, Ali and Gavin but it is explained by the end of the book. I sure the illusion of the love triangle will irritate many people. Gavin and Alice slowly build a rapport and I love listening to their banter. It was quite funny. Reeve also plays a larger role in this book.

Through the Zombie Glass is a good book. It is not as good as its predecessor due to relationship drama but entertaining nonetheless. I can’t wait for the next book.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #12

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week. I did well reading wise this week but there still needs to be more hours in a day.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading The First Thrid by Will Kostakis. I love this book. It's filled with so much heart, love and family.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter. I finally got around to reading it. It was not as good as the first book but still a good read. I also finished reading Countdown by Michelle Rowan. It had a few issues but overall it was a quick enjoyable read.

What do you think you'll read next?
I don't know what I want to read next. I'm hoping to read The Maze Runner  by James Dashner and The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Title: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: 3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped. 2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level Psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.
1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though their lives depend on it. Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's Psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.

Countdown wasn’t the heart-pounding, edge of the seat story that I was expecting. Instead, Countdown was an enjoyable book comprising of a very interesting plot, a mixture of genres and very fierce characters. Countdown is very reminiscent of many dystopian novels like The Hunger Games in which teenagers have to compete in a deadly game to survive. Excluding a few issues with world building and romance, Michelle Rowan has combined a mixture of genres right from dystopia, paranormal and science fiction to create an enjoyable quick read.  

Kira and Rogan are forced to compete in a top-secret reality TV show called the Countdown. They have to complete six dangerous levels in order to win or they get eliminated from the game, meaning death. Both Kira and Rogan have complicated pasts. Kira’s a thief and Rogan’s a murderer but now they have to rely on each other to survive. The actual story surprised me. I thought that the entire book would focus on the Countdown but I was pleasantly wrong. The story deviates from the game in the second half of the book and certain events were very fascinating. The second half of this book is where this story takes off despite its predictable nature.  Right from the beginning the story is very straightforward to follow. The book jumps immediately into Countdown and the story unravels from there. The artificial intelligence aspect of this story was my favourite bit. The drones, implants and AI technology were well incorporated into this story and made up an essential aspect of the plot. All of the artificial intelligence was very fascinating to read about.

The world building was quite simple to follow but not detailed enough of me.  I would have liked a bit more background information about the society, plague and colony. The colony was one aspect that was eluded to but not really explained in detail. The one thing in this book that was disappointing was that there was quite a bit of telling and not enough showing. Due to the way the game was introduced and played there needed to be a lot of information provided about the characters and the game itself and as a result that lead to a bit of information dumping. I do understand why the book was set up this way but I still would have like a bit more showing vs. telling.  There were also moments when characters needed answers and someone else provided them making the proceedings seem a little bit too convenient. The levels in the Countdown started of easy and progressively got harder. The latter challenges were well through out and brutal with their tasks. The earlier levels could have been a little harder in my opinion.

The characters in Countdown were also a highlight. Both Kira and Rogan were stubborn, fierce and funny. Kira was smart and street savvy with a very haunting past. She always stood up for her self and fought for what she believed in. She always trusted her instincts. Rogan was confident and cocky.  Kira and Rogan together had a lot of chemistry with plenty of banter. Their back and forth conversations made be laugh. However their romance felt a little rushed for me especially since there was a lot of distrust in their relationship.  I felt like they didn’t know each other long enough to really start falling for each other, especially since the story only takes place over a couple of days. 

Countdown was an enjoyable read despite a few minor problems.  If your looking for a fast fun read than this might be it.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: 3rd September 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is what a vampire book should be. It’s not the toned down romanticised version of vampires we have come to know over the years, thanks in part to Twilights success. Its dark, twisty and most of all its bloody. Add in vengeance and you have got yourself one menacing tale. Holly Black tells a tale that’s unforgettable, with characters that are razor sharp. Tana and company are more likely to stab you in the back than be a comforting presence. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is an excellent story and Tana’s adventure to Coldtown is not one to be missed.

Black ensures that this tale is choc a block with cringe worthy moments, gore and blood.  Tana wakes up after a party to find everyone dead except for her ex boyfriend and a vampire. To save herself and the other she has to go to a Coldtown. A place filled with vampires and no means of escape.  To say that Tana has a rough couple of days is an understatement. She goes on a journey filled with death, deception and desperation at every turn.  The story jumps right in and keeps going at a fast pace. It packs one hell of a punch. Just when you think things could be improving they most certainly get worse and every situation takes a grave turn. The situation goes from disastrous to horrific to catastrophic. The shadow of death is a constant companion to the characters and plays an important role in exploring mortality of vampires and humans alike. Black is a fantastic storyteller and this is one engrossing read because you want Tana to survive and make it out of Coldtown. You are immediately invested in this engrossing story about a girl who takes on the odds in an impossible situation.

The way vampire society meshes with the world as we know it is seamless.  The evolution of Coldtowns, government regulations and emergence of vampire pop culture feels realistic. It makes sense that the world would evolve like this if vampires were to exist. It’s the little details that Black incorporates that sell this story. The vampire enthusiasts, blogs out of Coldtown, the rest stop, the reality television shows and bounty hunters were all neat editions that stole the show.

There was also a perfect blend of realism and romanticism about vampires. Tana knows the realistic nature of vampires and their monstrous ways.  There are also other people who saw vampires as celebrities and heroes. They longed to be like them, believing that vampires had a perfect life. Black does a good job of showing the reader how idolising vampires can lead people to ruin. We see a range of differing perspectives about vampires and Coldtowns in the form of blog posts and varying character views. Instead of just one view we get several allowing a more in-depth understanding of the world.

All of the characters are layered. Each character had their own story that overlapped with the overarching plot. Lets just say that each character had an agenda and those agendas were not necessarily the same. Tana is a very fierce devoted girl. She has a very complicated history with vampires and she struggles with what’s happening to her. Nevertheless, she pulls through and fights like hell for what she believes is the right thing. Whatever situation arises she always does what she thinks is right, even if it means helping rescue a vampire and others who may not deserve her help. She is a heroine in her own right but that doesn’t mean that she’s perfect. She’s reckless and plays fast and loose with her life but deep down she is a respectable person who loves her family.  Tana also thinks through every situation. She’s smart about her plans and the way she executes them. She was no damsel in distress. What you get is one determined lady.

Midnight’s story was filled with woe. Aiden was a manipulative ex-boyfriend who wanted nothing but to help himself. There was also a vulnerable side to him. Gavriel was just plain crazy and dangerous. His relationship with Tana was dangerous, sweet and creepy at the same time but somehow they fit. The romance is perfect with just the right amount sprinkled through the story. Gavriel’s battle with the crazy was very interesting. I also loved the way he talked.  Gavril’s past with his brother and why he turned was very compelling.  

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown is a book that is not to be missed. A perfect vampire story, if there ever was one. Don’t miss out on Tana’s adventure.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #11

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week. I still haven't found enough time to read this past week due to work commitments. There needs to be more hours in a day.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading Countdown by Michelle Rowen. I've just started so its too soon to tell.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I really enjoyed this book. Its what I want a vampire story to be. Dark, bloody and gory. Plus Holly Black is a fantastic story teller.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter. This books been on my list for the last two weeks. I still have to get around to it. I'm also waiting on my copy of The Maze Runner  by James Dashner to arrive. If it gets here this week I might pick it up.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Title: Incarceron
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release Date: 2007
Source: Library
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born …

Incarceron is a strange book. It’s a very unique story that’s ambitious and well written. However, it uniqueness is also its biggest downfall. While I appreciate Incarceron for its masterful plot, ingenuity and creativity, the world was also very hard to grasp.  Essentially, Incarceron pulled me in two directions. The story and the world appealed to me. It was bold, unexpected and truly creative. The political aspect was also very fascinating. The lack of solid background information caused much confusion about the why of it all.  All the lingering questions posed decreased my overall enjoyment of the book. Incarceron is a book that will appeal to some and be disliked by others.

Incarceron is a completely closed self-sustaining prison meant to be paradise but is instead a version of hell. The prison itself is a completely different beast comprising of its own societies and a peculiar culture. It’s a harsh existence filled with rival gangs, short life spans and a prison who is alive and actively torturing prisoners by changing the circumstances. Incarceron is alive, it has its own personality and goals as if it were a real person and in this book it is.  The landscape within the prison is completely its own, with metal forests, recycled creatures, cities, corridors and animals.  The people within the prison have evolved over time and are no longer like the first people who entered. The prisoners have their own code, myths, and legends. Sapphique’s ledged plays a very important part of this book. Catherine Fisher masterfully creates a meticulous climate, which breathes fear, hopelessness and misery. You can understand why Finn and company want to escape.  Incarneron in a nutshell is about escaping the prison and finding a better life.

Just like with the prison, the outside world is also quite exclusive. The king has decreed that everyone revert back to the 19th century style of living in order to preserve peace. Everyone acts as if they are in the 19th century but advanced technology exists. People are just forbidden from using it. Claudia lives on the outside. She’s fated to an arranged marriage she doesn’t want. In her attempts to get out of it, Claudia gets tangled up in a political plot for the throne and her only hope out is Finn. The story is told from both Finn and Claudia’s point of views. Their paths are intertwined and bound to cross. The connections in their story are subtle and intricately woven. The clues to their past are cleverly incorporated.

Where I had the most trouble with this story was why the world had evolved to be this way. I had many questions about what had happened to make them build a massive prison to trap people in. Why was the outside world trapped in a forgotten century? What events lead to this? These details were eluded to but not well explained. Also we are thrown straight into the story with little explanation about the setting and it takes a while to make sense of what’s going on. This was where I was most confused and it took me a very long time to get into the story. The epigraphs at the start of each chapter were very important to explaining the world and definitely should be read.

While I was reading, I felt like there was something was missing. For me the missing factor was a connection with the characters. I was not really invested in their story, despite them being well-developed characters with many layers.  Finn had a very complicated past and his entire story was a quest for the truth about who he is. He plays the reluctant saviour/hero. Claudia was a more interesting character. She was intelligent and determined to change her fate. The Warden of Incarceron was a shifty little man whose motives were very hard to pin down. This book had very distinctive names that suited the world.

Incarceron is a very different read, with an interesting world despite a little confusion about the world itself.  The ending makes me curios about what happens next. It’s a book you will either love or dislike.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #10

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week. I haven't been reading as much the past couple of weeks due to work commitments. I need to find more time to read.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. I'm about 30% into this book and I'm still a bit confused about whats going on. Its a very different book.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. It was twisty. The entire story was turned on its head. It ended in a very cruel cliff hanger that I need to know the answer to.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I still haven't gotten to read these titles yet. I really need time to read, if only there was more hours in a day. I also want to read Countdown by Michelle Rowen.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Review: Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Title: Endless Knight
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed. Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history - one that Evie can't remember, but Death can't forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack. Determined to discover why she's been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it

Endless Knight is a seductive tale that fully captures your imagination and embraces the darker side of human nature. With dubious characters, sizzling romance and a peculiar post-apocalytpic setting this haunting story is about the murderous game between the Arcana. Poison Princess was a standout book last year and Endless Knight defiantly lives up to its predecessor. The past is repeating itself but the players are slightly altered. Murder, death and survival are on the cards and drive the story towards its massive cliff-hanger.  If that was not enough to contend with, there are also numerous Bagmen and Cannibals to battle with. The characters are not who they seem. Secrets are unravelled and alliances are changed. Nothings black and white anymore. Instead it’s just a big ominous shade of grey. If Poison Princess was about Evie learning about her powers than Endless Knight is about Evie learning about her past and how to play the game. The twists keep coming, the romance is even hotter and nothing is as it seems. 

I am in awe of Kersley Cole’s storytelling. Her writing is haunting, witty and engrossing. The story fits together seamlessly and is intricately detailed. Poison princess started with a bang but Endless Knight has a slow start.  Picking up right after Evie’s battle with the Alchemist, Endless Knight takes a while to get into, but once you do, the story hits the ground running. I love the pace of this book, there is always a revelation or action around every corner. Cole makes sure that there is never a dull moment. Evie is now playing the game and to survive she needs to kill Death, make alliances, escape the cannibals and most importantly she needs to stay alive. Revelations lurk behind every corner and Matthews’s cryptic statements get pretty gloomy.  What I love about this story is there is actually a war in which the players are ruthless and cunning. Its not just a bunch of teenagers playacting at warfare, they are all out for blood and murder is prevalent.   Alliances are made, strategy is formed, hostages are taken and everything is turned on its head all in a hostile landscape littered with threats at every turn.

Like the title suggests, Endless Knight is about Death and his very complicated relationship with Evie. We’ve seen him as the ruthless winner of the game for centuries past. The player that everyone fears.  The one Evie’s sworn to kill.  This time around, Death is not who we expect him to be and is the biggest revelation in the book. We get to learn a great deal about him and no it’s not just all about his handsome looks. Cole sands down his edges and makes him relatable.  This book introduces a love triangle and Cole deftly explores the line between love and hate and how complicated relationships can be.  The triangle is compelling because the change and confusion in Evie’s feelings develop over time and it all makes sense given the revelations. I want to know she picks. Without giving anything away, lets just say that Death is a prominent point in this love triangle.

Jackson plays a smaller role in this book as Death takes a front seat. He bugged me a bit more in this book than the last one. It takes a while for him to accept Evie’s powers but he always protects her.  We also get to learn some of his secrets. In fact we learn something about all the major players that turns this game on its head. Jackson, Death, Evie and Matthew all have secret. When these secrets come to light, you will look at all of these characters in a different way. Evie’s becoming more like the Empresses of the past. I love that you can see shades of the past Empresses in Evie, but she still remains herself and is not a carbon copy of the ones in the past. She becomes more of a leader and is determined to take Death out.  She embraces her role as the Empress and comes to terms with what she had to do to win the battles she enters. She is ruthless and uncompromising. She has a lot to deal with and everyone’s secrets are a hard burden for her to bear.

What Cole does very well is character development. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses. No character is morally black or white. They’re all in the grey and no one person is right.  They all struggle with the choices they need to make and who they are becoming, especially Evie. Evie has decisions to make. Decisions that could change the nature of the game. Along with Death we get to meet new Arcana cards. Lark was my favourite new character. Her connection with animal was very fascinating. Such a cool power to have. This book provides plenty of information about the game and what each card is capable of. Finn continues to be entertaining with his trickster nature. Matthew and his crypticness are back, and boy does that kid have a talent for twisting everything around.

A twisty turny post -apocalyptic story about the Arcana. A great sequel with a really cruel cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Title: Unbreakable
Author: Kami Garcia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 10th October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: Kennedy Waters didn't believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her. When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn't know that evil forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her house and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon - a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. Now Kennedy has to take her mother's place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon - battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

There is nothing outstanding about Unbreakable.  It follows a standard plot often seen in many YA books. A young girls world turns upside down when she discovers that her family is not who they seem and the world is not as normal as it appears. When the secrets come out, she grows to embrace the world with help from quirky friends.  Unbreakable is pretty standard read. However it’s a good read for fans of horror and the TV show Supernatural. There is creepy fun to be had and the book sets up an interesting story that is sure to get better in future.

In essence, Unbreakable is about a secret organisation of demon hunters called the Legion, who protect the world from the supernatural. When Kennedy’s mother dies, her life is completely turned upside down. It turns out that Kennedy’s mum was killed by a demon out to destroy the Legion. Now the demon is after Kennedy.  Kennedy and the other Legion members including Jared and Lukas Lockheart have to find away to stop the demon forever. The story is very effortless to read. Kami Garcia did a great job setting up the history of the Legion. The world building of Unbreakable is not complicated and easy to follow.

Certain elements of the story drew parallels to the TV show Supernatural. There’s two ghost hunting brothers, salt bullets, salt lines, tracking unnatural deaths in the news, EMF devices and iron weapons.  The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about the Winchester brother and how they do the whole ghost-hunting thing better, but that’s just me. If the similarities to Supernatural wouldn’t bother you then I’m sure you will like this story. The setting is utterly creepy. Garcia includes many creepy, grotesque, abandoned building filled with menacing ghosts. There is an abandoned children’s home, an old prison and decrepit mansions. The ghosts themselves were daunting and disturbing.  Their deaths and past lives were down right unsettling.

Kennedy was the perfect mix of vulnerability and determination. She was portrayed with many good qualities. She always stood up for herself, constantly questioned the world around her, and owned up to her mistakes. It took a while to get to know her. She starts of with a lot of insecurity but as she learns more about the Legion she becomes the heroine of her story. One who always protects those she considers friends. Priest was another character that stood out. His inventions were a treat to read about. He also had some of the best lines.  Alara has a tough exterior but deep down she cared about the others. The Twins Lukas and Jared were the total opposites of each other. Lukas the more outgoing and caring whereas Jared was the broody troubled brother.

Kennedy’s relationship with each of the twins is different. There is a slight love triangle between the three of them, but its clear which brother Kennedy chooses.  Although the feelings Kennedy has for Lukas are not clearly defined and left in the air. The romance was not one that I enjoyed. It didn’t add to the story and if it were lifted out it wouldn’t change the book.  It’s the typical story thread of a girl falls for broody boy who is sure to break her heart.  I really enjoyed the group dynamics. Each member of the new Legion had their own specific role and their own talents. Together they made a formidable team. Also their relationship with Kennedy develops over time. They do not always trust each other. Especially Kennedy and Alara but as they discover what each other is willing to do they grow closer.  

The best part of this book was the ending. The story builds to a great climax set in the ultimate creepy location. The ending also turned the story on its head and it will be interesting to see what happens next. With an ending like that it felt like the start of something and that book 1 was just setting up the series and introducing the mythology and the characters.

Overall unbreakable is a good read with creepy locations and heaps of similarities to supernatural. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #9

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. I can't wait to dig into this story as I loved the first book. 

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading Unbreakable by Kami Garcia. It was a good book with a lot of similarities to Supernatural. I also finished reading Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield which was a bit of a disappointment.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Title: Chantress
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 7th May 2013
Source: Pulseit
Rating: 2 out of 5

Description: Lucy, shipwrecked on an island at 8, is forbidden to sing by guardian Norrie. On All Hallows Eve 1667, at 15, she sings, and is swept into darkness. She wakes to hear powerful men hunt Chantresses who sing magic into the world. At the Invisible College she finds sanctuary, plots to overthrow the evil Lord Protector, and distrustful scientist-apprentice Nat. Only a Chantress can overcome the Protector, and Lucy is the last in England.

Chantress has a very interesting premise comprising of women who work magic through song. When I picked up this historical fiction I thought it had heaps of potential with all necessary parts for a great read.  The book has it all, the slow burning romance, secret organisations, supernatural animals and a unique take on magic.  Unfortunately Chantress fell flat. It had all the elements but when combined the story was unimpressive and a little bit boring.  

Set in the 1600’s, Chantress is about Lucy and her unique ability to work magic through singing.  Shipwrecked on an island with her guardian, Lucy was banned from singing. She was taught that singing would bring darkness. One day she disobeys her guardian Norrie and sings, only to be transported to London. Here she learns about her magic, meets the Invisible College, and plots to overthrow the Lord Protector in order to save London from his corrupted ways.

The plot was very slow placed. The book started off well and ended well but it was the middle that was the most problematic. The middle was lacklustre and dull. Nothing really happened that impacted the story or the characters.However I did like the mythology behind Chatresses. The mythology was tight and well developed and detailed. I enjoyed learning about where Chartresses powers came from. The different kinds of magic and their history/traditions were also well thought out.  The Shadowgrims - creepy supernatural ravens that patrolled the streets of London - were a great addition to the story. They defiantly made their presence know and might have been my favourite part of this book. The secrecy of the Invisible Collage and their exploits was engaging.

The main problem I had with this book was that there was not enough showing and a lot of telling.  There was a lot of exposition and information being divulged. In short there was too much of an info dump. The book was also made up predominantly of dialogue. For me personally there was not enough description about the background, characters or setting.

It also felt that the characters lacked depth.  I would have liked a bit more backstory and character development. Lucy didn’t make much of an impression. I was apathetic towards her. I neither liked her nor hated her. For me she was just too naive and trusting.  She just went along with the events of the story and all the information needed was just given to her. She meets the Invisible College and immediately trusts them with all of her secrets. It also annoyed me that she was very quick to forgive those who betrayed her. She was angry but it only lasted for a millisecond. She also made a lot of mistakes and I felt as if there should have been more remorse for some of her actions, especially in the mind reading department. Lady Helaine was a bit harsh at times. Nat was also a character that was underdeveloped. I did enjoy the romance between Nat and Lucy. It was not an instant connection and developed over time, even though Lucy seemed oblivious to it for the majority of the book.

Overall, Chantress is a book with an interesting premise and an uninteresting story.