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Saturday 10 March 2012

Kiera's Quest: Awakening Review

Author: Kristy Brown

Description: Meet Kiera, a pretty, intelligent, and talented girl, brought up by her uncle, and abandoned by her parents. Life is as normal as she believes it to be, apart from the deep ache inside her, telling her she’s different. For years, Kiera had dreams where she ventures into a different reality. She’s not alone; a presence is always there, keeping her safe, yet she feels vulnerable, and hunted.

Zakk, Prince of Zantar, is under the Witch Queen’s spell as she tries to take over his world. He crosses paths with Kiera, and their fates are entwined.

As their journey unravels, she learns that she is not the only one affected by this prince. Who is on her side? Will she find out why she has been chosen? How can someone so young, defeat such evil? Will she find the strength to save the ones closest to her? Will this be Kiera’s only Quest?
Review: Kristy Brown’s vivid imagination is nothing short of amazing. She does an excellent job of bringing the world of Zantar to life; I could picture every striking detail written in the book in mind as if it were real.
Reading the first chapter of the book, and I was thinking, ‘Oh God, this is going to be a YA version of fairy tales’. I couldn’t be more wrong! Kristy keeps the reader hooked on, chapter after chapter, I couldn’t let go until I had finished reading the last word. The whole book was jam-packed with action, twists and turns at every corner. However, I was too short!! I wanted it to go on and on and on. The short story made it quite it difficult to feel a sense of attachment to the characters, but nevertheless it was a deep, and intriguing read. A good mystery adventure; 3/5.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Shiver Review

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 400 pages (paperback)
Description: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Shiver is written in two alternating points of view; Sam and Grace’s. It is a story on genuine true love despite the hardship these two characters have to face. I felt myself, slowly but surely getting attached to Grace’s character. Her quirky and strong personality is very likable and at times funny too. Sam and Grace are quite different in personality, they have flaws, strengths and weaknesses which makes them more realistic. I can imagine them living somewhere in our world despite the fact that Sam is a werewolf (hopeful thinking?!..).

The plot starts off very slow, and does take quite a bit of time to develop and become fast-paced. There were a few times when I was contemplating giving up reading this book; due to the pace in the book. However, I’m glad I didn’t, it was all worth it in the end. The slow prose allows the reader to form a bond with the two main characters, whose alternating points of view transition seamlessly.

Despite the fact, that Sam is a werewolf, on the verge of changing on many occasions due to the cold, the author manages to make it realistic and not over done. It seemed like being a werewolf was secondary to the story; more important was the love between ‘yellow eyed’ Sam and ‘quirky’ Grace.
Maggie Stiefvater is a master at portraying the love between the two characters. Their love is poetic, cute and genuine. At times it becomes awkward without it being overtly intimate, I simply felt like I was watching from a distance and intruding.
As soon as I started really getting into the plot, it ended. However abrupt the ending was I was still nevertheless delighted with it, and left asking for more. I look forward to reading the next book in this trilogy. Overall this book gets a satisfying 4/5.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Vampire in Denial Review

Author: Dale Meyer
Description: Like being a sixteen-year-old vampire isn’t hard enough, Tessa’s throwback human genes make her an outcast among her relatives. But try as she might, she can’t get a handle on the vampire lifestyle and all the…blood.

Turning her back on the vamp world, she embraces the human teenage lifestyle—high school, peer pressure and finding a
boyfriend. Jared manages to stir something in her blood. He’s smart and fun and oh, so cute. But Tessa’s dream of a having the perfect boyfriend turns into a nightmare when vampires attack the movie theatre and kidnaps her date.
Once again, Tessa finds herself torn between the human world and the vampire one. Will blood own out? Can she make peace with who she is as well as what?

Tessa is portrayed as an average teenager, well as average as a vampire teenager can be! At the beginning of the story she is shown to be quite shy and insercure about the way she looks, as well as her human genetics which are a huge throw back to her, thus labelling her as an outcast in the vampire world.
Going along a few chapter, Tessa's demeanour changes completely, she turns into a confident, harsh and sometimes selfish, vampire, in order to save her human friend Jared, with whom she seems connected with, even though the just meet.
Cody on the other hand, is a charming and confident vampire who just seems to have noticed Tessa for the first time since her change of demeanour. He reluctantly helps Tessa in her search for Jared.

Overall, the book was an OK read, I was really struggling to get into the book. I guess I'm not into vampire stories. Nevertheless, having read other books by Dale Meyer, I have to say that she is an incredibly good author and of course, I recommed you all to read her books, because I sure did love the other ones. And if you're into Vampire stories, this book maybe the one for you...

Monday 22 August 2011

Dangerous Designs Review

Author:  Dale Meyer
Pages: 134
Description:  Drawing is her world...but when her new pencil comes alive, it's his world too.
Her...Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves...or is it that her new pencil is alive?
Him...Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do - like open portals.
It ... The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.
Them... Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?
Review: Dale Meyer has crafted a chilling contemporary thriller that captures the mind. Dangerous Designs is a brilliant addition to the thrilller genre. Meyer's outlandish imagination has resulted in the creation of a fascinating and compelling read that kept me at the very egde of me seat ( and bed, I should say)! A bizarre but nevertheless incredibily fantastic read! 

Muted Grey Advanced Review: Book Release November 2011

Author: Dianna Young
Book Release Date: November 2011
In a world where black and white has turned a muddy shade of grey...
What would you do if you discovered the path you had chosen for your life had been based upon lies?
"She'd had the dream again, that recurring nightmare which she could never quite put out of her mind." Marah Edom had acquired all she'd ever dreamed of . . . the job, the car, the Malibu beach home.  Yet, all that was overshadowed by a darkness which threatened to consume her.In one mind-altering moment, Marah is forced to confront her own acquiescence as she faces the demons which have haunted her for years.
.Review: I was gripped onto this novella from the very first page. A heartbreaking tale which had me crying without shame with a box full of tissues. A real tear jerker! I wish it was longer, the book finished too quickly for me. A brilliant read which explores a heart wrenching and shameful issue in our society that has now become a normality. This book really hits the nail!! I recommend everyone to read it.

Tuesday's Child Review

Author: Dale Meyer
Pages: 291
Description: What she doesn’t exactly what he needs.
Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

Review: Dale Meyer writes as chillingly good as the likes of Bevery Barton! Tuesday's Child is definitely not for the faint hearted, the vivid descriptions are shocking and terrifying. The love kindling between Blair and Brandt just adds to the ingredients of a brilliant read.  Meyer is a pro at putting red herrings throughout the book, keeping the reader guessing. You think you know who the killer but then your back to sqaure on all over again. An alarmingly gripping and meaty read!!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Reviews coming up soon:


Gone Review

Title: Gone
Author: Mo Hayder
Publisher: Bantam Press
Pages: 416
Summary: November in the West Country. Evening is closing in as murder detective Jack Caffery arrives to interview the victim of a car-jacking. He’s dealt with routine car-thefts before, but this one is different. This car was taken by force. And on the back seat was a passenger. An eleven-year-old girl. Who is still missing. Before long the jacker starts to communicate with the police: ‘It’s started,' he tells them. 'And it ain’t going to stop just sudden, is it?’ And Caffery knows that he’s going to do it again. Soon the jacker will choose another car with another child on the back seat. Caffery’s a good and instinctive cop; the best in the business, some say. But this time he knows something’s badly wrong. Because the jacker seems to be ahead of the police – every step of the way…

Review: Mo Hayder knows how to pack a stomach-churning punch into a story! This the first book I have read by Mo Hayder, and what a scary sleepless night was I in for! A top notch thriller with fast-paced action. Hayder builds up tension from the very first page, escalating throughout the book until it just explodes. The eccentric plot, vigiliant and circumspect depiction of victims is just genius, putting this book in my Top 5.

Friday 22 July 2011

Operation Sheba Review

Title:Operation Sheba
Author: Misty Evans
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781605043265
Pages: 312
Review: Well written, fast paced, an exciting page turning suspense novel! Operation Sheba has it all, the romance, the bullets, and the CIA. What more could we ask for?
Evans writes in such detail about the world of CIA operatives, I won't be surprised if she works for them!
Conrad Flynn a CIA operative is mystertiously killed in a mission, turning Julia Torrison, his partner and lover's, world upside down.
Julia returns to the state and changes her identity, starting a new life, one which involves CIA Director, Michael Stone. A year and a half later Julia's world is turned upside down again when Conrad returns, well and very much so alive. Julia learns he faked his death in order to uncover a mole in the agency. Can Julia trust Conrad? Is the mole closer to Julia than she likes to think?
Overall, a fast paced, exciting thriller. Definitely will be reading the next books in the series.

Sunday 3 July 2011

You Belong to Me Review

Title: You Belong To Me
Author: Karen Rose
Published: 2011
Publisher: Headine
ISBN: 9780755373901
Pages: 480
Summary: When forensic pathologist Lucy Trask stumbles across a mutilated body by the chess tables in her local Baltimore park, its face so badly damaged it is unrecognisable, her sole concern is that it might be her old school teacher Mr Pugh.
When the corpse is identified, Lucy is shocked to discover that the victim is actually another man from her past. Who killed him and why his skin is burnt with the number '1' is unclear but it’s evident that someone is demanding Lucy’s attention.
The discovery of a second branded body raises worrying questions: how many more lives may be at risk before the killer’s final message is revealed? And can Lucy solve the killer’s gruesome puzzle before their thirst for revenge is complete?

Karen Rose just keeps getting better and better!! The No 1 author for romantic mystery/thrillers. Karen writes about the characters in such that you feel as if you've known them for years. At the same time she continues to let you delve deep into the mind of the killer.
You Belong To Me is the first book that isn't connected to any characters from the previous books, and yet I didn't miss not reading about previous characters and places. Another common Karen Rose trademark missing in this book was the close-knit loving family scene, in fact it was quite the opposite in this book.
Moving on, it took me no time at all to get straight into the story. The pace of is a constant throughout the whole story, in every page of the book shocking and page turning events take place which kept me wanting for more.
From the very first chapter we are thrown into Lucy Trask's world. Lucy, a forensic pathologist makes a grisly discovery of a body, from then on every event in the story links to her. Lucy is shown as a strong and independent woman yet imperfect, with a murky past. It's quite refeshing to be able to read novels with imperfect female lead characters rather than the cliche 'perfect' female.
JD Fitzpartick, the"narcotic " as Lucy likes to think of him, is a detective trying to race against time to find the killer before the  already high body count escalates. His character is very tough and written very cleverly. It is quite obvious that he is Lucy's love interest.
The story contains horrifying and disturbing crimes with a very high body count with a time span of two days, which seeme quite unrealistic for me. Nevertheless this meaty read is exactly what I look for in mystery/thrillers. Another phenomenal book by Karen Rose. I recommend it to everyone!

Monday 13 June 2011

First Family Review

Title: First Family
Author: David Baldacci
Published: 2009
Publisher: Macmillan
Summary:Camp David, USA. A birthday party turns into a
nightmare when a child is snatched after the celebrations.
Jane cox, the First Lady, enlists the services of private detectives
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to find her young niece Willa, and bring her safely home. For she and King share a past....
But Sean and Michelle's investigations run far from smoothly and when their leads are exposed as dead ends and Willa's kidnapper finally makes contact, it becomes apparent that the First Lady has not been entirely honest with the pair...
As drama builds to an explosive crescendo, King and Maxwell find themselves pushed to the limit. With th forces aligned on all sides against them, the boundary between friend and foe becomes impossible to define... or defend.

First Family is the sequel to David Baldacci's No#1 bestseller, Simple Genius.
So, the First Lady's much-loved niece Willa is kidnapped. Lady Jane Cox asks Sean King, a former Secret Service agent to find and bring her home. Sean along with partner Michelle Maxwell investigate the case with the reluctant help of the FBI (cliché?).

The antagonist, Quarry, in my opinion is more fascinating than the protagonists. Baldacci writes in such a way that you have no option but to feel something for him, whether its hatred or sympathy. The reader is given an insight into the antagonists mind, who deep down is portrayed to have a heart of gold. ( I won't expand on that)

The subplot in the story focuses on Maxwell's return to her childhood home after the unexpected death of her mother. It later turns out that she was murdered. Michelle's father, an ex cop, is the main suspect. Maxwell digs deep into her past and her mothers to unravel this mystery. The subplot however didn't have a link to the main plot. Seemed like I was reading two totally different story lines.

This political thriller starts of very fast paced however halfway through it slows down dramatically and the plot is dragged on so much that I was struggling to finish the book. Many questions were left unanswered at the end and there were some plot holes.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with this book, I expected it to be a sensational book, considering it is written by Baldacci.

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose - Book Trailer

Blood Vines Review

Title: Blood Vines
Author: Erica Spindler
Published: 2010
Publisher: Sphere
ISBN: 9780751541281
Summary: Alex Clarkson knows very little about her childhood or who she really is – her only family an absent, emotionally fragile mother. Alex has always felt something was missing and has spent most of her life searching for what that could be. When an infant’s remains are unearthed, Alex realises she has a connection to the case. Suddenly long-lost memories start flooding in, leading her back to a small town in California and to dark and terrifying nightmares that haunt her every waking moment. Greeted with silence and suspicion, Alex is determined to get to the heart of a secret no one wants to see uncovered. As violent deaths and a series of pagan rituals terrify the tightly-knit community, Alex is forced to confront the terrible truth about a single night that changed her family’s lives for ever…
Spindler has outdone herself once again! Blood Vines is an exhilarating read. The story is set in California’s wine country and Spindler does a great job of bringing the vibrant vineyards to life. There aren’t pages and pages of descriptions of the atmosphere of Sonoma, but there is enough for the me to visualise it and feel like I was actually there.
The mystery itself in Blood Vines was really intoxicating. Spindler places twists and turns in every chapter, which kept me guessing. I couldn’t have predicted what happened. The plot contains a psychological twist and the whole story is webbed with lies, deception, mystery and romance.
Alex Clarkson’s ‘romance’ with Detective Danny Reed is somewhat lacking romance and trust. Sex merely makes it a romantic relationship, however I will have to say the blazing hormones and steaminess add to the story.
Overall in my opinion Blood Vines is a fast paced mystery, a real page turner. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. So much so, that I was sitting in my University lectures reading Blood Vines rather than listening to what was being said. I would recommend everyone to read it. And if you’re a mystery lover, this book is a must!