Friday, 31 August 2012

Stacking The Shelves (5)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event over at 'Tynga's Reviews' which showcases the books we've purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week.

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


I know it's been ages since I did this, but I'm Back!!! :D Enjoy

Keep Reading. :D  

Book Review - Freak The Mighty

Title: Freak The Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Release Date: 30 Mar 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0746087251

Synopsis
Meet Maxwell Kane, narrator of Freak the Mighty. He’s a timid soul stuck in the body of a teenage giant with size 14 shoes. Haunted by a dark secret in his past, he hides out in his basement room, avoiding the world. But when a new kid moves in next door Max’s life changes forever. The two outcasts form the ‘normal’ world team up to become “Freak the Mighty.”

Like knights of old they defend the weak, right every wrong–and solve the mystery of Max’s past. Proving once and for all that courage comes in all sizes.



My Review
I was recommend this by one of the librarians and I got it as a group read for my Teen Book Group at the library back in May. Half the group read it, the rest didn't and I never got round to it. BUt 2 of the teenagers told me it was good and definitely worth a read so i kept hold of it.
I picked this up this afternoon as I wanted a quick read and this was only 175 pages with fairly big writing so I thought it would be perfect. The book is narrated by Maxwell Kane (Max) he lives with his Gram and Grim (grandparents) and his room is in the Basement but he likes being able to hide in the dark spaces, it's the only place he really can hide as he is very big for his age, so stands out in any crowd.
But everything changes when Kevin moves in a couple of doors down. Kevin is a child genius but is also tiny. He has a sort of Dwarfism. Together the pair strike up an odd friendship, Kevin ends up finding a comfortable perch on Max's shoulder and together they call themselves 'Freak The Mighty'. Kevin is like a walking dictionary and has a vivid imagination, so together they go on all sorts of adventures. Max starts to realise that he can do things for himself such as read and learn. It's like Kevin is an extra brain, teaching him things he needs to know. 
But then a figure from his past comes back and Max is in danger, can the pair find a way out, and save each other.
This book is quite involved considering it is so short but I actually enjoyed it. I loved Kevin's spark, he was so happy and jumpy at everything and would also come out with all sorts of 'posh' words and long sentences that made him sound like a super brain. But he is so friendly and encouraging to Max that you can't help but become attached to him.
Max is like a gentle giant, sort of like a teen BFG. He comes across as quite slow and unintelligent, but throughout the book you see him develop and grow. 
There are some laugh out loud moments, some gasp moments, some ridiculous moments and some sad moments. I did not expect the ending and was quite sad at the turn of events (i don't want to give it away) but I admire the author for following the story truthfully. 
A sweet touching story that has a good message to it and is an enjoyable book. Good for adults and children alike. 

My Rating

Book Review - The Angel Collector

Title: The Angel Collector
Author: Bali Rai
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Release Date: 7 Jun 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0552553025

 Synopsis
It’s eight months since Sophie went missing after attending a summer music festival. The police search has led nowhere and Jit, Sophie’s best friend and soulmate, is slowly going crazy not knowing what’s happened to her. He has to DO something. So he begins a search that will take him all over Britain, tracking down the people Sophie met at the festival, and following the clues he finds.

Jit’s search eventually takes him to the remote farmhouse in Scotland that is home to a racist cult. Surely he is close to finding the answers. But then everything falls into place, and the horrific and unimaginable truth comes to light….


My Review
I read 'Rani & Sukh' by this author and really enjoyed, then I saw this one and decided to try it. However it got pushed to the back of my locker at work and forgotten about. I had a tidy up last week and took all the books out and found this. I re-read the synopsis and thought it was definitely not my sort of readbut for some reason I couldn't put it back, I ended up picking it up and putting it down a number of times before i put it in my bag to bring home.
The majority of the book was intriguing and I sort of enjoyed it, I worked out who was responsible for it quite early on but stuck with it, but there were some chapters/bits that made my spine crawl and sort of freaked me out. It is definitely not my usual style and I can't believe I finished it.
The book is narrated mainly by 'Jit' his best friend Sophie disappeared 8 months ago at a music festival, he always had a crush on her and the pair had a pact that they would always find each other again if anything ever pulled them apart, and now Jit is determined to live up to that promise. Jit is a typical teen in fiction for the fact that he is bursting with 'angst' and aggression and the feeling that no-one seems to understand him *eye-roll*, but despite this I know he is trying to do what is right and just get his friend back so although I didn't agree with everything he did, I know he did it for the best. 
Every few chapters there is a break in the story and a chapter is narrated by 'The Angel Collector' - a psychopath who abducts and tortures girls I think with the idea that he is 'redeeming them' to make them his 'Angels'. It was creepy and weird and I shuddered every time I saw the Angel wings indicating his chapters and I started sort of skim reading them.  They were just too creepy for me, I couldn't do it. I really am a wimp. 
On Jit's journey to find Sophie you meet a host of people from both their pasts, Anna & Jenna are party girls but really try their best to help. Then the trail leads you through 'Mickey, David, Simon, Ritter, Corey and a load more' but I didn't ever really find myself confused with who was who, each person is dealt with and clearly defined that I knew what was happening. 
There is also a 'cult' storyline, Everyone believes Sophie was snatched by 'Shining Moon' a crazy guy who leads a cult against coloured people, trying to restore the planet to just white people. It was kind of a sub-plot but to me it didn't really feel necessary other than to be shocking and create a cover for the real culprit.
So I would say in a way I did enjoy the book, but it was just a bit too creepy for me and it made me all paranoid and fidgety. If you like murder mysteries and don't mind 'decapitation' and abuse and other really creepy psychotic acts of abuse then you would probably really enjoy this, but for me it just wasn't my thing and I really wonder what made me want to read this so much, as I kind of wish I hadn't. I so hope I don't get nightmares!
 

 My Rating

FF (85) & TGIF (68)


 


Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question feature is

Q: Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?

My Answer: I am a sucker for pretty covers. If I walk into the bookshop or library and see a book with a beautiful or interesting cover I will pick it up and 95% of the time end up taking it home to read. I know you shouldn't pick books this way but I do. 

So one that come to mind is:



The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate. I thought this was a lovely cover, the hardback isn't bad either but I didn't really enjoy the story itself. I felt quite disappointed with it really.

 

TGIF!



This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question: 
 
Choose Your Next Read: How do you go about choosing 
what you read next? Do you have a schedule you follow, or do you read whatever makes you happy at the moment?

 

My Answer: I have a pile next to my seat that consists mainly of books that need to be read soon (i.e review books or Library books that need to be returned) but to be honest I have to be in the mood for certain books and I very often know what I want next. If not I have a very technical way of picking my next read ----- I simply look at the pile of books and see which book 'jumps out at me'. I tend to get 'feelings' from certain books like they call to me. Am I sounding crazy yet?


This is probably not a good system as this is why I am so behind with my e-books for review, but then again if I try to read a book when I'm not really in the mood for it then I won't enjoy it as much so maybe waiting is better. :D


Anyone else get drawn to books randomly? 




Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

 

Don't forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway you can win one of teh books from the 'Shadow Falls' series by C.C Hunter. Click here to go to the post.

Book Promotion - DiSemblance

Jason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real.
As a computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door.
An exciting, action-packed ride to a future happening today, Shanae Branham’s modern techno thriller is the perfect exhilarating adrenaline rush for a techno-savvy generation. Expertly weaving cutting-edge technology with almost unbearable suspense, she crafts a wild, white-knuckled thriller that pushes the boundaries of science. Full of intensity and extraordinary vision, DiSemblance attacks the senses as it challenges the mind and imagination.
 
 
http://disemblance.com/ (book blog)

amzn.to/PB5nBt  (buy on Amazon)



Watch an interview with Shanae Branham on YouTube:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It's my BIRTHDAY!!! & giveaway

So today (29th August) is my Birthday and I am now 24. Wow, just saying that makes me gulp. How on earth am I 24 already??? It's scary.

I got some good presents, not as many books as I thought I would but there were some in there. I got series 3 & 4 of 'Merlin' on DVD. My goodness I love Merlin, such a good series.
I also got one of the best presents ever. My mum got me a 'KitchenAid' mixer!!!! I love to make cakes but I've never had a mixer before so this is awesome.
Isn't it pretty!!!! I can make so many more cakes now. Yum  Yum!

I also got a funky t-shirt from my brother:
My jacket is covering it slightly, but it says 'Release The Attack Kittens' so sweet and makes me giggle.   I love it.
He also brought me BOOKS!!! I got Book 1, 5 & 6 in the 'Bloody Jack' series by L.A. Meyer (Bloody Jack, Mississippi Jack, My Bonny Light Horseman) I love this series and am excited to get some more, I will be having a pirate marathon read with these! :D

Steve Cole author of 'Cows in Action' and 'Astrosaurs' and the 'Z-Rex' series came by the library to see me last week and gave me a signed copy of his new book 'Z-Apocalypse' and a small cuddly squirrel, but this is no ordinary squirrel - it's a NINJA squirrel. lol. :D Thanks Steve!!! :) x

I also got enough money to buy 1 more book, so I will be buying 'The Rise of Nine' by Pittacus Lore as it comes out tomorrow. As I know my best friend is getting me the new Skulduggery Pleasant book which also comes out tomorrow.
As most of my friends are on holiday this week I am not having my party until Saturday.


So yes, my Birthday started well, but then, well it kind of went downhill. My parents, brother and I went to Ampthill Park for a walk. We tend to go every year on my birthday and when it's good weather the views are like this:
Beautiful right, it's like you're on top of the world. 
Well not today! before we left we checked the weather and it said no rain before 11am. We got there at about 10 and had just got to the top of the hill when the heavens opened and we got soaked. We all ran back to the car and came home. We had only been there for about 10 minutes tops! So annoyed.

Then I couldn't think of anything to do for the rest of the day, as I said most of my friends are on hols and my family aren't sporty/active like me so I couldn't think what else to do, plus I didn't want to go out in the wet. So I did what any good bookworm does and I read! I may not have gone out anywhere physically, but mentally I journeyed to Shadow Falls camp and hung out with some friends there!

It's times like these I thank the Lord that things like Books exist and that I am privileged to be able to get hold of them so easily. They make life so much more exciting. So although this wasn't the best birthday in history (in fact it was a little disappointing) I was actually quite happy in the end.

Now I want to share that happiness with you, my lovely readers. The book that made me so happy today was:
Whispers at Moonrise by C.C Hunter, Book 4 in the Shadow Falls series.

I adore this series and think everyone should read them, they are so good. So I am offering you lucky people a chance to win Book 1 in the series - 'Born at Midnight'
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

If you have already read/own a copy of book 1 you may select any of the rest of the series (book 2, 3 or 4) However book 4 is not released/on sale until November so if you choose that, you need to accept that you will have to wait for your prize. (but it's well worth the wait, I promise!!!)




Here are the rules: 
1) Competition opens 29th August 2012
2) Competition closes on 5th September 2012 Midnight GMT
3) Enter your Name, E-mail and Blog Link in the Linky List Below (email will be hidden, if you don't have a blog just enter your Facebook or Twitter page)
4) You Must be a Follower to enter!
5) One Name will be selected at random from the list.
6) Contest open Internationally

7) Winners will be contacted by e-mail
8) Winners will have 3 days to reply or another winner will be selected.

You MUST fill in the Linky form to be in with a chance to enter. Do NOT put your details in the comments section. 
I don't have time to go through all the comments or add you on the list myself. 

All you need to do is put your name/blog name in the box that says 'Contest Entry', a link to your blog/facebook in the box that says 'Link' and then your email address in the box that says 'Email'





Good Luck Everyone!!!!!!! :D

Book Review - Whispers At Moonrise

Title: Whispers at Moonrise
Author: CC Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls (book 4)
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 13 Nov 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1250011916

Synopsis
At a camp filled with vampires, werewolves, and fairies, Kylie Galen has always struggled to figure out what she is. Now she finally knows the truth—but she's left with more questions than answers. She doesn’t have a clue what her heritage means or how to harness her newfound powers. All she knows is that she needs to sort out her feelings for Derek, the sexy half-Fae who just confessed his love, and Lucas, her werewolf boyfriend who seems more committed to his pack than to their relationship. All the while, Kylie's dealing with a group of underground rogues who want her dead and a mysterious grandfather who makes it clear he doesn’t trust the FRU . . . or Shadow Falls. Soon Kylie will have to choose: Will she stay with the new family she’s formed at Shadow Falls, or will she leave with her grandfather and embrace her destiny?

 My Review
I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
2 weeks ago I read the first 3 books in this series and fell in love with them. I read all 3 in about 2 days, I couldn't stop. I was so annoyed to find out that the next book wouldn't be out till end of October/early November, I needed more straight away. Then I remembered that I had been offered an ARC copy of this one and was just waiting for it to arrive. And it came a couple of days ago. I don't think I've ever been so excited!!! Time to dive straight back in.

These books have been in my mind since I finished the first 3, they are the sort of stories that just stay with you and make you smile. Shadow Falls really seems like a place I know well and love. As soon as I started reading I was instantly back into the world.
Kylie is still reeling from Ellie's death at the camp and her dad's revelation to what she really is. But she doesn't know what it all means. Things just keep getting more confusing. Add on top of that familiar ghosts, boy trouble and strange powers life is seriously complicated. 
Kylie is quickly becoming one of my favourite heroins, she is fiery tempered, won't take any crap from anyone still oddly vulnerable and human. She's not indestructible and does get hurt (physically and mentally) but she doesn't let that hold her back. 
Della and Miranda (her roommates) are like a little comedy duo, constantly bickering with each other, but you know they care about each other deep down and would do anything for Kylie. 
The love triangle is getting more complicated. Lucas and Derek are showing different sides to them and Kylie is still torn, as soon as she thinks she has made a decision something happens that throws her back. I will say I am firmly on one side now, before I was on the fence but leaning towards one side and I should have just gone that way all along. I am definitely Team Derek, Lucas is such an a**. Yes he tries, but he doesn't listen to Kylie and hides so many secrets from her. I don't like him that much, whereas Derek is so sweet and supportive and really shows how much he cares for her.
I'll have to wait and see who she ends up with in the last book, but I'm hopeful!
Holiday is still one of my favourite characters and when paired with Burnett it makes for very good reading.

The plot in this one had me gripped to the pages, everytime Kylie gets closer to discovering who she is something tries to stop her and now she is seeing a ghost of one of her friends, a friend who is still very much alive. She has to work out what it means and what the ghost wants. It ends up with her searching for a Killer, but can she find him before it's too late. 
I love gentle murder mysteries (the ones that don't involve any blood and gore which these don't) as I like to see if I can solve the crime before the characters and I am proud to say that I did, quite soon actually, but I wasn't 100% sure, Hunter involved enough red herrings to keep you questioning.
I read this in one day and pretty much one sitting, I just can't seem to step away from these books. I just love them!!!

My Rating

Guest Post - Jane Smith



Giving The Member of the Wedding Another Chance

The first time I read The Member of the Wedding, I was a thirteen-year-old in Mrs. Sally Walker’s 8th-grade Language Arts class. I hated it. The protagonist was so stupid and annoying. She was unnecessarily negative all the time, sullen, immature. Contemptuous of childhood, and stuck in a sort of terrified awe of adulthood. She was constantly failing to understand things, but she also lashed out crudely at other people for the same fault.

She was just like me, of course. Or, not quite. She was a little younger and a lot more culturally sheltered than I was. But that just made it even worse. I could pretend to be so much beyond her kind of nonsense…just as she acts toward John Henry. Precisely to the degree that it resonated, I despised the book. I also had a younger sister, and especially during this phase of our lives, we were like a lot like Frankie and John Henry in reverse.

It seems unwise to make kids on the cusp of adolescence read this book. I think the inclusion of these kinds of characters in the school curriculum is supposed to be a gesture of, like, “hey kids, we know you’re seething with angst and rebellion...that’s totally groovy, and we understand.” But that’s the last thing you want to hear when you’re seething with angst and rebellion. Let alone, “Your homework is this book about sexual confusion. It’s pretty damn depressing and not at all salacious.” There’s something almost Orwellian about your adult oppressors wanting to prove that they really “get” you.

I had a similar problem with Catcher in the Rye a few years later. By the end of high school my angsty phase was truly over. My soul had been utterly rescued by the sex and drugs from which the grown world had been trying so hard to protect me. Holden Caulfield just seemed like a bummer to hang out with.

But if I had still been in the awkward years when I read Catcher, I might well have hated it more. (Or I would have loved it, in which case apparently I would have become a crazed assassin.) Rereading the Salinger book recently, my impression had not changed. I could appreciate the subtleties, craft aspects, etc., a lot more, but Catcher still did not move me.

But rereading Member of the Wedding was a completely different experience. The main reason was, it seemed a lot funnier. My youth had obscured the irony operating in these books, but obviously it’s one of the primary factors in the workings of each. I think the close 3rd –person perspective, compared to Holden’s overbearing 1st, makes Frankie less obnoxious and more pathetic (in the good sense). We get her thought patterns (which are dead-on, especially the quasi-mythic narratives she makes up for herself, or has learned by heart as in the case of Ludie), but we’re conscious that it doesn’t line up exactly with how a fully separate 3rd-person (whether some perfectly objective Voice of God, or McCullers herself as a grown person) would see the situation.

So now I’m older, wiser, and rereading the book has made a McCullers believer of me. I intend to watch the 1950s movie some time…though I’ve heard it’s mediocre. I’m in an open-minded mood now, though. Maybe I should go back and try some other book I hated as a kid. Now where did I put that copy of Ivanhoe?

Jane Smith, a freelance blogger and writer, specializes in various types of information screenings, often writing for backgroundcheck.org. Email her your questions and comments at janesmith161@gmail.com.


Monday, 27 August 2012

Book Review - Nevermore

Title: Nevermore
Author: James Patterson
Series: Maximum Ride (book 8)
Publisher: Century
Release Date: 2 Aug 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1846057779

Synopsis
One last chance...
For Max, Fang, Angel, Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy.
Before it all ends.

Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.



My Review
This review will contain a lot of spoilers!!! if you haven't read the book yet and you don't want to know what happens then don't read this review. If you've all ready read it or are not bothered about knowing then by all means read on:
 
So this is it, a whole weekend (well 3 days) of reading and I've got through the entire series. I was actually quite nervous reading this last one, I've been quite disappointed with the others and I really wanted this one to be good, to make it all worthwhile. And although I try to avoid books online if I know I am going to read them soon, I couldn't help but stumble over a couple for this book and I have to say they weren't that positive.
So the book starts off right in a 'woah' moment and I was like what??? It's sort fo a flash forward and then chapter one starts back to where the previous book ended. Well technically about 3 months later but it sort of works. 
The flock think Angel is dead and are trying to move on to a life without her, although no-one seems to be grieving or talking about her?!? Meanwhile Angel herself is back in a lab being subjected to horrific tests and experiments and for the first time since the first book I actually wanted to hug Angel and tell her she'd be OK.
Fang is still in his own but not quite happy with his lot, he still misses Max and his new 'flock' aren't what he'd hoped they be.
Max and Dylan are exploring their relationship more, but Max seems to be toughening up a bit again and it was good to see her kick-ass behaviour back. Although she wallows a bit and makes a boy pro/con list. I mean really?? eugh!
They also go to school to try to be 'normal', yes because that has worked in the past! Just because Dylan wanted to be there, luckily it's over quite quickly and gets back to the point.
Nudge was the one to annoy me more in parts of this book, whining that she wants to be 'normal', fed up of being the 'freak', hating who she is and wanting to change. But she is described as beautiful, intelligent, a good fighter and surrounded by people that love her. It just seemed to get a bit wallowing in self pity and I always admired her self confidence before. Luckily it doesn't last too long and doesn't slow the pace down too much.
Iggy and Gazzy are kind of more background players more of the time, still in the flock, still mentioned but not immediately noticeable, and really it's been like that for a couple of books.  What happened to them?
We also see the return of some un-expected characters such as Ari. He's back from the dead - AGAIN. What?? this is just getting silly. Leav him alone for goodness sake, let him die and be done with it. Jeb, Dr Martinez and Ella are also back. Jeb is still on the fence of good and evil, and I really wanted to push him one way or another and be done with it. He's not that great a bad guy and a rather irritating good guy, to be honest I was happy when he faded away for a while.
I must say there were some positives in this book, the action did pick back up there and the book almost seemed to go back to it's roots in places, the sort of quality we had in book 1 and I felt myself enjoying it more than the other recent ones. It felt good to be back into that world.  However brief that was. I was more interested and more into it, I finished it in about 2 hours straight.

However it was nowhere near perfect and not quite what I was hoping for. Ultimately I wanted the end to sum up everything that had happened, neatly tie the edges and reveal the big secrets but I was disappointed. 
Firstly, I was waiting for some characters to pop up and say 'look I am relevant, this is why I was included' but it never happened. For example in book 2 or 3 (when they rescue Total the dog) it says they also rescue some other kids, some with wings but they decide not to stay with Max, they would rather make their own way. I kept waiting for them to come back and join the fight or something. Why mention them if they have no other relevance. 
Also in book 6 (Fang) whilst they are in Africa they meet a little girl, I think she was "Jeanette' or something like that who makes friends with Angel, we then find out she has been receiving injections from teh evil scientists and is developing powers, it's all built up in a way that makes you think 'I'd better watch out for her'. But she NEVER COMES BACK! 
They all become totally irrelevant, and Jeanette seemed like a promising character, I wanted to see her come back and do something.

Then the one thing that REALLY bugged me. and from what I've seen online, bugged a lot of other people too. They mystery of Max's "voice". All through the series you try to work out who could be sending Max all these messages, who is in her mind, and what do they want. I expected to be some great big secret, a mammoth 'Woah!' moment, but NO. Who was it? Fricking Angel??????
Really a six year old has been doing that all along, and Angel? It's so silly and unbelievable. 
I actually had read this online before I re-read the series so it wasn't a surprise to me, but I wanted to see how he explained it, and the answer is, he doesn't really! We knew it had to be someone or something close to Max as the voice knew a lot of her secrets, but Angel is just ridiculous and it doesn't add up. As I knew, when I was re-reading the series I was sort of watching to see if it would fit and on a couple of occassions I thought 'mm, maybe' but 90% of the time I was like 'Heck no!"

For example in one of the earlier books the voice tells Max to stop playing and concentrate on the mission. Max ignores the voice and asks the Flock if they want to go to the beach. Angel the shouts 'Yes' excitedly. Now if she was the voice and wanted Max to focus and quit playing then surely Angel wouldn't be so excited, surely she would stay quietly at the back of the group and not say anything.

There is a similar occurrence in another book, I can't remember exactly which one but the Voice tells Max not to go somewhere, then Angel volunteers to go with Max to check it out. huh???

Also in book 4 when Angel falls down the snow hole and almost dies she says something like 'I tried to call for Max using our telepathic link but I'd never managed it this far away, there was no way of getting hold of her or the flock" (this isn't exactly what is written but you get the point)
Anyway all through the voice tells Max things like 'Leave here now', and 'Find the flock' etc that sort of thing, even when Max leaves the flock briefly in one of the earlier books the voice is still with her - across the world. If Angel can do that then surely she could have 'been the voice' and said something like 'Find Angel', or 'Search under the snow' or even 'Follow the Penguins'. Something that wouldn't have given her away as the voice but would have got help. It just doesn't make sense for her not to.

I wanted the Voice to be this earth shattering discovery and it wasn't! The rest of the flock also experience a voice themselves - is that Angel too? Also Angel says she has a voice - who is that? It's never explained.

Lastly the whole 'Save the World' thing, first it was some great mystery, then global warming, then a sort of terrorist group led my evil scientists. This does all come together at the end of this book, but then just before the Evil Scientists can truly engage in their end of the population plan a Natural Disaster/Meteor shower happens and wipes most of the population out anyway. Sort of made me think - well what was the point of all that then? Almost seemed like Patterson realised that if he followed the line of the Super Bug Science End of the world he would have to write another book with the survivors trying to stop the outbreak and save humanity whilst finding a cure, so it was easier to just wipe them out this way, that's it end of discussion. Just seemed quite final and abrupt.


Wow I've gone on a bit there, sorry but I had to get it out. If you've made it this far - Well Done!
Despite all those annoyances I actually did sort of enjoy the book. I'm glad I finished the series. I just wish the continuation and that sort of thing had followed. So overall disappointed but kind of happy - it's over at least.


  My Rating

 
  

Book Review - Angel

Title: Angel
Author: James Patterson
Series: Maximum Ride (book 7)
Publisher: Century
Release Date: 3 Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1846054662

Synopsis
Max Ride and her best friends have always had one another's backs. No. Matter. What. Living on the edge as fugitives, they never had a choice. But now they're up against a deadly force that's racing across the globe, and just when they need him the most--Fang is gone. He's creating his own gang that will replace everyone--including Max.
Max is heartbroken over losing Fang, her soul mate. Her closest friend. But with Dylan ready and willing to fight by her side, and she can no longer deny that his incredible intensity draws her in. Max, Dylan, and the rest of their friends must soon join forces with Fang and his new gang for an explosive showdown in Paris that's unlike anything you've ever imagined . . . or read.


My Review
This again is a re-read but the only one of the series I have reviewed on this blog before. I just looked back and it's amazing how different my reviews are. If you want to compare my old review is here.

This is the shortest one of the series so far at just 291 pages but Patterson does pack quite a lot into it.
The gang are now facing a worse threat, kids everywhere are rallying together all determined to 'kill the humans' but they also all seem to be brainwashed. Max and the Flock have to try and save the world once again and find out who is behind it all.
There is a bit more action in this one again but it also still features a lot of relationship stuff, especially towards the beginning when our kick ass heroin is sat in her room crying, i mean puh-lease! Sure she's a teen with a broken heart but she is by no mean 'normal' and I always thought her tougher than that. She has to decide what she wants from her life, but can we say 'indecisive!'
Considering the book is called 'Angel' it actually doesn't really feature her all that much. It's more focused on Fang, Dylan and Max. I actually wanted to see more of her, I still don't know if I like her or not and I wanted to see her develop more so i could cement my opinion.
Fang is off doing his own thing, setting up his own flock and doing what he thinks is best and keeping away from Max.
Maya (the new name for the Max clone) also makes a re-appearance and I actually started to like her more than the original in places. 
I didn't read this as quick as I thought I would but I did still read it in one morning. There is still the whole 'the world is ending and it's all our fault, we are hurting the planet etc' thing going on and it's getting quite old now. After book 4 I thought he would move on but apparently not, Patterson clearly has a strong opinion on the whole Global Warming thing, but for me it's just a little bit too much. It's not as prominent though so I could sort of glaze over it. 
The ending is quite explosive and one of the best cliffhangers he's given us. It was actually quite exciting and seemed to capture the spirit of the earlier books again. 
I'm hoping everything will come to an exciting conclusion in the last book.

My Rating
  





  

Book Promotion - Flight of the Griffin

The Flight of the Griffin -
Living in their old boat ‘The Griffin’ five young characters become the unlikely heroes at the end of time when a burglary sets them on the path to finish the ‘Last great Spell’ - a spell to stop the balance of the
World tipping into Chaos...

They become the Magician, Thief, Priest and Fighter when a magical book guides them upon a quest that pits them against magic, demons and ‘The Hawk,’ an evil hunter of men.

Join a race against time to find three crystal skulls that must be brought together, while all the forces of Chaos try everything to stop them!

Author Bio.
Born in Essex, England, I have been lucky enough to live and travel in many countries around the world. In fact I have lived more time outside of England than I have living there! Home for me now is just outside of Barcelona, Spain where I live in a house in the middle of the forest with my Dutch born wife and two children.
My writing is mostly fantasy and many of the experiences I have had in Asia, Africa and the middle east come to life in my writing. The Flight of the Griffin follows the adventures of a group of young orphans as they battle demons and bandits on a magical quest to stop the world tipping into Chaos. Shadowland blends fantasy with history as an old story teller takes his audience back to Britain's dark ages.

Book links.
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151395
Amazon .com - http://www.amazon.com/The-Flight-Griffin-ebook/dp/B007TKUD7Y
Amazon .co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Flight-Griffin-ebook/dp/B007TKUD7Y
Lulu (paperback) - http://www.lulu.com/shop/cm-gray/the-flight-of-the-griffin/paperback/product-20223161.html
blog - http://flightofthegriffin.blogspot.com

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Book Review - Fang

Title: Fang
Author: James Patterson
Series: Maximum Ride (book 6)
Publisher: Arrow (Young)
Release Date: 4 Feb 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0099543756

Synopsis
Being a kid with wings--constantly on the run--has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the Flock makes her fear the worst. Then, a cryptic message from a young girl arrives, warning them "The sky will fall." And as if an impending apocalypse weren't bad enough, canny birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max's soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max's desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?

My Review
So Max (book 5) lifted my spirits a little bit and I remembered that when I read Fang all those years ago that I loved it, I remember I cried and laughed and so actually felt quite hopeful going into this one.
For me these books feel like they've just gone off course a little bit, the first 2 or even 3 were all about this group flying kids constantly on the run, kicking butt and given the mission of saving the world from some great disaster/danger, bow they tend to focus more on who is in a bad mood, who will be the next to fly of, who wants to betray them or exploit them next. From TV shows to Government officials to Evil Geniuses.
It's more like a teen drama than a kick ass paranormal/fantasy/ thriller. There were of course moments of excitement as they all get attacked again and towards the end there is a real breath-taking moment, that made me stop a bit and be like 'oh no', but there is still a sort of underlying certainty that it will all work out. 
Max has become a lot more whiney and is doing the whole 'conflicted hormonal teen'. Angel is like a one track record 'I want to lead, I want to lead,' Get over yourself girl! for goodness sake you are 7 and you don't know everything.
Gazzy and Iggy seem to get more immature and dangerous as the books go on and I don't know if it's because I'm not a teenager anymore and I am obviously not a boy, but their behavior just seems immature to me. Grow up!
The only one I actually still like is Nudge and I kind of hope she steps up and becomes more prominant in the next couple of books.
Fang of course is one of the main focuses of this book and he has opened up through the last couple of books but I think I preferred him as the strong silent type.
The plot line does have a sense of order and sense to it but also seems quite slow and almost formulaic. Like 'it's been 3 chapters since someone attacked put in battle scene.' "It's been at least 10 pages since the last explosion have Iggy and Gazzy start to make somethin." "It's been 5 seconds since Angel fought for control, lets add that in next." and so on. I just feel like the books are being a bit overdone. 
But then for some reason I can't stop reading, they are actually quite addictive and seeing as they are only short (300 pages ish) I am reading 2 a day, so it's not too bad. 

My Rating
 

Book Review - Max

Title: Max
Author: James Patterson
Series: Maximum Ride (book 5)
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Release Date: 2 April 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0385614528

Synopsis
Max and the flock have traded in Antarctica's sub-zero temperatures for sunny Los Angeles, where they're taking over the skies with their hair-raising air show. But far below, a deadly assassin watches their every move, waiting for the perfect moment to send them plummeting to earth." "Suddenly, the flock learns that millions of fish are dying off Hawaii's coast and that someone - or something - is destroying hundreds of ships. When they are confronted with the most frightening ecological catastrophe yet, they have no choice but to go deep into the murky waters. Now, nowhere is safe." While Max and her team comb the depths of the ocean, a powerful enemy tracks them. He has his own plans for the flock and will stop at nothing until they're under his control. Can the flock protect themselves from the approaching army - and save the world from utter destruction?

My Review 
Book 5 here we go. After the disastrous results of book 4 I wasn't as excited to carry on, but as I have said before I do remember reading this series years ago and actually enjoying the rest of the series so I carried on. After all these are averaging about 300 pages now which is quite short, especially the way the chapters are spaced, so I know they won't take me long.
There are still the odd mention of Global Warming in these books, after all it doesn't go away over night, does it? But I am pleased to say that it's only miniscule mentions and the book actually gets back to the plot.  
The Flock are getting more publicly known and almost accepted but there are still evil geniuses and evil idiots for that matter after them, and when Dr Martinez is kidnapped, the flock have to rally round and try to save her. From the hieghts of soaring through the sky, the flock are now embarked on a Navy Submarine, deep under the ocean. But for claustrophobic bird kids this is a bad nightmare about to get a whole lot worse.
Max and Fang are still getting closer but Max isn't sure what she wants, especially with her mum in trouble. She is still feisty but some of her tough outer edges seem to be crumbling and it's kind of nice to see the weaker side of Max, it reminds us that she is human (well 98% anyway lol)
Angel just gets creepier by the book and I don't quite believe it. Yes she is devious and has powers but I just don't believe quite how far Patterson is pushing the psycho 6/7 year old.
Nudge finally speaks up and starts to come into her own. No longer the sweet docile little one, she is finally growing up a bit. 
Gasman and Iggy are still immature boys, but that's part of their charm.
This book is a bit more exciting again, the plot makes sense and flows quite well, there is more action again and I was hooked in again. It still wasn't amazing and I don't think I would read it again but I am glad I carried on.
Now on to the rest of the series!

My Rating
 




 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Book Review - The Final Warning

Title: The Final Warning
Author: James Patterson
Series: Maximum Ride (book 4)
Publisher: Century
Release Date: 10 April 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1846052736

Synopsis
Hunted all their lives, they've had to fight life-threatening and belief-defying battles piting their strength against the fearsome force of their shadowy enemies. But as their predators evolved, their unique ability to fly is no longer enough to save them. With their genes mutating to astonishing effect, the flock establishes a new set of skills to unleash as they strive for survival. But just as they struggle to get to grips with these physical changes, emotionally they face new challenges too: life on the fringe of society can be a lonely existence.
Driven to the wastelands of Antarctica, each day brings a new threat for the flock. Danger is never far away and while fighting to save their own skin, they have a new mission to undertake - one with devastating global consequences.


My Review
And so here comes book 4. What really can I say about book 4? well.....
So the Flock have been on the run for about 6 months, chased by evil scientists, Erasers, Flyboys, mutants. Been kidnapped, tied up, tested, shocked, tortured. Have flown miles a day, eaten out of rubbish cans, stolen cars to escape and basically had the worst time ever, so what new enemy/horror does Patterson give us in this book? Is it another sort of monster? No, It's Global Warming!!!!!!
That's it, no new hybrid or man with guns but Global fricking Warming.
This book is about 70% lecture on how we as humans are ruining the world. Too much waste, too many harmful substances and us big bad humans are only ever making it worse. The Flock are sent to Antarctica to do some research to help reverse or at least stop the effects.

I felt like I was back at school for most of this book. At least it was shorter than ther previous at only 300 pages I could just get through it.
There were bits that were good, basically anything that didn't lecture us about Global Warming, for example Angel going missing in a snowstorm, Max and Fangs growing 'feelings' if that's what they can be called. And the developing powers that the flock are developing are cool. There is a more real threat brought in towards the end, a big mutant Frankenstein like creature that tries to kidnap the flock again.
Yes I know that the world has problems, that there are real concerns with the environment, but I don't really want to be lectured for pages on end. It just wasn't that enjoyable and whilst I still love the characters, I think Patterson just went off on a great big tangent. 
I think I remember being disappointed with this the first time I read it, but I also remember that the next couple of books get better again so I will still carry on. 
But this book really disappointed me.

My Rating