Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Book Promo - A World of InTemperance


"A World of InTemperance"





It is New Year's Eve, 1875. In this humorously told Steampunk tale, adventure-prone Ichabod Temperance and his lovely sweetheart, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, once again find themselves swept up into a whirlwind of misadventure and international catastrophe. The entire world totters on the brink of war, as various nations develop arsenals of dreadful power. It seems as though every nation on Earth lusts for Empire. A sinister plot boils to change the course of human history. Along with a remarkable cast of characters, including sapient animals and clockwork men, our heroes find themselves plunged into unimaginable peril!











 Links:A World of Intemperance (Amazon)
Goodreads Author Page: Ichabod Temperance
A Matter of Temperance on Amazon
A Matter of Temperance on Goodreads




The author is a silly little fellow living in lovely Irondale, Alabama, with his furry pack family and beautiful, and gracious Muse, Miss Persephone Plumtartt.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Book Review - Subtle Knife

Title: The Subtle Knife
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials (book 2)
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 16th October 1998
ISBN-13: 978-1407130231

Synopsis
Will is twelve years old and he's just killed a man. Now he's on his own, on the run, determined to discover the truth about his father disappearance.

Then Will steps through a window in the air into another world, and finds himself with a companion - a strange, savage little girl called Lyra. Like Will, she has a mission which she intends to carry out at all costs.

But the world of Cittàgazze is a strange and unsettling place. Deadly, soul-eating Spectres stalk in its streets, while high above, the wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. And in the mysterious Torre degli Angeli lurks Cittàgazze's most important secret - an object which people from many worlds would kill to posses.
 


My Review
Again this is a re-read, but it's going on about 10 years since my last reading. I didn't remember much, although had a vague memory that I liked this one more than the first book. 
This book introduces Will, he meets up with Lyra in a new world. Since Lord Asriel's experiment, windows have opened all over, linking many different worlds together. Lyra is still trying fulfill her mission and track down Lord Asriel, whereas Will is trying to find his dad. He's never known his dad but knows his mother used to receive letters from him. Now some men are coming round trying to track him down too and Will knows he needs to run. 
Lyra and Will decide to work together, but things get more complicated. 
In some ways Will becomes the protagonist over Lyra, and I quite liked it. I quite like Lyra as a character but there is something about Will that is more relateable.
There is a lot of traveling between worlds in this book, both with Lyra & Will and with the witches, Lee Scoresby, Mrs Coulter etc, which slows the pace of the story down a little bit and it does drag a little bit in the middle, but so did the first book and overall I actually did find this one more exciting. 
There is once again some fabulous writing from Mr Pullman that carries you through the book, I loved Will and Lyra's relationship and the way Pan and Lyra are growing as characters. 
This did bring back memories of why I liked it and am glad to still have it on my shelf.

My Rating
    

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Book Promo & Giveaway - Karmack


Everyone knows Curtis "Sully" Sullenburg is the toughest kid at Higgins Elementary. For years, he and his gang have tormented students and teachers alike with their pranks. And for the most part, they’ve gotten away with it. But all that changes when a strange little creature appears on the scene. From that point on, pranks start coming back like boomerangs, smacking Sully's gang right in their fifth grade butts!

Sully is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. The little guy claims to be a nature spirit whose job is to balance all the bad karma the boys have amassed over the years. Because if Karmack fails, these boys will undoubtedly suffer "dreadful, awful doom". Just like that kid who shot at crows with his BB gun – one day he crashed his bike into a pigeon coop and emerged as the Abominable Snowman of bird poop! That kind of doom.

Sully soon realizes he must save not only himself but his gang from Karmack's doom, even though his friends have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged. Of course, calamity and hilarity follow. But in the end, Sully and the guys learn a valuable lesson about the consequences of being a bully, and what it takes to be a true leader.
The book is for children ages 8 to 12, but is also a perfect read-aloud for classrooms. It is available at all major online stores such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. For other purchase links, scroll down.


Author J.C. Whyte discovered a love for writing while in elementary school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Back then of course, she wrote only children’s stories. But as a grownup, she had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications, and turned to Public Relations, where for many years she focused her creative energies in feature writing.   

Then after marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school. While there, she became a columnist for the student newsletter and one of her humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.

After graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing for children. And with the publication of Karmack, J.C. has truly come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

______________________________________________________________________________


Excerpt:

Through front yards, backyards, and down the main road, the pursuers continued to chase the squealer into town. Sully, Breeze, and Gonzo (also known as Curtis Sullenburg, Matthew Brezinski, and Carlos Gonzalez) were the toughest dudes in fifth grade. Everyone knew these three were definitely trouble. And the worst was Sully, their leader.

The old Statewide Bank building lay just ahead, on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue. And that was where the squealer ran out of gas.

Sully immediately pinned him to the ground, right there at the corner. Lying in the snow, the squealer looked petrified. Sully laughed and let go of the boy—just knowing he scared the living daylights out of the kid was enough for Sully. But not Gonzo—he dropped his backpack on the left side of the squealer’s face. “That’s for making us chase you,” he said.

Sully let out a loud “Hah!”

Then the boys heard a rumble. It came from above them—from the pitched roof of the bank. Sully looked up in time to see a bundle of snow drop from the roof. It fell downward, toward Gonzo, who was still hovering over the squealer.

“Hey, look out,” Sully shouted, but not in time. Gonzo did look up, just as the pile of snow hit his face. The squealer managed to squirm out of the way and take off down the road. Breeze began to dig out his friend.

But Sully was frozen to his spot, still gazing at the roof of the bank. Because he saw something up there—a small figure no bigger than a two-year-old. And was it… laughing?

Sully knew it couldn’t be a child. Not with that long, fat nose. Definitely not a child.

Was it just his imagination? Or maybe…a reflection…from ice on the roof? After giving his eyes a good rub, Sully changed his view of the roof by walking around the corner. And there—there was that little guy, laughing again! The creature in the funny green outfit saw Sully too. Then came a flash of light as it darted to the other side of the roof, beyond Sully’s vision.

“Breeze…did you…see that?” Sully wanted to know.

“Yeah, Gonzo got dumped on. Lucky break for the squealer.”

“No, I mean…ah, forget it.” Sully knew he’d seen someone. Yet…

Never the shy one, Sully next ran into the bank to question the first teller he saw. “Is some guy up on the roof?”

“What?”

“You got some guy shoveling snow off the roof? My friend, he got dumped on.”

“Uh, not that I’m aware of.” The female teller turned around and asked the branch manager the same question. Then she returned to Sully. “No one’s on the roof. What’s the problem?”

“I saw…somebody…up there.”

The manager came to the counter. “There’s no one up there, son. Some snow must’ve fallen from the roof. Is your friend all right?”

“Yeah, I guess. But I coulda sworn I saw someone up there.”

The teller smiled. “Probably just glare from the sun. Nice to have some sun today, isn’t it?”

But Sully only shrugged and walked out of the bank.

The guys were waiting for him outside. Gonzo was dusty with snow. And he was cradling the left side of his face. It was red and starting to swell.

“What’s going on?” asked Breeze.

“That’s what I wanna know.” Sully frowned as he committed the creature’s face to his memory. Anyone crossing Sully usually lived to regret it.

That is…until now.

* * * *


To see a recent review of Karmack, go to its Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18080078-karmack


Karmack is for sale at:



Bookstrand – http://www.bookstrand.com/karmack



Giveaway
 The author has very kindly offered a free e-book version of this book to one lucky winner. You can pick which format suits you best (prc, epub, or even pdf).

If you would like to win just leave a comment below with a way of contacting you. If you don't want to leave your e-mail address etc in the comments below, you can send me an email with your entry. 

 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Book Review - Northern Lights

Title: Northern Lights
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials (book 1)
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 23rd October 1998
ISBN13: 9780590660549

Synopsis
When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.

The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies - and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.

Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her - something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights...
 


My Review
This is actually a re-read, but I first read this book when I was a teenager, about 10 years ago now (man that makes me feel old!). We run a Book Group every month at the library, the staff take it in turns to run it and I got July - which ended up being this book. I was quite pleased as I remembered that I absolutely loved this book. And was looking forward to re-reading it. I could remember the basic storyline but not much else. 
Lyra has grown up in Jordan College surrounded by scholars and theologians, but she's also quite wild, she often goes out in the streets to play with the kids of the 'gyptians' and other street kids. A bit of a tom boy Lyra prefers to live on the wild side. But when her best friend Roger and hundreds of other kids across the country disappear she is determined to find him. 
But things are bigger than just her and Roger and Lyra gets mixed up with some dangerous people. 
Set in another world everyone has a 'Daemon' - an animal form attached to them. These Daemon's can change shape/animal until a child hits adulthood where they then settle as one form, which is said to reflect your personality. The Daemon's are said to be the physical form of a person's soul. 
I did enjoy this book again, but I didn't fall in love with it. I found it quite slow with a lot of back story in it that makes it plod along a bit. It does pick up in the middle and I love the Armoured Bears, particularly Iorek Byrnison. He is the best hero in the whole book, fiercly loyal but also ruthless. He's willing to do anything to protect Lyra, she helps him earlier in the book and he wants to pay back that debt. He is so honest and heroic that you have to love him. 
At some points I wondered what it was about this book that made me love it all those years ago, but maybe back then I still had that child like innocence and freedom of imagination that lets you believe everything without question. I think I'm quite lucky in that I still have that to a certain extent but it takes more to make me accept a situation these days. I don't know, I still think it is a fabulous book and I'm glad I read it again and went back into that world, but it has lost some of it's spark which is quite sad. 
The main story though is good and carries you through, Pullman is a fabulous writer, he has a way of weaving the words, in that - even in the places that seemed a lot slower and even slightly boring, his writing pulls you back and makes you want to read nevertheless. 
I can see why this book won so many awards and it will always be special to me, and I will keep recommending it to people. 
People coming to it fresh, I think, will really love it. Just be prepared for a lot of backstory - absorb it and enjoy it, it is relevant.
My review sounds so mixed, but really I did enjoy it and I do still think it is a book everyone should read. 

My Rating
    

FF (132)


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

This week's question feature is
Paradays

What do you do with your books after you’re done reading them?

My Answer: Well if they are from the library I take them back - but if i really loved them I will then track down a copy and buy it. If it is a book I already own I either put it back on my shelves or book pile (as I've run out of space on my shelves) or if I didn't like it much I will either donate it to the library or give it away on here, or pass it to a charity shop. Depends on the book. 

Happy Hopping & Blogging. :D

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Book Review - The Iron Queen

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Series: Daughters of Zeus (book 3)
Publisher: Musa publishing
Release Date: 16 May 2013
ISBN13: 9781619376045 
ASIN: B00CUFSIIY

Synopsis
Life is hell for Persephone. Zeus will stop at nothing to gain access to the living realm and the Underworld, and as the only living god with a right to both, Persephone’s in trouble. Captured and tortured beyond the limits of her resolve, Persephone must find the power to stand against Zeus. But will she be strong enough?

Meanwhile, Hades contemplates desperate measures to rescue his queen. Persephone never thought of herself as dangerous, but there’s a reason gods never marry for love. A being with the power to destroy all of creation shouldn’t place more value in one individual than the rest of the planet. But Hades...Hades would break the world for her.

To save the world and stop both Hades and Zeus, Persephone must make a difficult choice. One that may cost her everything.
 


My Review
I fell in love with this series, last year when I read 'Persephone' and the 'Daughter of Earth & Sky' and desperately waited for more from the series. So naturally I was thrilled when I was asked if I wanted to read book 3. 
I worried I wouldn't remember much about the story as I finished book 2 back in December, but as soon as I started this one I was transported back into that world and everything came back to me. 
Basic summary of the world - Hades and Persephone are married, Hades is a good guy, Poseidon is a bit of a grumpy git and Zeus is the bad guy. He wants to take control but the other Gods and Demigods can't let this happen. 
I really enjoyed this book and read a lot of it when our internet flaked out a lot a couple of weeks ago, I actually got about two thirds of the way through it in one night, but then I got delayed with it as the Kindle app wouldn't let me transfer it from my laptop to my ipad. No matter what I try it won't let me, I've tried multiple times. Which meant I had to read it when i was able to sit down with my laptop and have time with everything else done, which is why it took a lot longer. I still loved the book and thoroughly enjoyed it, but think i would have Totally Loved it, if I'd have been able to read it more in one go (or not so spread. But that's a personal thing and by no way affects the quality of the story.
Bevis has a flair for writing exciting and heart-pounding scenes and characters that make you care about them.
Persephone is a truly amazing character, she puts up with so much, horrendous things but she stays strong, part of that is due to the support of Hades and her friends, but a lot of it is inner strength and I admire that so much. She knows she can't give up and risks everything to save the world.
Hades is awesome and powerful and charming, and a real softy when it comes to Persephone. They make a great couple. 
This is a series that I know I will keep coming back to, there's just something magical about it, and addictive. Bevis certainly has a winner here. 

 My Rating
 
  

Book Review - Slawter

Title: Slawter
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Demonata (Book 3)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 1st August 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0007231386

Synopsis
Lights. Camera. Slawter!
Grubbs Grady and his half-brother Bill-E are thrilled to join their uncle Dervish as onset consultants for the newest movie by cult horror producer David A Hayms. Shot in a deserted town renamed Slawter, the demon-themed movie is to be Hayms's masterpiece. But as strange incidents disrupt the set, Grubbs begins to wonder whether more than filming is afoot
.


My Review
We are back with Grubbs, a year has passed since his first encounter with Lord Loss, Dervish is having horrible nightmares and Grubbs is struggling to pull him back from that darkness. Until they are invited to be consultants on a new horror film. The Producer/Director has heard that Dervish is a master of information on demons and wants to use that knowledge to make a super realistic Demon film, the only problem it - things start to get a little bit too realistic when real Demons show up. But with actors and costumes everywhere, who will believe Grubbs when he tries to unearth them.
I liked Grubbs a lot more in this book, he's grown up a lot and is really coming into his own, he's stronger and plans ahead more.  
I read this one really quickly again, I just couldn't seem to stop reading. It's so gripping I had to know what would happen, there are a lot of surprise twists and turns and loads of excitement. Again there was some gore and quite bloody scenes, but I've come to expect that from this series and it didn't seem as bad as the first book, for me that one was the most shocking and therefore had the biggest effect. I'd still caution anyone easily scared, squeamish or younger readers. 
Very enjoyable and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Got to wait for the next book to arrive though...

My Rating
 
   

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Book Review - Demon Thief

Title: Demon Thief
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Demonata (Book 2)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 5th December 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0007193233

Synopsis
Kernel Fleck has always known he's weird. He sees lights. Strange, multi-colored patches of light, swirling through the air. But it's not until a window opens into a demon world, with horrific consequences, that Kernel discovers his powers. As a Disciple, his mission is to hunt vicious, powerful demons to the death... 



My Review
After racing through book 1 I leapt straight into this one, and was confused!!! It seems to have nothing to do with the first book, different character, different area, no apparent link. I was bewildered, and slightly annoyed - I wanted to get back to Grubbs and find out what came next. But I decided to hold on and give Kernel a chance, convinced there would be a link somewhere.
Soon I was absorbed into Kernel's world. He's different from others, he can see colours in the air but doesn't know what it means, until his little brother is stolen by Demons, and then he is thrown into another world and his powers come to light.
I really liked Kernel, he was a little shy at points but really pushy and fiery when he needed to be and he had a good sense of what was right. 
In some ways I think I enjoyed this book more than the first. It wasn't as fast paced but it had more substance to it and more world building, meaning I got into the story easier. And the characters were more interesting to me.
It turns out that this is a sort of prequel to the first book, it had me wondering for a while if I had read them in the wrong order. But it works to set up some information about the demons and Lord Loss that will be useful later and also tells you more about Dervish's past which I found interesting. 
There were still some gory scenes in this one, but it wasn't as bad as the first book, but still be cautioned. 

My Rating
    

Book Review - Lord Loss

Title: Lord Loss
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Demonata (Book 1)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 10th May 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0007193202

Synopsis
When Grubbs Grady first encounters Lord Loss and his evil minions, he learns three things:
• the world is vicious,
• magic is possible,
• demons are real.

He thinks that he will never again witness such a terrible night of death and darkness.
…He is wrong.
Hungry demons and howling werewolves haunt his waking nightmares... and threaten his life.

My Rating
As you will have noticed on my blog I have just read the Darren Shan Saga and loved it, I got obsessed with it and couldn't put it down. So naturally I requested this series to read when I had finished. 
I'd actually intended to take a break before starting this series, I have a book I have to read for a group at work for this Friday (2 days away) so I was going to read that today, but I was drawn to this instead. Let's just hope I can catch up tomorrow.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this series really, I'd heard it was a lot darker than the Shan series and I'm quite wimpy when it comes to horror so I really didn't know if I would like it.
This book is quite gory and is very dark, it isn't like anything I would normally pick up but I did find myself hooked and it flows well and is so easy to read that I had finished it within 2 hours. It passed in a blur, and left me wanting more.
For a 'seriously scary book' I didn't actually find the demons themselves that scary, description/appearance wise it didn't bother me that much, they just seemed to be a type of deformed monster, the bits I didn't like the most were the gory bits. That's what disturbed me the most, the death of Grubb's family was really disgusting and conjured some horrible images. That was what makes it 'horror', the demons themselves didn't seem that bad.
I didn't like Grubbs as a character at first, it took a lot of time for me to get to like him and feel really interested in him, but the plot was so well constructed I had to read on anyway.
A good start to a series, and one I will defintely keep reading, just be warned it's not for the squeamish!

My Rating
  

 

Book Review - Sons of Destiny

Title: Sons of Destiny
Author: Darren Shan
Series: THe Saga of Darren Shan (book 12)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 21 Mar 2011
ISBN13: 9780007159215

Synopsis
Time seemed to collapse.... There was a sharp stabbing sensation in my stomach.... Steve crowed, "Now I have you! Now you're gonna die!"

Dead if he loses -- damned if he wins. The time has finally come for Darren to face his archenemy, Steve Leopard. One of them will die. The other will become the Lord of the Shadows -- and destroy the world.


Is the future written, or can Darren trick destiny?


This is Darren's story.



 My Review
 So this is the 12th and final part in the Darren Shan Saga. In some ways it seems like it has passed in a blur in others it feels longer. 
I've loved this series so much and I was expecting a truly amazing ending to it and there certainly are some spectacular moments, but overall i have been left feeling quite conflicted. I enjoyed the overall story but some things just didn't work for me and left me frustrated.
I actually really liked this book up to about page 120 out of 195, so well over half. It's exciting, continues to follow the characters we know and love and really builds and builds towards the exciting conclusion.
And then things just get confusing and to me a bit silly. I tried to go with it, and I can see what the author was trying to do and why he did it, but I didn't like it. 
Without giving loads of spoilers I can't really discuss this as I would like, but I'll try to summarise some of my thoughts, but they might not make sense if you haven't read it yet.

This books dabbles in the ideas of time travel and paradox's and if you have followed my blog for a while you will know that I struggle with this sort of thing, it has to be done very sensibly and thoroughly for me to accept it, there can't be any 'how' or 'why' questions confusing things and I'm afraid that this one had me questioning. In just 60 pages I was questioning the whole series. If certain things didn't happen, then how could the rest of the story happen, and if he stopped that, how could everything play out, but if it didn't happen then that person wouldn't be there to do that so then it would happen, but if it then did happen, that person couldn't stop it in the first place. OH MY GOSH my head hurts!!! 

Maybe I'm just used to more fairytale style endings - where everything wraps up and makes sense, and I know life isn't like that and there will always be things we don't understand but this was just a bit too much for me. 
An awful lot of things weren't cleared up and I don't know what came of half the characters or if they were even relevant anymore.

I don't hate the book though, it really frustrated me and made me wonder what the point of it all was if certain things happened, but I did enjoy the series and as I said before, I can see why Shan ended it that way. 
I will always remember this as an awesome series, but I'm sort of re-writing the ending in my head to satisfy my curiosities and annoyances.

If you have come this far in the series then you have to finish it, it is worth reading and you'll be glad you did. And looking online, this ending seems to be like Marmite - you either love it or hate it.

My Rating

 
 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Book Review - Lord of the Shadows

Title: Lord of the Shadows
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan (book 11)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 21 Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0007159208

Synopsis
Darren Shan is going home--and his world is going to hell. Old enemies await. Scores must be settled. Destiny looks certain to destroy him, and the world is doomed to fall to the Ruler of the Night....





My Review
Things are coming together and getting very dramatic. This Penultimate book and it's all getting very exciting. 
Darren is back where it all started in his home town, crossing old faces and having to deal with old demons from his past. Family, friends, community, things have moved on without him but others have stayed the same.
And then everything around him turns to chaos as his fight against the Vampire Lord starts to get even more messy. 
The whole series has been building up to this finale and this book sets up the final points, ready for what I am sure will be a truly Epic ending. 
Lots more deaths, adventures and madness that will have you flicking through the pages as fast as possible. 
There were a couple of moments when I scoffed at the absurdity of the situation, but really you've just got to go with it in these books and most things make sense later.
There was a 'big revelation' with one of the new characters in this book - 'Darius' but I figured that out pretty much as soon as he was introduced. I won't give it away here, but I was surprised by how obvious it was, but maybe that's just me. 
I liked that Shan went back to his roots and this book felt like it was back on track, the last book had essential info but was a bit random, this one pulled it back.
Can't believe I'm this close to the end of the series!

My Rating
     

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Book Review - Lake of Souls

Title: Lake of Souls
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan (book 10) 
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 5 Feb 2009 
ISBN-13: 978-0007159192

Synopsis
Darren and Harkat face monstrous obstacles on their desperate quest to the Lake of Souls. Will they survive the savage journey? And what awaits them in the murky waters of the dead? Be careful what you fish for... 





My Review
After the devastating events at the end of book 9 I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I knew a huge gap would be left by the fallen and I wasn't sure how it would move forward without him. 
But Darren is our storyteller and he manages to spin his tale and make everything work. Although I still deeply missed our fallen comrade. 
This book mainly focuses on Darren and Harkat, it is time for Harkat to discover the truth about his past and journey through barren lands, dark tunnels, big lakes and dragon infested mountains. Possibly the hardest journey they have faced yet, they are on their own and there is no going back until their quest is fulfilled. 
I found parts of this a bit silly and wasn't sure all things were necessary - I really didn't like Spits Abrams, he creeped me out and just made me wonder what he was on!
It also takes you away from the Battle of Scars and the impending Vampire War. It seems a bit strange to move away from that when you are on the edge of a mass battle, but I suppose Shan is saving that for the last book or 2 in the series. And it was a nice change in some ways. I like Harkat as a character and was intrigued by the ending when we disover who he was. I won't give it away but I never expected it.
Looking forward to seeing how the series ends, but will be sad when I have to let it go.

My Rating
      

Book Review - Killers of the Dawn

Title: Killers of the Dawn
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan (book 9)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 5 Feb 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0007137817

Synopsis
Outnumbered, outsmarted and desperate, the hunters are on the run, pursued by the vampaneze, the police, and an angry mob. With their enemies clamoring for blood, the vampires prepare for a deadly battle. Is this the end for Darren and his allies?
 


My Review
I think this may be the book I love the most in the series so far, but also the one I hate the most. I won't say who but someone dies and I was devastated. Can't believe he did that! He certainly doesn't mind killing off his characters, but why is it always the ones I like the most?
Now I've dropped that bombshell, I will explain, the death doesn't happen until right near the end, but I knew it was coming for a couple of chapters. Up to that point this book was so exciting and well written, I was utterly absorbed, swept up and chucked around by it. I didn't want it to end. 
The big war is coming and Crepsley, Shan and March are back on the trail of the Vampaneze prince, accompanied of course by Harket. I haven't said it before, but I really like Harket and with every book he develops more and grows so much. He may be described as quite ugly, but you can't help but want to hug him. He's a bit like the 'Dobby' of this world!
There are more old faces turning up and some are not going to give up easily. Big battles, cunning plots and devious manoeuvres , this book will have you gripping the pages so hard and desperate for more. If only that ending hadn't have gone like that! 
I need to finish this series, I can't get enough. :D

My Rating
   

Book Review - Allies of the Night

Title: Allies of the Night
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan (book 8)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 5 Feb 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0007137800

Synopsis
Darren Shan, Vampire Prince and "vampaneze" killer, faces his worst nightmare yet--school. But homework is the least of Darren's problems. Bodies are piling up. Time is running out. And the past is catching up with the hunters fast.



 
My Review
When I read the synopsis of this book I groaned a little, in the middle of a vampire war, Shan is sent to school? Surely not, but I'm so far into this series I did not want to give up, so I put my hesitations to one side and dived in. And I'm glad I did because it actually works quite well, it opens the way for some old characters to make a re-appearance.
As dead bodies keep turning up in Crepsley's old home town, the group head back there to try and catch the Vampaneze responsible but they run into bigger trouble than they imagined.
Since the first book I have waited for Steve Leopard to turn up again, each time a 'familiar' face was spotted throughout the series I always wondered if it would be him, and finally this time it was. And it's good! Not what I expected but I liked the way he was re-introduced and the following events were awesome. 
We also see Debbie, Darren's first girlfriend re-appear, obviously older and hopefully wiser but she plays a big part which was fun and not what I expected.
This book had quite a lot of surprises in it and I read it so fast, I couldn't wait to know what happened. 
The series just keeps getting better and better. I <3 darren="" font="" shan="">

My Rating
 


Book Review - Hunters of the Dusk

Title: Hunters of the Dusk
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan (book 7)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 5 Feb 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0007137794

Synopsis
The hunt for the Vampaneze Lord is on as Darren and team set out to defeat the creature who threatens to destroy the vampires forever. When Mr. Tiny visits Vampire Mountain with surprising revelations about the Vampaneze Lord and some new, unexpected troops he's managed to create. Soon, Darren, Mr. Crepsley, and Harkat are on their way to finding the enemy, which leads to shocking truths that Darren learns about his own half-vampire condition, another official hunter to join in the quest, and the help of a powerful sorceress with poisonous frogs guarding her home.

My Review
Once again we have leapt forward 6 years in Shan's story, but once again I didn't feel like I had missed anything, I still knew all the basic and important details of what has happened since and it progresses the story well.
The Vampaneze Lord is coming - that's the message Mr Tiny delivers that sets off a chain of events and adventures. Darren, Mr Crepsley and Harket set off to try and track down and face the Vampire Lord, they are joined by Vampire Prince Vancha March, and on the way they meet Evanna, who doesn't like to be called a Witch, but that's basically what she is. :P
I still love Darren as a character, he really connects to the other characters and to me as a reader, I feel a part of his world. He is growing and learning new things about Vampires, Vampaneze and himself all the time. I wasn't sure about the whole 'Purge' scene, it seemed a bit out of nowhere and forced but I can see why it was put in so I can live with it.
I'm not sure if I like Vancha, he's quite punchy and has a dry sense of humour, he did make me smile with his cheekiness and I look forward to reading more about him. The one I'm really not sure about is Evanna, sure she's feisty and can hold her own, she strikes fear into even the strongest Vampires, but there is something about her I don't really like and I'm waiting for her to impress me. 
There is still a lot of mystery and suspense surrounding the Vampaneze Lord and I look forward to learning more.
Another great book. 

My Rating