Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Book Review - Fade Out

Title: Fade Out
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (book 7)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date:11 Jan 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0749007492

 Synopsis
Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again…

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve’s castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger—and way more dangerous—than anyone suspected.


My Review
Still powering through this series and loving every minute. In fact I think that number 7 may be the best one so far. Things have changed in Morganville, the threat of Bishop is gone and humans have been given more freedom and power and life seems to be getting more normal, or at least what you can class as normal in Morganville. So normal, in fact the Eve has a leading role in the towns play and is more excited about rehearsals than anything. Claire is still working for Myrnin but he's not quite as psycho, Shane's finally got a job and Michael is becoming a singing legend. So everything is cool, right?
Are you crazy, this is where it all hits the fan and you just know it's going ot be good. Enter Kim, slightly crazy goth girl with a love of video cameras and sticking her nose in where it's not wanted, but you can only guess at the trouble she causes, mix in Amelie going all miserable and withdrawn and Myrnin's computer Ada developing a killer personality and things start to happen. 
I read this pretty much this evening in a few hours and found myself laughing out loud and jumping in places, I was utterly absorbed. In fact I think this one does have a bit more humour than some of the others, and Myrnin has the best line ever in this book, I nearly spat my drink out from laughter.
Some series tend to start to get a bit tired by the sixth or seventh book but not Morganville, these books are still exciting and fresh and I can't wait to read more. 

  My Rating
 

Book Review - Carpe Corpus

Title: Carpe Corpus
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (book 6)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 12 Oct 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0749007775

Synopsis
In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace—until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths.

He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?


My Review
Bishop is still in control and Claire, Eve, Shane and Michael are still caught in the middle. Claire feels more alone than ever forced to work alongside Bishop and on top of that her parents have made her move back in with them. Worried for their safety and missing her friends she feels like her choices are limited. 
This book has a real feeling of tension throughout, you know something big is going to happen, something that the last few books have been leading up to and you can't help but read it rapidly to get through and find out just how they are going to get out of it all.
Myrnin is of course becoming more prominent in the series and I love the scenes with him in, they are just so random and crazy. 
I love how Caine develops not only the characters but the whole town of Morganville, you see the whole place adapt and change and it really comes to life. I still wouldn't want to live there but it feels like I've visited!
As with the previous books, I loved it, read it in mere hours and went straight onto the next book.

My Rating
    

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Book Review - Lord of Misrule

Title: Lord of Misrule
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (book 5)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 10 July 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0749007577

Synopsis 
In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn't the only threat.
Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.


My Review
And so onto book 5. Started and finished within 3 hours. All in one go. This starts exactly where book 4 finished, Mr Bishop is still causing trouble, Claire and her friends are stuck in the middle of it and things are getting messier by the second. There are some developments in the relationships of the characters too and I love how they have to work at it, nothing is instant. They argue, they storm out, they come back, it's more real.
I'm afraid this will actually be a short review, what I said in the other 4 reviews still stands here, this series is just addictive and awesome. And I want to get stuck straight into the next book. Especially with the ending from this book - can we say OMG!

My Rating
  

Book Review - Feast of Fools

Title: Feast of Fools
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (book 4)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 5 Oct 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0749079796

Synopsis
In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Student Claire Danvers has never been convinced, though, especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball, attended by vampires and their human dates, that Claire realizes the elaborately evil trap he's set for Morganville.

My Review
I friggin love this series!!! As I said in my earlier reviews - these are technically re-reads, but with a 4 year gap it's mostly fresh, but it's reminding me why I thought these books were so awesome. 
Things are definitely getting darker in Morganville, there is now danger from a whole new threat and this one doesn't seem like it's going to go away easily. It's got Amelie and Oliver on edge too, so you know it can't be good. Mr Bishop is in town and he's ready to turn everything upside down. Once again Claire is thrown in the middle of it with her housemates Eve, Shane and Michael. But this may be the most danger they have ever been in. Not to mention Eve's brother - psycho Jason is still around and causing just as much trouble. Myrnin is causing his own troubles too, he's getting crazier by the day, but you can't help but like him - he doesn't mean to be such a hassle but he does it so well. 
I started this in my lunch break today and managed to read 122 pages in just 60 minutes and when I got home from work I sat and finished it in one go. They are so easy to read because they capture your attention and keep you on edge and involved in the story. When I'm reading these books I feel like I am there beside Claire, standing in the Glass house, and it's awesome (but if course I know that I'm safe, even if i did jump a couple of times!)
Seriously this is a MUST READ series.

My Rating
    

Friday, 27 December 2013

Book Review - Midnight Alley

Title: Midnight Alley
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 5 Sept 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0749079222

Synopsis
Morganville is such a nice place to live...and die. If you don't mind that sort of thing. When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire's past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

My Review
This is it, the book where we finally meet Myrnin! He is by far the most awesome character in this series, he is completely crazy, deranged and to be honest dangerous, but you can't help but like him. I love how he is introduced and how you get to see all the different sides of his personality. 
This book has a lot more action in it, or at least it feels that way, everything seems to go wrong for our four protagonists, but they refuse to give up which is sort of what I love about them. Eve is more sarcastic and I love her witty replies, Michael has stepped up and after his big decision in the last book is more involved than ever and I can't help but admire the big brother vibe he has with Claire and his desperation to keep everyone safe. Shane, well Shane's still a bit of an ass at times but you see more of his heart in this one and he's really growing on me.
The politics of the town are getting darker and you can feel that the story is building up to something much bigger, if you can spot the clues you know where disaster is likely to hit next. But even so when it does happen, you still feel a little surprised.
I read this in about 3 hours and did not want to put it down. This series just keeps on getting better and I'm looking forward to journeying through the rest of the series with these characters. 

My Rating
    

Book Review - Dead Girls' Dance

Title: Dead Girls' Dance
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (book 2)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 7 April 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0749079864

Synopsis
Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.


My Review
Straight into book 2, The characters are all pretty much well established now and you are thrown straight into the next phase of their story. Claire is still the young innocent girl, but she is also growing a back bone, she is certainly more feisty in this book and I love this new side to her. Michael, Eve and Shane are also growing and the relationships between them all are evolving too, and I love the group dynamic.
This book invites a whole new threat though, Shane's Dad is in town and he means business, he wants to wipe out all the vampires, but there is much more at stake and he could cause Claire's entire world to come crashing down. 
Again this is a re-read but I didn't remember much, in fact I only had vague recollections of the party and I knew it was exciting. So really it was almost like coming to it fresh. 
These books really do suck you in and refuse to let you go. Highly addictive - ooh and Amelie - she features a lot more and my word does she have presence on the page. 
Actually one of the fun things about reading this series back is that you spot hints of things that are to come, like the dark alley leading to a crazy vamp - if you know the series you know who this is hinting at, and I can't wait for his appearance. 
Just as awesome as the first.

My Rating
   

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Book Review - Glass Houses

Title: Glass Houses
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (Book 1)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 26 May 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0749079512

Synopsis
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?

My Review
I first read this book a few years ago, I got totally obsessed with the series and even went to an author talk with Rachel Caine where she signed some of my books. I have followed the series since and I still love them. 
You can tell how long ago I read them because it was before I started this blog (Which I have been doing for at least 3 years). In fact the first one I reviewed on here was number 9. I then only ever read up to book 12. I found out that there would be 15 books in the series so I decided to wait until that one came out and then just read them all. So guess what I got for Christmas? - That's right 'Daylighters' (book 15) so I started to read the series from the beginning again.
Claire is at College, the youngest one there. She is super intelligent and been given early entry, but her parents didn't want her to go too far away to any main Universities so they settles on Morganville. But she instantly finds herself as an outcast and on the wrong side of the meanest girl in school, but this girl isn't just spiteful, she is violent and has no problem hurting Claire. Eager to escape Claire heads to the 'Glass House' and meets Michael, Shane and Eve, but they seem strange too, but it's better than going back to the dorm. Once there she starts to uncover all sorts of secrets about Morganville, some which are so unbelievable they might just be true.
Although this was technically a re-read for me, it really has been so long since I last read it that it almost felt fresh. Of course, I know how the characters develop in later books but it was fun going back to the start.
These books are highly addictive, I read this in about 3 hours, I think I was a bit unsocial this Christmas with my nose stuck in this book, but I enjoyed it!
Rachel Caine blends the world really well, and makes it feel really realistic, the imagery of her writing is fabulous, I can really picture the places and people, I can totally get lost in these books. 
I of course went straight onto book 2 and am already 100 pages in so expect a review soon. In fact I have challenged myself to read all 15 by New Years, so that's 15 books in 6 days. Not sure if it's possible but I'm going for it. So expect a lot of reviews over the next few days.

Morganville Vampires Rule!

My Rating
 
   

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Book Review - Rules of Attraction

Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry (book 2)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: 1 Oct 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0857070432

Synopsis
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

My Review
After being told a number of times by a friend that I would love Elkeles' books I finally gave in and read 'Perfect Chemistry', which I ended up really enjoying. So when I saw book 2 on the shelves at work I decided to pick it up and give it a go. It's been a couple of months since I read book 1 but as soon as I started to read this one everything started to come back to me. 
This book follows Carlos who is Alex's younger brother, and a girl named Kiara. This story takes place about 2 years after the events of book 1 which of course followed Alex and Brittany. I was pleased that Alex and Brittany feature quite a lot in this book and are involved, brought some of the familiarity of the first book back.
Carlos has been sent back to America after living with his mother and younger brother in Mexico for the past 2 years, he has to stay under Alex's watchful eye, but he doesn't want to follow Alex, Carlos wants to make his own choices, his own mistakes. I wasn't sure about Carlos at first, he is very cocky and self-assured and irritated me a bit with his bad attitude, but that is how he is supposed to come across, that is his character, and as the book progresses he really develops as a character and I found myself starting to like him.
Kiara is practically the opposite of Carlos, nervous, shy and rather unsure of herself, but when it comes to the rules of attraction there are no limits. 
I liked to see the relationship between the two of them develop, with it's ups and downs. Nothing was instant and they had their share of problems. I also liked how everything tied together, Kiara's background and family, Carlos' problems and background and the other characters that make an appearance.
I found myself addicted to this book, I started it at about 5 o'clock and I had finished it by 8:30. I just couldn't put it down. Something about Elkeles' writing just draws you in and won't let go, making the book really easy and enjoyable to read. 
I have now requested the next book and I can't wait to read it.

There are mentions of drugs, violence and sex in this book so maybe not suitable for younger readers.

My Rating
 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Book Review - Noble Conflict

Title: Noble Conflict
Author: Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Release Date: 6 Jun 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0385610421

Synopsis
Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians - an elite peacekeeping force - to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.

When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel - a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories - memories that could only belong to Rhea - he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for.


My Review
If you know me at all you will know that I love Malorie Blackman. Her Noughts and Crosses series is still in my top 5 series of all time and I can't see that ever changing. I met her in October too and she is an absolutely lovely person, really kind and funny and great to talk to. Based on that you can imagine my excitement when I heard another new book was coming out. They had copies of it for sale to be signed when I met her but I couldn't afford one, I got one of my older books signed instead. I requested this book at the library instead but it took a very long time to come in. 
One of my friends, a fellow Blackman fan said he had tried to read it and had struggled a bit, but all other reviews I saw were positive so I was looking forward to getting stuck in.
We meet Kaspar on the day of his graduation into the Guardians and are thrown straight into the action. I actually liked the opening of this book a lot, it's very punchy and gets straight into it. Made me want to know more about who and why these things were happening. I read the first 60 or so pages really quick and found myself being absorbed into the story. This isn't the usual sort of thing I would read but I was prepared to dive straight in. 
I found it quite hard to relate to Kaspar though, he jumps in first and asks questions later, meaning he makes a lot of mistakes but he never seems to learn from this or stop to think, causing even more mistakes and problems. I just didn't really like him. 
Rhea however, she was far more interesting, you actually don't know much about her but the mystery of her is part of the appeal. I wanted to know more and how she fit in with everything.
There was quite a lot of mystery in this book, it leaves you questioning why everything is happening and who is really behind it. But I have to be totally honest and say that I didn't really care too much. I was vaguely curious and invested enough to read the entire book but I wasn't really excited about it and by the end i have to admit I skim read a little bit.
After getting so involved in Malorie's other books and feeling like I was part of the story, I felt this one kept me on the edge a little bit.
It isn't a bad book and I found parts of it very exciting and I would be pulled in a bit more but I just didn't feel the usual magic. 

My Rating
   
   

Friday, 20 December 2013

FF (149)


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

Question of the Week: Pick a book in your favorite genre that you’d recommend to a reluctant reader.

 My Answer: I mostly read YA fiction and tend to focus on Fantasy/Paranormal. If I had to pick one for a reluctant reader I would go for 'Skulduggery Pleasant' by Derek Landy every time. They are quick witted, very funny, and easy to read. Perfect to encourage a reluctant reader.

Happy hopping and Blogging!

 

Promo Post - Awakening

Because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth . . . 


A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery's family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a clairvoyant for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn't think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has an amazing best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital, and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way. 


When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled, janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities. 


After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy. 


A thrilling first novel, Awakening is a gripping contemporary fantasy, based in Celtic mythology, that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery. 
 
 
Bio:

Christy Dorrity lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming and is the author of The Geis series for young adults and The Book Blogger's Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she's not reading or writing, she's probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen. 


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Christmas Poem from Me

HI all,

It's that time of year again, we're all rushing around trying to buy those last few presents, worried about what we're going to eat and who we're going to see and writing a thousand Christmas cards but still managing to forget someone.

As I can't send every single one of my friends a Christmas card, just posting them worldwide would cost a fortune, I decided to write a poem for you all.

I hope you like it and I wish you all a Merry Christmas.



It’s very nearly Christmas
The time is almost here
Which is why I send this greeting
Of special holiday cheer

I may not always see you
Or even talk that often
But during this festive season
Know that you’re not forgotten

I wish you Christmas magic
And a festive holiday spirit
A day that’s truly special
And a Year that knows no limit

Once the presents have all been opened
And the Turkey’s nicely cooked
Take a minute to think of all the friends
That might get overlooked

Say a special thank you
And send a little wish
For the friend that’s thinking of you
As they tuck into their dish!

Merry Christmas to all who know me
And a Happy New Year too
I love you all so dearly
This message is for you!

Have a fabulous Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
xxx

Book Review - Crash Into You

Title: Crash Into You
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits (book 3)
Publisher: MIRA Ink / Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 26 Nov 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1848452541

Synopsis
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.


My Review
I received an advanced proof copy of this from Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.
Firstly - Thank you Harlequin and thank you Katie McGarry for such an awesome book!!!
I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, I haven't been picking up a book as regularly and not really enjoying it when I have, I have been busy and a bit pre-occupied but nothing was particularly grabbing me anyway. I had this on my pile and knew I had to get round to it, I wanted to read it, I really did, but I wanted to enjoy it and so I was hoping to pass out of my slump first, but then the release date passed and I decided it was better to read it so I didn't see any spoilers online. And it turns out this is just the book I needed. I picked it up resigned to being disappointed because of my mood, but within the first paragraph I felt myself becoming absorbed and like a weight had been lifted. I found myself tearing through the pages, unable to stop and totally addicted. My passion and enthusiasm to read was back and it only took 1 page from McGarry. 
If you have read 'Pushing the Limits' or 'Dare You To' (books 1 & 2) you will know what I mean when I say that Katie McGarry has a wonderful way with words, captivating, haunting, honest and full of emotion, her writing lifts off the page and fills you up, pulling your head and heart into the story and creating such amazing characters. 
This book follows Isaiah and Rachel, alternating chapters narrated by each of them. Right from the first book when Isaiah was just a background/side character I really liked him and wanted to know more, then he featured a bit more in book 2 so when I found out this book was based on him I was so excited and happy. I wanted more and I got it. Rachel - she's new to the 'world' but fits in well. She is exactly the opposite of everything Isaiah has ever known but they connect and create something awesome together.
I wasn't sure what to make of Rachel or her family at first, and to be honest she mildly irritated me in places, she hated to be seen as weak but she never stood up for herself but as the book progressed and you found out more about her and her family, everything she has grown up with and you start to see the person she is growing and developing to be, I couldn't help but really like her.
I still love how all these books connect together but follow different characters. Noah and Echo of course feature, as does Beth. It brings everyone back but lets you see them from other people's point of view. I find this really cool and loved how they all still maintain their character 100%.
I raced through this book, not wanting to put it down and when I had to leave it for work I would think about what would happen next. In ways I wanted to read slower to make it last even longer, but then again I had to know more.
McGarry makes you feel, she makes you care for her characters and she certainly controls your heart-strings. I was practically hyperventilating near the end of this book, I was seriously worried (won't give any more away though!)
She's also good at writing the bad guys, Eric is a seriously creepy, makes your skin crawl, wouldn't like to meet him kind of guy and he slinks in and out of the story with a dastardly air. 
I literally cannot find fault with these books and Katie McGarry is right up on my list of favourite authors. 
I'm even more psyched to find out that there is a fourth book coming out next year (June I think) and will follow West. I cannot wait!!!
I seriously recommend you check out these books.
Only warning I can give is that they do mention drugs in the book, but nothing serious.

My Rating