Sunday, 31 August 2014

TBR Orphans Challenge - August Update

Another month is almost over, so it's time to see how Voodoo Bride and I did on our self-imposed challenge.

We read three books that had been on our shelves for more than three months!

I read:
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep, which has been on our shelves since January this year.
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris, which became orphaned at the start of August.

Voodoo Bride read:
Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy, which also turned into an orphan early August.

So that's a total of fourteen orphans read this year, which means we made our target of reading twelve orphaned books this year. We'll still be trying to read at least one TBR Orphan each month for the rest of this year though.

How about you?
Did you make your reading targets for August?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Dreaming Anastasia - Book Review

Dreaming Anastasia (Dreaming Anastasia #1)
by Joy Preble

What is it about:
What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college - until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

What did I think of it:
I will confess having a weakness for stories that use Tsar Nicholas II and his family, especially Anastasia. I think that started when I saw the 1956 movie Anastasia with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner.

Now I know that in the years since I saw that movie new evidence has been found, DNA has been identified, and in no way could Anastasia have survived.


The myth of Anastasia surviving and escaping, does have all the elements of a suspenseful and intriguing story.

So when I came across this series I had to give it a try.

And it turned out this is a really cool read.

I was hooked from the start and was more than eager to find out what was going on. Why is Anastasia trapped in Baba Yaga's cottage? Why does Anne seem to be the key to rescuing Anastasia? Is this Ethan who keeps appearing to be trusted?

I very much enjoyed discovering what was going on, and to see how everything slowly fitted together. I loved the use of Baba Yaga as well.

I did have trouble with the letters that Anastasia wrote: instead of using a normal font, they decided to use a font that made the letters look handwritten. It was difficult to read, and dragged me out of the story.

This book also did make me wonder why so often in YA the best friend of the heroine is some kind of manic weirdo. I've encountered several books now where this is the case. Is this some kind of archetype I'm not familiar with? I find these manic weirdo characters unbelievable, tiring, and annoying to be honest.

But those grumblings aside: I really enjoyed this book. The ending surprised me, but was perfect in my opinion. This book could easily be read as a standalone, but you can bet I'll be reading the next book. In fact, it's already in my tbr-pile.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 28 August 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Crustaceans

This book is a little bit over the 10 Euro limit I set myself for print books, but it is so tempting!

A horror with evil crustaceans!! What's not to love about that?!

by William Meikle

It begins slowly, with a dead whale on a Boston shoreline--no tin itself an unusual occurrence. But the things that claw their way out of the blubber are very unusual indeed.
The Crabs are back, bigger and meaner than ever.

Soon they are swarming around Manhattan, hunted and harried by a SWAT team tasked with ridding the city of the menace...before the menace gets big enough to rid itself of the city.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Spider's Bite - Book Review

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)
by Jennifer Estep

What is it about:
My name is Gin, and I kill people.
They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

What did I think of it:
This book left me feeling a bit disappointed.

I guess it's because most reviews I've read about this series were raving. I had expected to fall in love with this book.

Instead it left me feeling lukewarm.

I'm not sure what was missing. Is Gin too much of a hard-ass for me? Too jaded? I'm not sure. I've read books with hard-boiled heroines before where i loved the heroine. Is it because she's an assassin? Now that's more likely. I even suspect that my dislike of another assassin character colored my opinion of Gin.

Anyway: I never warmed up to Gin, which made me not that interested in reading how she gets herself out of trouble. I also didn't much care for the 'ít's lust, not love' relationship between Gin and her Caine. That I did finish reading the book had more to do with the fact I didn't have another book with me, than that I was in any way invested in the story.

I will confess that I liked the writing and the world building though, so it wasn't all meh.

So as you might guess I won't be continuing this series, although I think I might give Estep's Mythos Academy series a try, to see if another lead character might make me fall in love with Estep's writing.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice UF read with cool world building.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Enchanting the Lady

Today a teaser from Voodoo Bride's current read.

When Katie gasped with fear, followed by the sound of dishes crashing to the floor, Felicity felt tempted to open her eyes.
But then she heard that voice, the husky tone of it making her shiver, and she didn't want this dream to end.

(page 172, Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 25 August 2014

My Soul to Take - Book Review

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)
by Rachel Vincent

What is it about:
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

What did I think of it:
I've been eyeing this series for a while now, and what kept me from picking it up, is my previous experience with Vincent's books. I read Stray, and that was a nice read, but it didn't convince me to continue that series. I read Blood Bound, and loathed the characters. So even though this series sounded intriguing, I kept putting off buying the first book.

Then I had the opportunity to get my trotters on the first two book in this series in a book trade, and I took the plunge.

And I must say: My Soul to Take is the first book by Vincent that makes me eager to pick up the next book in the series.

I will confess I did think Kaylee was much too trusting, and ready to believe impossible things from people she barely knows, but that's not anything new in YA. :-p I really feel like I must have been one of the most cynical and distrusting teens ever.

That aside this is a really fun and original story. I really liked the use of mythology in this book. I also actually liked most of the lead characters for once. I did grumble a bit over the peppy cheerleaders are evil message, but overall I enjoyed this story.

Some things were a bit predictable, but as I mentioned in reviews about other predictable books, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

All in all this book was a pleasant surprise after the trouble I had with Vincent's other books, and I'm happy I already have book two waiting in my tbr-pile, because I'm curious where Vincent will take this series next.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 22 August 2014

Zombies vs. Unicorns - Book Review

Zombies vs. Unicorns
Anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

What is it about:
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

What did I think of it:
Because this is an anthology I will tell you a little bit about each story, but first I will tell you about my overall reading experience.

This is a very cool anthology. It is meant to settle once and for all which creature is cooler: the zombie or the unicorn.

I myself don’t need to read a book full of zombie and unicorn stories to know the answer to that question (team zombie all the way), but this anthology sounded cool enough that it had been on my wish list since it was published in 2010. You can imagine how happy I was when Aurian gave it to me.

Overall I loved this anthology. Out of all twelve stories I enjoyed (if not loved) nine of them. There were just three stories that I didn’t much care for (all three were unicorn stories coincidentally enough).

There was one thing that was off for me though. Before each story Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier are discussing the stories with each other. Justine Larbalestier is a lot snarkier than Holy Black, which made her seem a lot less likable than Holly Black. I think they should have tried to keep their banter at the same levels of snark, now it felt uneven.

But in the end this book is about the stories and not about two editors snarking at each other, so I didn’t mind that too much.

On to telling you a little bit about what I thought of the stories:

The Highest Justice
By Garth Nix

A young girl and a unicorn are on a journey to fulfill the dying wish of the girl’s mother.

I wasn’t too impressed with this story, even though it had a kind of zombie next to the unicorn. It didn’t feel like a complete story, more like it should be part of a larger story.

Love Will Tear Us Apart
By Alaya Dawn Johnson

A zombie discovers he might still have feelings after all.

I really liked this story. It was moody and atmospheric. And it was named after one of my favourite songs, so how could I not like it? ;-)
Seriously: this is a beautiful zombie love story. The one thing I can say against it, is that some things were kept too vague in my opinion.

Purity Test
By Naomi Novik

A unicorn asks a ‘virgin’ to help him rescue baby unicorns from an evil wizard.

This was a really funny story. The heroine is a modern day woman who doesn’t believe in fairytales, so she is reluctant to help out the unicorn who asks her for help. There’s more banter than action in this story, but I enjoyed it none the less.

By Carrie Ryan

This post apocalyptic story is set on an island that is supposed to be a safe haven for the relentless zombies.

This story is beautifully written and has a heroine who starts out unlikable, but I ended up rooting for her. The story switches from Before to Now to show you how Iza used to be and how she changed over time. I really liked the ending: it really showed how much Iza has grown. There’s also some really cool zombie mayhem in this story.

A Thousand Flowers
By Margo Lanagan

A story about people witnessing the relationship between a young girl and a unicorn.

I didn’t much care for this story. There were several view point changes that were unclear, so I was confused who was telling the story at times. The first view point character was also very coarse and that didn’t help getting into the story.

The Children of the Revolution
By Maureen Johnson

A young woman has to baby-sit some unusual children.

A really cool zombie story. The lead character has to take care of some creepy children, and you just know what’s going on. Still I was grabbed by the story and was creeped out it.

The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn
By Diana Peterfreund

A girl rescues a baby killer unicorn and tries to raise it.

This was a really cool story. The unicorns are the proper kind of goaty unicorn, and they’re lethal killers! The world that’s set up in this story was intriguing and cool. I understand that Peterfreund has a series that is set in this world, and I’ll definitely am going to get my hands on the first book in that series to give it a try.

By Scott Westerfeld

In a post apocalyptic world it might be the children and teens who will adapt the quickest and find new ways to survive.

This story was both beautiful and strange. The adults in this world are trying to hold on to what was, while the younger generation is longing for change. The way they set this change in motion was original and a bit creepy.

Princess Prettypants
By Meg Cabot

A teenage girl gets a unicorn as a present for her sixteenth birthday.

Another really funny unicorn story. Cabot manages to take all the unicorn clichés and puts them in this story in a way that had me snickering. The story was fun, sweet, and very entertaining.

Cold Hands
By Cassandra Clare

Adele’s fiance gets killed, but in Lychgate that doesn’t have to mean the end, because the dead don’t stay dead.

I loved this story. It’s a beautiful and touching story about love that reaches beyond the grave. The setting was really intriguing, and I’m a bit sad this is a standalone story, because I’d love to read more about Lychgate and its inhabitants.

The Third Virgin
By Kathleen Duey

A unicorn is trying to find a special kind of virgin.

This wasn’t a bad story, but it was very depressing. The lead character in this story is a unicorn, and I didn’t much like him. He’s both moody and unlikable.

Prom Night
By Libba Bray

In a post apocalyptic world only teens survived and they try to keep their town running.

A very disturbing story. It was well written and I was totally engrossed in this depressing view on the zombie apocalypse. Not much happens, but the mood and the world building were so well done, I didn’t miss the action.


All in all this a very cool and entertaining anthology, that I can recommend to everyone who loves unicorns and/or zombies. I will check out the bibliography of several of these authors.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool anthology full of zombies and unicorns

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 21 August 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Bound by Ink

I loved the first book in this series, so I can't wait to get my trotters on this book. And I think that cover is gorgeous!

Bound by Ink (Living Ink #2)
by Marcella Burnard

After being kidnapped and forcibly Inked with a Living Tattoo named Murmur, Isa thought she’d survived the worst her enemies could throw at her. She was wrong. Murmur is walking around her world in someone else’s body, and without him, Isa is losing control of her magic.

Then, in the middle of rush hour, a Live Tattoo comes off its host, killing over a hundred people. Isa discovers that Murmur’s nemesis, Uriel—a demon she believed defeated—is responsible. He’s seeking the power to force his way back into Isa’s world. If he succeeds, everyone Isa loves will be destroyed. There may be a way to stop him, but it will mean sacrificing Murmur—or herself…

Expected publication: November 18th 2014 by InterMix

Pre-order here

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Black Heart - Spoilery Book Review

Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)
by Holly Black

What is it about:
In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

What did I think of it:
Warning: I'm going to get a bit spoilery about the end.

I very much enjoyed the other two books in this trilogy, and overall I also really enjoyed this book.

It's well written, original, and with characters I really could root for. Cassel is getting himself in a difficult position, working for the law, while also getting involved with Lila and her criminal family.

I was drawn into the story from the start and was eager to find out how Cassel would get out of everything intact, and if he and Lila would reconcile. Overall I was loving the book, even though there were some unnecessary side quests, that took attention away from the main story.

And then I came to the end...

Now, I don't need a tidy ending. Often when people complain about an open ending, I love that ending, because it gives me the opportunity to fantasize about what happens next. So it wasn't so much the fairly open ending that bothered me.

What bothered me was that basically Cassel was back where he started from in the first book. So he got the girl, rides off into the sunset, blah, blah... But apart from that: nothing. He's been running for three books to escape the life he's living, only to end back at square one.

Maybe this is what Black wants to show the reader. Maybe this is about the inevitability of your fate. Still... I thought it sucked. So after really loving these books and rooting for Cassel, I was left feeling bummed.

I love Black's writing enough to continue reading books by her, and I will most probably also reread this trilogy, because apart from the ending it is a great read, but I will secretly imagine a different ending.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Time of Ruin

I already finished this book, but it's so cool I used it for Teaser Tuesdays anyway.

Bodies collide with the car, and when we hit the bottom of the driveway, one of the rear tires rolls over something, lifting us at an awkward angle. I press the gas pedal harder. We roll over the obstruction like a speed bump, and I point us at the exit of the cul-de-sac.

(page 160/161, Time of Ruin by Shauna Granger)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ink Exchange - Book Review

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely #2)
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils...

What did I think of it:
This is the second book in a series, but I think this book can perfectly be read as a standalone as well.

I really liked the world building and the mood of this story. It's dark and mysterious, and hints at the magic that's hidden from mundane people.

I really liked Leslie. She's been broken, but managed to put herself together again, although the cracks are still showing. It made her both vulnerable and strong. I rooted for her to find the freedom, the change, she is longing for.

There are two men who are interested in Leslie, although I wouldn't call it a love triangle. Both Niall and Irial are complex and intriguing characters, and I had a hard time to decide which of them I was rooting for to succeed in his plans. (To be honest, the only characters I didn't care for turned out to be the lead characters of the first book in this series.)

The story is compelling and I had to keep reading to see where things would lead to. I love how this story makes you think. It's not black and white, but made up out of many shades of grey.

The ending was satisfying, although not what I expected.

I'm not sure if I will read other books in this series, because I didn't like the characters who will have the lead roles in the other books in this series. I will investigate what other books Marr has written though.

Why should you read it:
It's a compelling YA Faery read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Shadows Cast By Stars - Book Review

Shadows Cast By Stars
by Catherine Knutsson

What is it about:
Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet— especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn't mean she's safe— government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerrilla warriors— and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader's son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument...

What did I think of it:
I totally fell for the cover of this book. And when I read it was a Dystopian story, I had to have it.


Apart from a few minor things, this book could just as easily have been set in the past or in the now. So there was disappointment number one.

And there was the story it self...

Not that it's bad. It's just... Stagnant.

There are things happening of course, but those things don't lead to change. Cassandra doesn't change, her brother doesn't really change, everything stays the same no matter what happens.

Even the character that I found the most interesting, because he did seem to develop, finally ends up back where he started...

So when I finished this book I was left feeling underwhelmed. I wanted to like this story. It's well written, and the setting is interesting, even though it's not really Dystopian, but the stagnancy of it all made this a disappointing read. A shame, because the set up certainly had potential.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written (Dystopian) YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Saturday, 16 August 2014

City of Glass - Book Review

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)
by Cassandra Clare

What is it about:
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

What did I think of it:
This series continues to entertain me.

Even though the story keeps being predictable I'm really enjoying these books. I love the setting, the characters and the action.

There are times I want to kick some sense into Clary, but that is nothing new. I feel that urge with lots of YA heroines and heroes. There also was the usual teen romance misunderstanding, angsting, and stuff like that, but not too much to get annoying.

There's lots of action, a decent amount of Magnus, my favorite character, and the introduction of some interesting new characters. I will confess there was even one event that did surprise me, and that I was a little sad about.

Lots of things I already saw coming in earlier books, happened in this book though, and although there's still a lot left to resolve, this book does tie up a lot of lose ends. There's still three books to go in this series, but for those wanting to take a break, this book is a good stopping point.

I however already have book 4 in my tbr-pile and might even give the prequel series a try as well, because predictable as this series is, it's also very entertaining and nicely written.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining and enjoyable Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 15 August 2014

Panic - Book Review

by Lauren Oliver

What is it about:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

What did I think of it:
I really liked all other books I've read by Oliver, so when I ran into Panic, I couldn't resist picking it up.

And this is a very enjoyable read.

It isn't as deep as the Delirium trilogy. It was predictable, but fun, and reminded me more of Oliver's Before I fall. I did wonder about the game the students are playing. Seeing how dangerous it is, I couldn't help thinking people would have put a stop to the game long before now. I also had my doubts about the message this books gives with its ending. I can't tell too much, because it would be spoiling things, but I wasn't really satisfied with how things got wrapped up.

Those things aside I had a great time reading Panic. It's entertaining, has reasonably likable characters and it's a fast read. I finished it in an afternoon.

I will most certainly reread this book when I'm in the mood for something uncomplicated, and I will keep an eye out for more books by Oliver.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and entertaining YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Servants of the Storm - Book Review

Servants of the Storm
by Delilah S. Dawson

What is it about:
A year ago Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction — and taking the life of Dovey's best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she's started to believe she's seeing things that can't be real ... including Carly at their favorite cafe. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah — where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk — she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

Dovey's running out of time and torn between two paths. Will she trust her childhood friend Baker, who can't see the threatening darkness but promises to never give up on Dovey and Carly? Or will she plot with the sexy stranger, Isaac, who offers all the answers — for a price? Soon Dovey realizes that the danger closing in has little to do with Carly ... and everything to do with Dovey herself.

What did I think of it:
I'm always on the look out for creepy reads, so when I heard about Servants of the Storm I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. Having read Dawson's Wicked As They Come, I thought I knew what to expect, and I was sure it would be good.

I was wrong...

It was more than good: It was amazing!

This book grabbed me by the throat and dragged me in. I was totally engrossed and couldn't stop reading until I finished it.

It's creepy, disturbing, and so freaking awesome!

Dawson creates a world that is filled with danger, hiding in the shadows, waiting to strike when you are least ready for it. Her imagery is vivid and sinister, with small details that at times really squicked me out.

I really liked Dovey and her friend Baker. Isaac was intriguing, but totally untrustworthy in my opinion. I kept expecting the worst kind of betrayal from him.

All in all I fell in love with this book. It's a perfectly creepy and awesome read. I hope Dawson will write many more books, and I will most certainly get my trotters on them if she does.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool and creepy Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Zenn Scarlett - Book Review

Zenn Scarlett (Zenn Scarlett #1)
by Christian Schoon

What is it about:
When you're studying to be exoveterinarian specializing in exotic, alien life forms, school... is a different kind of animal.

Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she's learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn’s all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she's feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn't enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she's started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can't deny what she's feeling.

Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what's happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she's actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients... or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year...

What did I think of it:
I'm always on the lookout for Science Fiction with actual aliens in it, and this sounded like it might just be what I was looking for.

It turned out to be a really nice read.

The animals at the clinic were indeed cool alien creatures. I liked reading about them. I also loved Hamish, the insectoid. He was by far the most interesting character in the book. I loved his story arc and the change he goes through.

Zenn was a fun heroine as well. She's a bit too trusting and slow to draw conclusions at times, but overall she's a likable person and I rooted for her to find out what was going on.

As with many SF stories, this story deals with prejudice and fear for the unknown. Although the message was clear, it didn't diminish my enjoyment in the story though. The use of these themes even made for some interesting developments and hinted at more to come.

The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I'm glad I already have the next book in my tbr-pile, because I'm very curious to see what's next for Zenn.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable YA SciFi read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tempted by a Rogue Prince - Blog Barrage

Tempted by a Rogue Prince, the third book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website.

Find out how to enter the Tempted by a Rogue Prince international giveaway (ends August 24th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 6 chapter sample of the novel:

Felicity is hosting a Facebook release party for Tempted by a Rogue Prince on August 17th, so join her then for amazing giveaways, Q&A, teasers and more. All the details at:

Tempted by a Rogue Prince and the Eternal Mates series is set in the same world as the Vampire Erotic Theatre series, so if you’re a fan of that series, you will love Eternal Mates. Throughout this series, you’ll have a chance to catch up with the cast of the Vampire Erotic Theatre series and learn more about their world. In Claimed by a Demon King, you’ll get to visit the theatre, and some of the favourite characters in the Vampire Erotic Theatre series.

Here’s more about Tempted by a Rogue Prince, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.

Tempted by a Rogue Prince (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 3)
Felicity Heaton

An elf prince on the verge of losing himself to the darkness, Vail is maddened by the forty-two centuries he was under the control of a witch and forced to war with his brother. Now, he roams Hell seeking an escape from his terrible past and the heads of all who bear magic. When demons of the Fifth Realm capture him, he sees a chance to end his existence, but when he wakes in a cell to a beautiful female, he finds not death but his only shot at salvation—his true fated mate.

Captured by the enemy of the Third Realm when the war ended, Rosalind has spent months in the cells of the Fifth Realm with her magic bound, forced to heal the new king’s demon warriors, and haunted by the lives she has taken. When she’s brought to heal an unconscious man, she discovers her only hope of escape has come in the form of her worst nightmare and the first part of a prediction that might spell her doom—a devastatingly handsome and dangerous dark elf prince.

Unwilling to fall under the control of anyone ever again, Vail must escape before the Fifth King can use him as a pawn in a deadly game of revenge, but he cannot leave without Rosalind, the woman who looks at him with dark desire in her stunning eyes and awakens a fierce hunger in his heart. A witch who drives him mad with need even as the darkness within whispers she will enslave him too.

Can Rosalind escape her fate as they embark on a journey fraught with danger and resist the temptation of her rogue elf prince? And can Vail overcome the memories that madden him in order to seize his chance for salvation and the heart of his fated female forever?

Tempted by a Rogue Prince is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Tempted by a Rogue Prince – Excerpt


Vail refused to believe he had called the female such a thing. It was all a trick she had devised to lure him into her trap. She had heard him mutter that word, picking it out from all the others, latching onto it in the hope it would weaken him enough for her to cast a spell on him. She meant to enslave him with it, just as another had before her.

He stared at the ceiling, studying the cracks between the dark grey stones, and clawed his hair back, pulling it tight, until his scalp stung.

Had he called her ki’ara?



Vail laughed emptily to himself, the sound unnerving even him. The occupants of the cells on either side of his shuffled further away, evidently deciding it wise to distance themselves from his insanity.


Yes. That was why he had used that word for her. Kordula had driven him madder than he had thought possible, and that was the reason he had called the fair female such a name, because he had no ki’ara.

He wasn’t that lucky.

The ceiling of his cell swam out of focus as his heart beat frantically against his ribs, far quicker than normal, the pace sickening him.

Filling him with dread.

It wasn’t possible that it was her heart causing his to race, the product of a bond he had initiated between them by giving her blood. It wasn’t. He shook his head and barked out another laugh, this one bordering on hysterical judging by the way the incubus slunk away from the bars of his cell across the corridor from Vail’s and eyed him warily. She couldn’t be.

The incubus.

Vail slowly tilted his head to his left to face him. “You.”

The dark-haired male pointed at himself, his green eyes wide, as if he wasn’t sure Vail was talking to him. Who else was there to speak with in this dreadful place? This fae was the only one he could see, and the only one who could see him where he lay, and that meant the male had witnessed everything.

He had heard everything.

Vail allowed his hands to fall away from his hair. They hung limp, his arms stretched out above his head, the length of chain securing him to the stone slab dragging across the flags.

“Did she speak the truth?” Vail said and the incubus nodded without hesitation.

Vail turned his face away to stare at the ceiling again. Ki’ara. He had called her such a thing.

“You made her drink from you,” the male said in a voice laced with disgust, one that let Vail know exactly what this male thought of him. “Sick wanker.”

He wasn’t sure what that profanity meant but no profanity was complimentary. This male thought him wretched indeed.

“To heal her,” Vail whispered to the ceiling, still unable to believe that he had done such a thing.

Yet he could feel the ties that bound them, his body to hers. He knew their hearts beat in time with each other, hers causing his to race, speaking to him of how frightened she had been when she had confronted him and the fury that lingered within her still. It would be that way until the bond was complete, something that felt impossible to him, but necessary too, as vital to him as air and blood.

Their feelings mingled and flowed from one to the other. He was weak of body and mind, hunger draining his powers, but he could sense her fear and every instinct he possessed demanded he reach her and take away the source of that fear so she would feel safe again.

Impossible. He was the source of her fear. He was the one who had upset her.

She had already removed herself from him.

When she had stopped outside his cell and looked at him, her eyes had sparked with silver fire that had danced amongst the cool blue waters. He had witnessed the power held locked within her and knew that she had longed to direct it at him. She had wanted to hit him with a spell.


He unleashed a feral snarl and battled the sense of connection to her, refusing to believe it stemmed from anything other than his blood in her body. She was not his ki’ara. The prediction given to him as a youth had been wrong. It had all been a lie, a trick by Kordula somehow. Her ancestors had planted the seed in his head that his fated female would be a sorceress and he had foolishly believed it. They had then sent her to him and she had set her trap. He had fallen right into it.

He’d had no bond with Kordula, and he had no bond with this witch either.

Using the same power that kept his connection to Loren closed, he severed the one that linked him to her, shutting out her emotions.

His heart didn’t slow though.

Demons stopped outside his cell again. Vail ignored them, focusing on his heart instead, willing it to slow and adopt a normal rhythm, one that didn’t make his head spin and leave him feeling weaker.

One of the demons opened the door and held it while the other stepped inside his cell. Vail spared them a glance. They weren’t the normal dungeon dwelling guards. These two wore loose black shirts with their black leather trousers, and carried a set of restraints that he didn’t like.

They locked the cell door and approached him. The witch’s words came back to him. He was to see the king.

The demons bent over him, clamping gleaming solid metal cuffs around his wrists and his ankles, and unlocking the ones that held him fastened to the slab. The male nearest his wrists grabbed the short chain between his new manacles, hauling him into a sitting position and then onto his feet, and he didn’t fight them. He wanted to meet this king.

His knees wobbled under his sudden weight and he locked them, refusing to show any weakness around these wretches.

The other demon, slightly smaller than his companion, with a chunk of his dirty grey left horn missing, placed a thick band of metal around Vail’s waist and locked it behind his back. It bit into his hips, the metal cold against his skin, but it wasn’t the chill that made it crawl.

There was magic in these bonds. He could feel it sapping his strength and he growled under his breath, itching to fight it and get it off him. He clenched and unclenched his fists, battling his rising panic, trying to subdue it before it ate away at his control. He had to stay lucid. He couldn’t lose control.

The demon who had secured the band around his waist placed the chain between Vail’s wrists into a thick loop on the front of the band and shoved it closed, locking the chain to it and making it impossible for him to move his arms. Vail growled when the other demon placed a collar made of the same magically reinforced metal around his neck.

The larger demon opened the cell door and the smaller one shoved him forwards. The length of the chain between his ankles was only long enough for him to shuffle his bare feet over the smooth cold stones. When he reached the open door, the two males hit the band around his waist and he jerked forwards, losing his balance. A tug on his collar stopped him from falling on his face.

He glared over his shoulder at them and realised they hadn’t shoved him or pulled him back. Both demons held long metal poles that were now attached to his belt and his collar, keeping him at a distance from them.

They both pushed on the ends of the poles, forcing him to move. He snarled and flashed his fangs, but had no choice but to obey. He shuffled forwards, his eyes fixed on the floor in front of his feet, shame burning through him. The chain between his ankles rattled and scraped across the stones.

He despised it.

Being restrained physically was almost as bad as being restrained by magic.

He looked at his shackled wrists. In this case, he was being restrained by both magic and a physical item. He hated that he could feel the sorcery in the bonds that held him. It crawled over his skin like an oily slick, suffocating him and making it impossible to think rationally. He hated that he could feel magic in the female too. It drove him mad.

Sent him deep into dark, twisted memories that pulled him under, tugging him away from reality and leaving him lost in a strange, deranged state that left him feeling as if he was living a nightmare—as eternal and dark as the most hellish pit in the underworld.

The demons marched him past the cells and he kept his eyes cast downwards, his thoughts turned inwards, fearing he would sense the witch and would lose his grip on reality. He struggled up the stone steps to an arched doorway and flinched as he raised his head and bright torchlight washed over his face. The guard on his left shoved with his poles and Vail silently bared his fangs in warning before trudging onwards, out into the light.

Males milled around the enormous courtyard of the black castle, some locked in mock battle and others talking in groups. Not all were demon. He spotted bear shifters and one or two dragons in their human forms.

Not all were male.

Vail growled low in his throat on sensing the presence of dark magic, his gaze instantly seeking the source of it. Two women stood off to his right, one blonde and one a redhead.


Vail snarled at her and launched himself in that direction, forgetting that his ankles were bound. He tripped on the short chain and stumbled, and would have fallen on his face had the two demons holding him not pulled back on the poles, jerking him upright like a marionette.

The two dark witches laughed, the high sound mocking him. He bared his fangs at them and hissed, his pointed ears flattening against the sides of his head, warning them not to laugh at him. It didn’t stop them.

The warriors around them paid him no heed. They were too busy staring at the witches, hungry gazes raking over their bodies, taking in every curve put on display by their long tight black dresses.

The witches stared at Vail though, giving him their undivided attention, turning his stomach over with the force of it. Their magic was in the bonds that held him prisoner, touching him. It was all over him, that oily slick covering every inch of him now, smothering him, making him itch to wash himself and scrub it away.

All witches made him feel this way, whether male or female, dark or light, and he despised them for it.

The demons shoved him forwards, forcing him to continue his march of shame through the courtyard.

It struck him that Little Wild Rose didn’t make him react in such a way. When he was around her, he wanted to fight and attack her, needed to defend himself and drive her away, as he did with these witches, but he didn’t feel sickened, drowning in her magic and choking on her presence.

He shook that thought away. The cuffs she wore dampened her power so he could only feel a fragment of it, and that was the only reason she didn’t repulse him.

One of the demon guards pushed him in the back. “Keep moving.”

Vail came back to the world and discovered he was inside one of the towering buildings of the castle. He had lost track of his surroundings, thoughts of the witch stealing his focus, a dangerous and foolish move to have made. He should have been focused on discovering the layout of the castle and looking for weaknesses in its defences, something he could exploit in order to escape.

They entered a cavernous hall lit by torches mounted on the great gleaming obsidian pillars supporting the vaulted ceiling. Ahead of him, at the end of a long wide aisle, stood a black throne on a raised stone platform.

On that throne sat a huge demon male.


Tempted by a Rogue Prince is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website:

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:
Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar – coming in 2015

About Felicity Heaton:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Monday, 11 August 2014

Midnight Alley - Book Review

Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires #3)
by Rachel Caine

What is it about:
Claire Danvers's college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it's giving night school a whole new meaning.

What did I think of it:
This series continues to entertain.

Claire and her friends have grown on me, and I barely want to throw the book across the room anymore when they are annoying or just plain stupid.

A lot of this is because I really like Caine's writing style and her world building. I also really like some of the side characters. One was introduced in this book, and I have a small hope this character will return in future books.

All in all I can advice this series to anyone who is looking for an uncomplicated and entertaining Young Adult read with vampires.

Beware though: This book had yet another unnecessary cliffhanger ending, so I'm going to guess this will continue to happen in other books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and entertaining YA Vampire read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery