Monday, 30 March 2015

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - #0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18243700-the-assassin-s-bladeGoodreads Synopsis:
Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.


Review:
This book….. daaaammmmn
It was everything I’d hoped for: we see why Celaena is Ardalan’s Assassin (is it wrong to enjoy her killing sprees? Because I unashamedly do) and we also see Sam in his element… *sniffles* If you haven’t started this series yet, I have no clue what you’re doing with yourself! Just be warned for the avalanche of feels this book drowns you with.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - 5 STARS
This was such the perfect start because you get to see Celaena doing her thing being badass but you can also see some redeeming qualities coming to the surface which Sam is starting to realise too. The love-hate relationship between the two is just perfect!

The Assassin and the Healer – 4 STARS
This novella was short but necessary because it introduced the importance of trying to follow your correct path, and how something so seemingly insignificant as meeting a stranger could impact this.

The Assassin and the Desert – 5 STARS
I loved getting a better insight of the world in this story along with the other assassins guild. The Silent Master was a great edition and made me think about Arobynn… I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him, after all he didn’t become King of the Assassins for nothing.

The Assassin and the Underworld – 4.5 STARS
The relationship between Celaena and Sam that develops here just warms my fangirl heart. So of course I’m on high alert for something terrible to happen.

The Assassin and the Empire – 5 STARS
I wrote one thing in my notes for this novella and it smudged from my tears: “it’s broken me”.

So excuse me while I go cry in the corner a little more…
Favourite Quotes:
“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.” 

“There was no way in hell she was going to move to the southern continent without all of her books.” 

“I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.”
“You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face. “Because I’d pick you.”

“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.” 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Mass

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13519397-throne-of-glassGoodreads Synopsis:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


Review:
This book… asfdhgnfjxb jcvxcjv… This book is brilliant.

It has action, adventure, mystery, suspense, romance, fantasy, magic and everything else that equals an awesome read.

The plot was amazing and so interesting I can’t even explain it. There was always something to sink your teeth into it, whether it was the competition or what was going on in the background. The pace was unrelenting and I simply couldn’t put this book down; there were breathers here and there but it never entirely stopped. Sarah J Mass even managed to throw in fae folklore and a complex history that you didn’t get overwhelmed by.

But it was the characters that easily stole the show. Love triangle aside Chaol and Dorian were great characters and particularly with Chaol there’s more to him than he lets on. I was on his side from the start, yet I still fell for Dorian’s charm so I want to see more of both of them which is something I can’t usually say when it comes to love triangles (I generally want to kill one or the other, sometimes even both!). I’m dying to see how Dorian's role as prince plays into the story, perhaps he could even become King? *fingers crossed* but I know how unlikely that is right now… *sigh*

I hate the King as much as Calaena, even though you don’t see much of him first-hand.

Calaena on the otherhand was the best kind of female character. Not just because she could kill someone in 2 moves and was an overall complete badass (though I admit it contributed) but she was strong in so many ways. I loved how no matter what happened she didn’t change to be what everyone expected, sticking with her cocky attitude that was so easy to admire. Being deadly but vulnerable and kind but arrogant is quite the feat but one word cannot sum up Calaena’s intense character. Unless of course you just went with awesome.

I can’t believe I waited so long to read this series, and if you’re still yet to read it then I beg you to pick it up. Now. Please. I tried my hardest to put into words how much I loved this book, but still I can’t do it justice (and I’m running out of synonyms for awesome), so go read the book and see for yourself the epicness that is Sarah J Mass’ Throne of Glass.
Favourite Quotes:
“Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

“We all bear scars... Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

“Names are not important. It's what lies inside of you that matters.” 

“He was done with politics and intrigue. He loved her, and no empire, no king, and no earthly fear would keep him from her. No, if they tried to take her from him, he'd rip the world apart with his bare hands. And for some reason, that didn't terrify him.” 

“She moaned into her pillow. “Go away. I feel like dying.”
“No fair maiden should die alone,” he said putting a hand on hers. “Shall I read to you in your final moments? What story would you like?”
She snatched her hand back. “How about the story of the idiotic prince who won’t leave the assassin alone?”
“Oh! I love that story! It has such a happy ending, too – why, the assassin was really feigning her illness in order to get the prince’s attention! Who would have guessed it? Such a clever girl. And the bedroom scene is so lovely – it’s worth reading through all of their ceaseless banter!”

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Review & Guest Post: Frostbite (The Dragonian Series #3) by Adrienne Woods

Goodreads Synopsis:
Losing Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of her heart and discovering her true identity has made Elena Watkins' life almost unbearable. However, new trials will test the 17 year-old's strength and push her to limits she didn’t think were possible.

Only a mysterious offer from Blake Leaf, the Rubicon and a dragon predestined for evil, reveals there may be a light at the end of Elena’s dark tunnel.

With the life she thought she knew crashing down around her, Elena will have to face a monumental decision about the fate of Paegeia. She can either make peace with Blake’s demands or try once again to unravel the Queen’s secrets that lie deep within her dragon, Tanya La Frey’s, heart.


Review:
***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Heart pounding, tragic, action-packed, emotional, epic and awesome: all words which describe this holy grail of YA literature. I thought Adrienne Woods was going to have a hard time living up to the second book (particularly with the way it ended *cries at the mere memory*) but there was no doubt in my mind it was just as great, if not better!

Of course that meant I cried… a lot… but a good novel wouldn’t be complete without me bawling my eyes out during a family meal (last time it was an exam – I can’t decide which was more embarrassing, but I’m sure they’re all used to it by now).

All the relationships between the characters were so beautifully developed. Elena and Becky and Sammy came together as a force to be reckoned with, even though there highs and lows they grew together and created a bond that was impossible to break. Similarly I loved reading about Elena’s new connection with Cara, who we’re introduced to. We also see much more of Blake which I’m in two minds about; on one hand he is a complex character that will always capture my interest, and on the other I rarely agree with his decisions. Also I’m Team Lucian all the way. Hence the large amount of crying!

This book was incredibly emotional; as I’m sure you gathered, for me as a reader as well as for Elena. After going through so much already, and then being faced with more it was incredible to see how well (or not in some cases) she dealt with it. The most significant difference is that she will take shit from no one! And I can respect that.

Plot wise, Adrienne Woods has outdone herself with this one. We got answers to all the questions from previous instalments, in some truly mind-blowing revelations and with it a lot more insight on Paegeia’s history.

In the end, I can do nothing else but recommend you read this amazing series and in the meanwhile I’ll be looking forward to more.

Favourite Quotes:
“I’d paralyzed their lives, their futures. I was like ice, like frost freezing their hopes and dreams. I was the living embodiment of frostbite.”

“Evil comes in all forms, Elena. Even portrays itself as light.”

“For someone that really didn’t want me to fall in love with him he was really making it hard.”

“We sometimes have to make decisions we don’t want to.”


Guest Post:
The Dragonian Series Journey Part Three

Okay so we are on the third part of how I sell my series and hopefully you can take something from this and make your novels sell too.

I spoke about marketing in that first three crucial months when your novel comes out and I spoke about the entire package of your novel, now it’s off to getting reviews on Amazon and how to handle the negative ones.

Reviews are every author’s worst nightmare or biggest dream. A review can either break you down or lift you up - but only if you let them do that to you.

Reviews are important to every author. You need to be able to ask readers to read your novel and yes, you need to be able to do that for free. If you need someone to read your novel you can’t ask them to pay for it. Reviews help in getting more sales, there are many that make a decision on whether to buy your novel or not just on those reviews. This being said, even the negative reviews help with selling your novels, as curiosity will always be one of humans greatest flaws, which is awesome when it comes to buying novels.

We all want those five stars but it’s not possible. You can go and have a look at Twilight, Hunger games, 50 Shades of Grey and so many more block busters. They have a lot of one and two star reviews as well. Even my favorite series of all time Harry Potter. You can not let negative reviews get you down and you need to be able to tell the difference of whether this review was helpful or if it was just a reader trying to be nasty. The ones that try to be nasty, we call them trolls. They will tear your story apart, say it was the biggest load of crap they ever read, and attack you as an author. I’ve seen many authors stop writing because of this. They let the readers they couldn’t impress, the ones that don’t like their novel get under their skin and forget about the ones that did love the stories.  You are not going to please everyone with your novel. Stephanie Meyer hasn’t, J.K Rowling too and I can promise you a lot of readers didn’t like E.L James with her 50 shades of Grey but did that stop them from getting that movie deal? Absolutely not.  They had so many other readers that completely loved them and they focus on those that did.

Ignore the trolls completely, don’t send them nasty messages as it is only hurting you as an author.
The negative reviews that is different than the trolls, those would tell you in detail why they didn’t love your novel. Maybe it wasn’t really their genre and they gave it a try. If they still didn’t love it, don’t pay too much attention to it as they didn’t like the genre to begin with. If they do love the genre and they start giving a list of all the things they don’t like, then you pay attention. Read it carefully and keep that list in the back of your mind. If you get five others saying more or less the same thing, then you as an author need to make changes as many others are going to complain about the same things too and it’s going to hurt your novel on the long run if you don’t.

I went through this myself and I’m grateful for those reviews that told me what was wrong with my novel.

Getting review copies in front of readers takes time. You can use Goodreads groups, which is amazing when it comes to asking others to review or start emailing bloggers that likes the genre you read. I did this for months and months. It takes time and plenty of emailing, but you need to be determined and yes it did take me away from finishing more novels but it was needed at that time if I wanted my career to lift off as an author.

Then you get Amazon. I haven’t gotten all the ins and outs of that one yet, as I’m still too busy with Goodreads, but they say that you can contact reviewers on Amazon, how, I still need to figure that one out and if any of you know, please leave a comment so that we all know how to do that.
I ask people on a regular basis to review my novels. Virtual tours help too and the bloggers always write those Amazon and Goodreads reviews, 80 percent of the time. So virtual tours help with reviews too and it’s like two for one kind of deal.

Like I said, Reviews are important, they really work and all it costs is your time if you don’t have the money to do virtual tours.

But reviews should not make you feel that you are not in the right business because I promise you, you do have the fans that totally love the story.

I got many one and two star reviews and the funny part of this is that those ones and twos keep on giving me ones and two’s on all my novels. If they really didn’t care for it, why are they still reading it? Why do they keep on buying your novel? It’s because deep down inside they can’t get enough. So keep that in the back of your mind too. I always laugh when I see this, but I’m grateful for them as they still support me as an author and they still buy the book that they hate so much. It happens, really it does.

I hope you will look differently at reviews and not to be scared of asking people to read your novel. Some will praise you others, they will not like it, and some will absolutely hate it. Still concentrate on the once that can’t get enough. The faster you learn how to deal with reviews the better you are going to handle all of this. Another reminder, giving something for free, doesn’t mean they will not buy the novel. I’ve giving plenty of my novels for free, I love giving them away and it’s like the more I give them away, the more money I make.

Good luck
Adrienne Woods

And I hope you all enjoyed this post! Anna <3

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Books From My Childhood that I would Love to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish with a new topic each week.

For my very first (and hopefully not last!) TTT post, the topic is Books From My Childhood that I would Love to Revisit.

Now I wasn't a big reader as a kid until the last few years of primary school (9 to 11 years old) where it was a huge competition to read everything in the library! Not to brag, but I may have won... ;)
That's when it kicked off and I read every single book I could get my hands on, unfortunately looking back they were all pretty awful! I can't remember titles, but there's no way I'd re-read any of them.

     Except these:

Harry Potter (#1-7) by J. K Rowling
I was at the time, pretty late in reading this series when I was 12, after I'd seen the movies more times than I could count. My older brother even got annoyed with me because I was always hogging the TV! And then I read the books, and he no longer had that problem because I was constantly re-reading the books!
     This will always be a series I come back to when I'm feeling low or in a book slump because it reminds me about the joys of reading and escaping into another world.

^^ I'm counting this as 7 books by the way because otherwise I wouldn't have nearly enough to make up 10!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12691.Marley_and_MeMarly and Me by John Grogan
The first book to ever make me cry like a baby. And I mean weep long into the night... And I love it because of that.

74757Charlotte's Web by Katie DiCamillo
Just the titles of these books are like a wave of nostalgia hitting me like a tidal wave right now. What can I say about this one? Everyone's heard of it and everyone's cried over it - whether it was the movie or the book (which is obviously better).

And finally the Animal Ark series (#1-36) by Ben M. Baglio/Lucy Daniels here in Britain

I remember reading all of these obsessively and desperately wanting to adopt all the animals mentioned - for a long time I even wanted to be a vet, until I found out how squeamish I was... *shudders at the sight of a splinter*

So that is my list! I hope you liked this post - though it featured less YA books than normal, and I'd love to know what books you read in your childhood :)


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

It's been a long time since I was nominated for a blogging award, but in the last few weeks I was nominated multiple times so after today's post there will be another on the way :D
     Thanks so so much to the wonderful Myra @ I'm Loving Books and Kariny @ Kariny's Boox Frenzy for the nomination!

Rules:
1) Nominate 15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging.
2) Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them.
3) Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
5) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

My nominees:
1) The lovely ladies @ Fangirling Misses
2) Anne @ Anne Books
4) Kitty & Fari @ My Little Corner for Books
6) Laura @ Blue Eye Books
8) Megan & Catherine @ Books of Fascination
10) Carl & Haley @ My Addiction: Books
11) Alex @ The Book's Buzz
13) Maia @ Maia Moore Reads

10 random facts about me:
1) My birthday is April 25th, right in the middle of Spring which is my favourite season. I could use that as another fact actually...
2) So my favourite season is spring <3
3) I have a wide taste in music, but most of the songs on my phone are rock/metal - inspired by my brothers who practically forced it down my throat until I found myself listening to it on my own accord!
4) I rarely lend out books terrified that they will be returned with so much as a bent page, never mind broken spines *shudders*
5) I'm a pretty fast reader, with waaaay to much spare time.
6) I consider myself a fairly fast keyboard typer, but I never learnt to type "properly" and once when I was a kid there was a course to learn which I cheated on!
7) My favourite tv show is Supernatural... because the Winchester's... Dean... though I'm only on season 6 so don't spoil!
8) Spoilers infuriate me beyond belief...
9) Usually I can never pick favourites whether it's movies, books, music, food etc.
10) However I'll never say no to chocolate <3

I hope you found this post interesting and learned a little more about me! Thanks again to Myra & Kariny :) make sure to check them out, as well as the lovely blogs nominated

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Review: Strega (Strega #1) by Karen Monahan Fernandes

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20339075-strega?from_search=trueGoodreads Synopsis:
Foreword Firsts 2013 Book Awards Finalist. When high school senior Jay Bonifacio finds her grandmother brutally murdered in their small-town home, the scar left by the death of her parents years earlier is ripped open. She is devastated, but she is not nearly as terrified as she should be. Jay is a Strega. Like her mother and grandmother, she is a descendant of the original Strega of ancient Etruria—gifted women of the woods bestowed with godly power, and the world’s first witches. With the truth withheld from her all her life, Jay is blindsided when her power is unbound. Demons are coming for her. They killed the people she loved most to get to her, and they won’t rest until she is dead. Forced to embrace her identity if only to survive, Jay uncovers a past life when her ruthless enemy’s hatred for her was born, and she rediscovers an eternal love that has burned throughout lifetimes. Fighting for her life, she is drawn back into an ancient battle between the virtuous and the wicked that threatens to destroy her and all of humankind. 


Review:
***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

You know those “feedback sandwiches” where you give a positive point followed by criticism and concluded with another positive? That’s how I’m going to be doing my review of Strega because (and it might be that fact I’m writing this so late at night) there seems to be no other way of writing it after struggling to express my opinion coherently – even a week later.

Now, the best thing about this book was the writing: hands down. Beautifully thought out yet still so effortless (much unlike this review) it captured my attention and carried me along the journey. Everything from feelings to atmosphere to setting was described well and proved an absolute joy to read. The flashbacks so intricately included also provided some much needed insight to characters backgrounds, as well as adding something interesting.

The only parts it fell flat for me were points of revelation, which I had already worked out long before, so it missed the element of surprise which after a lot of suspense, I would have wanted. All the major twists were evident to the reader from the get-go and when the main character was taking so long to get their head around it; frustration grew and led to a couple disappointments I’ll admit.

Nevertheless, Strega was an incredibly enjoyable book that opened my eyes to a whole new side of witchcraft. I can’t wait for the next instalment… particularly after that ending! I can’t believe I didn’t mention it earlier because *deep breath* that was a shock to the system. I know I already mentioned predictability so while the ending was expected, there’s one decision the main character Ray made which has me on the edge of my seat waiting for a sequel, and I can only imagine what will happen next…
Favourite Quotes:
“Most people in this world are good,” she said. “But it’s na├»ve to think that everyone is. That’s just not reality. I wish it was, but it’s not.”

“The darkness I’d always tried to escape surrounded me. And for the first time, I wanted to stop running from it. I wanted to stand still and face it.”

“An evil as old as the universe haunts the world. Find the truth. Protect yourself.”

Monday, 16 March 2015

Blog Update: Memes

Recently my blog has been chaotic (or not so considering the lack of posts) because my laptop decided to go and die on me meaning I couldn't write anything new and resorted to posting pre-written review from my brother's ipad - not exactly ideal. It happened just as I was starting my new schedule; because that's my awful luck apparently!

Now that everything is back on track; for the meanwhile at least! I am hoping to get back to my normal of posting every other day.

I'll also be intruding some memes to my blog! Instead of posting every week, it will be every other week (you see the theme going on?). Anyways, they are:

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish with a new topic each week.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading where you answer three questions:
1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you'll read next?

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The goal of this blog hop is to gain followers, discover new blogs, and make new friends!

What are your favourite memes?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Review: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons #1) by Marc Secchia

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22428704-aranyaGoodreads Synopsis:
Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?

Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.

Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.


Review:
***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Marc Secchia definitely has an eye for imagery. All the locations and battles you journey through in this book are portrayed so vividly that you could reach out and touch the stormy clouds. There was also a great amount of world building - at appropriate times (rather than in big chunks at the beginning) which meant you knew the world as well as being able to see it.

Admittedly this meant that parts did drag, particularly the scenes in between battles/events where it wasn’t filled with dialogue. Being such a long book already, this meant I grew tired on occasion and wanted to put it down: then again I didn’t, because I wanted to know what happens next already!

It was definitely the characters that won me over, with two fierce princesses and their interesting companions. Aranya was such a strong person/dragon/whatever you want to call her (so long as it isn’t “beast” or she will burn your ass) and was never willing to just sit on the side-lines when she could be making a difference. What’s more is that she needed no man to do this. There was a love interest, but after his and Aranya’s instant connection at the start they spent the majority of time at a distance and that’s where possible love blossomed which I thought worked well!

This book also delved heavily into different types of relationships – not just romantic. You see the importance of friends, family as well as the more unusual beauty of dragon & rider. This is something I often miss in YA novels, and the witty banter made it all the more enjoyable to read about.

Now then, the ending concluded everything beautifully, and that’s where my trepidation to pick up the next book lies… I’m satisfied with leaving it as it stays and it’s now been a while since I read this first book so I’m not sure how easy it will be to jump back into the world. Nevertheless I enjoyed this book, and whether you read it as a standalone or the start to a series I’d recommend you check it out.
Favourite Quotes:
“Still lay the Island-World beneath the whisper of a Dragon’s wings.” 

“Go burn the heavens, Dragon and Rider.”

“I used to think I saw honour in battles and accomplishments and medals. But now I see those are the honours of men, which are as dust. The honour of the heart is another matter entirely.”

“Let our battle commence, Third War-Hammer Yolathian of Jeradia. I shall not be merciful again.”

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Review: Roses by G. R. Mannering

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17596262-rosesGoodreads Synopsis:
A dark rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast!

She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in a fantasy realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is sent to live with the cruel, rich Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in a violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the furthest point of the country.

But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life.

But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time.


Review:
As a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Roses was not at all what I expected… This book was different – and not just as a retelling – in the way it follows the main protagonist, Beauty, from birth. I thought it incredibly interesting to see so much intense development, and with time passing you also see the world changing.

Mannering weaved world building into her writing effortlessly and it worked to transport you into a land filled with magic and love and hate as well. There was a very strong plot line separate to the tie-in of the original tale and that’s what held my interest for the first half of the book before we even meet The Beast.

Compared to other books I read (and loved) recently, Roses is particularly slow paced and focuses more intently on the character’s and over all build-up. Many questions go unanswered until the very end. At first I wasn’t happy with how it concluded simply because it was so abrupt; one minute everyone was rushing around anticipating war, the next the book was over! I’d been anxious leading up to the last page because there weren’t enough left to complete everything in a satisfying way, until I found out (once I’d already finished and started pacing waiting for my laptop to load an internet search) that there will be a sequel. Thank God!

I can’t wait to see Beauty’s tale continue, hopefully with much more of The Beast this time who I have to say warmed my heart… A brilliant debut.

My reaction to the ending:
Favourite Quotes:
“They saw a shining, silver woman astride a warhorse, and they made the sign of the gods as she disappeared.”

“We can try to run,” he said. “But one day we must all face our past.”

“There be a thin line between the work of evil and the work of good,” he said. “Some folks misunderstand the good, for a good must be magnificent if it is to win against evil.”

“He finally knew what Beauty had done when she came in the place of Owaine to the castle – now he, too, was about to give up his life for one he loved.”

Friday, 6 March 2015

Review: Blood and Feathers (Blood and Feathers #1) by Lou Morgan

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13033924-blood-and-feathers?from_search=trueGoodreads Synopsis:
Alice isn't having the best of days. She was late for work, she missed her bus, and now she's getting rained on. What she doesn't know is that her day's about to get worse: the epic, grand-scale kind of worse that comes from the arrival of two angels who claim everything about her life is a lie.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act - or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever.

That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory- a disgraced angel with a drinking problem and a whole load of secrets - Alice will learn the truth about her own history… and why the angels want to send her to hell.

What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding - and can she trust either side?

Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn't just hell's demons that Alice will have to defeat...
 


Review:
So much heart-pounding action and so much awesomeness!

This book could have easily become another drab angel story that drew me in by its beautiful cover, where the heroes valiantly save the day (at the last minute) and you never really fear for any of the characters. But it wasn’t. Constantly, there was the threat of characters dying and constantly you were reminded that perhaps the angels wouldn’t win…
Even then, with the line between angels and the Fallen, heaven and hell blurred – loyalties are hard to place. Something Alice who has been dumped right in the centre of it has to determine, along with a thousand other things pushed away inside her head. The half-breed thing and consequent powers might just be the first thing on her growing list. She is an amazing character to follow because she’s not only funny but tough like its no-one’s business. Even faced with hell – you heard me – hell and Lucifer she kept going, making her own decisions. That’s real strength.
Lou Morgan wrote her character so beautifully, but it was her world building that stole the show. Phe-no-me-nal! (And that was me trying to emphasise the word, not because I can’t spell…) She has done her research and worked it into her own vision, where there are hierarchies of angels; a lot of whom don’t exactly fit the textbook definition. As well as layers of hell that seriously creep me out! The collision of these two was breath-taking. In particular, these scenes had an interesting cinematic feel to it and I can just imagine a film adaptation working extraordinarily well (someone needs to get on that. Now.)

One thing this book was missing is the romance aspect. For me, Mallory was interesting but not in that way… the connection he had with Alice’s mother made it impossible to see him as a potential love interest. However it turns out, this book didn’t need any kind of romance to keep me interested!

Blood and Feathers is an epic read where heaven and hell collide and not everything has a clear
answer.
Favourite Quotes:
“What’s the first word you think if when I say ‘angel’?” asked Mallory.
Alice shrugged. “I don’t know… guns?”

“The last time I saw you, I told you to…”
“…to go to hell. Fair enough. Did that, and yet here you are. Anyone would think you were following me.”

“The greatest wisdom is usually the most impenetrable. Just look at fortune cookies.”

“It had begun with a stranger, silhouetted against the gloom of a rainy day, and it would end with him. It would end now.”

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Book Haul Extravaganza

This post is coming to you 3 days later than expected, since my darling brother was kind enough to give me his virus... we're good at sharing in this family, but only when it comes to being ill. Currently I'm wrapped up in a blanket with a compress on my head trying to form coherent words other than "cake" - something I've had far too much of the past few days. You wouldn't think that's possible but after 2 birthdays & 1 special event... I'd beg to differ.

Which brings me to Saturday (you'll get why in a minute) when I was lucky enough to attend
This was an event put together by the lovely authors Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass up in Birmingham where I met lots of blogging friends including Hannah @ Hannah Mitchell (on youtube), Maia @ Maia Moore ReadsSally @ The Dark DictatorSofia @ The Reading Fangirl , Asmaa @ Asmaa the Critic , Makayla @ Always that Book Addict , Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary  JUST TO NAME A FEW!
Along with every, single, author, that I'd wanted to get books signed from!
Many of the books I bought before hand once the list of authors had been revealed on twitter, as well as a couple that peaked my interest while I was there (the deals helped!)
But before I get onto the individual books, I just wanted to mention how amazing this community is! Not just the UKYA part of it (authors & readers & bloggers alike) but everyone online and in person who has been able to join together in their love of literature. And love of cake! There were so many beautiful cupcakes - safe to say I had my fair share ;)
     I have lots more to say on the subject, which is for another time possibly because for now I have some books to show you!

I had only just started this book before the event, but already had it drawn me in and putting it down was hard. Meeting her was lovely and I mentioned how it was the gorgeous cover which first caught my interest, so she sent me a link for an interview with the designer which contains some of the other ideas and it's well worth checking out.
Since then I've finished the book and whooaaaaa it's epic! I can't decide how to take the fact Lou called me an angel, when the angels in her novel aren't exactly "angelic" - more on that in my review coming soon.
While I was there in Birmingham I bought the sequel Rebellion, after all I can't resist sales! I'm currently reading it and loving every second <3

The Name on Your Wrist by Helen Hiorns is one I'd already read in advance which meant I had the chance to ask about future related projects while getting it signed. Good news, there's a sequel being written! Naturally Helen is very busy in college but with an ending like that... I'm glad we get some more explanation.

Another one I picked up at the event is Glimpse by Kendra Leighton. It's inspired by Alfred Noys' poem "The Highwayman" which I hadn't heard about before but hearing her talk about it made me want to find out. Looks to be very dark and romantic, so I'm there.
True Fire by Gary Meehan was my last spur of the moment purchase. To be honest I don't know much about it, except that it features witches so I'm excited to get started soon.

After reading Emma Pass' other book, just before the event I bought The Fearless which is NOT the sequel to Acid. However there might be more to come; in her words "never say never."

The aforementioned Acid by Emma Pass which I read a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised by how well done a dystopian standalone could turn out to be. I'm definitely looking forward to more...

https://enchantedbyya.blogspot.comEarth Girl by Janet Edwards has been on my TBR pile for a while now so it was great to have an excuse to buy it sooner rather than later ;) also just look at that cover - beautiful <3 I've heard that the content is just as good, which is always promising.
With high ratings and an interesting plot including an underground prison for young offenders *cough*murderers*cough* Lockdown (Escape from Furnace #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith looks to be an amazing read. He is also the nicest guy, so it was great to chat. Of course cake/chocolate came up, because there was so much food there! Heaven.
The inspiration behind his other series The Fury is one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard :D Remember that game "murderball" people play in mandatory school P.E. that everyone dreads because it gets so vicious - that was the initial spark of inspiration! As someone who suffered through many lessons of this I'm excited to see how it relates in his novel.

Dark Days by Kate Ormand I also bought before hand so I could read it before meeting her (which I did and that itself surprised me since my plans are just about always disrupted; not being able to post for a while is an example.

And last but not least is Roses by Rose Mannering. I recently fell in love with fairytale retellings and have always wanted to write my own, so it was great to meet her and get advice as well as some recommendations of other books to check out.

So those were all the books I got recently, what have you added to your shelves?