Monday, 22 September 2014

Review: Relentless (Relentless #1) by Karen Lynch

Relentless (Relentless, #1)Relentless

Author: Karen Lynch
Series: Relentless
Publisher: Self
Pages: 352
Amazon - TBD
Release Date: 26TH December 2013

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

Review: 4 ½ out of 5 stars

I love it when I come across a recommended book on Amazon and end up loving it! Relentless by Karen Lynch is the first book in the series and was a real page turner.

Our MC is Sara Grey, a bit of a social outcast with two male best friends; she lives with her uncle after her father was killed ten years prior and she has never known her mother, she was a likeable if not stubborn character and one I could really relate to; she was believable in her reactions but at times was a little obstinate and refused to listen to reason and we all know what happens when a character takes risks – drama and problems. All she wants to do is find out whom and what killed her father.

Sara knows about the supernatural, she has her own surprising ability but it isn’t until she goes out clubbing with her best friends Roland and Peter that she really comes face to face with them; this is the night that also put her in the sight of Vampires and others of her own kind, one in particular who is intent on protecting her and moving her away from her family and friends to be with others just like her.

Nikolas comes across as dominant, at times cold and just as stubborn as Sara but for good reason; I liked that he was upfront with her right from the onset and didn’t drag out what she was or what he wanted. The banter between them was written well, I thought we’d get a bit of romance but nothing came of it which was unfortunate so I’m hoping we get some relationship progression in the sequel. Best friends, Peter and Roland were wonderful and also extremely protective of Sara, I liked the relationship they each shared. I’m quite curious about Chris, he was always around but we don’t find out much about him; all of the characters were interesting and played an important role in the overall story.

I won’t reveal what she is because the surprise is always the most enjoyable aspect for me; I found this book to be well thought out with a plot that is fast paced and kept me guessing along the way and the supernatural creatures were each written well – we had werewolves, imps, vampires, trolls just to name a few, the bad guys were developed well and I loved the friendship Sara had with Remy.

Overall, Relentless is a very well written book and kept me entertained from the very beginning; I can’t wait to read the sequel.

  

Karen  LynchAbout the author: Karen Lynch grew up in Newfoundland, Canada - a place rich in colorful people and folklore to which she attributes her love of the supernatural and her vivid imagination. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina years ago and was immediately charmed by the southern people but she says she will always be a newfie.

Though she loves supernatural fiction, she has a soft spot for Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austin. She is a fan of classic rock, country and classical music but her favorite music is the sound of a good thunderstorm or a howling blizzard. Two of her favorite past times are baking artisan breads for her friends and spending quality time with her two German Shepherds.

A voracious reader, she fell in love with books and writing at an early age and it grew into a lifelong passion. Relentless is her first published work and she hopes it is the first of many. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze RunnerThe Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner
Pages: 374
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Release date: 2nd August 2010
AmazonTBD


Synopsis: (Goodreads)

If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars 

I have been really eager to start on The Maze Runner by James Dashner with it having just been released at the cinemas; I have been intrigued by the movie trailer and I'm pleased to say the book was a pleasant surprise and a thrill ride right from the very beginning!

Our main character is Thomas who has woken in a strange location with no memories of the outside world except for his name. Things become strange very fast when he meets a group of teens who also have no recollection of who they once were.

The premise is creative and the setting of the Glade was fascinating; each month a new boy arrives in a similar way to Thomas to help find a way out of the maze that they have been imprisoned in. We learn about life in the Glade, how the hierarchy works as well as the nightly shift in the maze – it was quite freaky! The boys who are known as runners travel through the maze, trying to evade the monsters that inhabit it in order to find their way out. It is a book that keeps you in suspense as you read along never quite knowing the sole purpose behind it all and things certainly change when a girl is dropped into the mix.

The characters were likeable, there were quite a few of them but each had a distinct personality. Thomas showed strength from the onset, Teresa had me intrigued and played a crucial role, each of the boys had their own purpose.

The Maze Runner has a plot that is intense, thrilling and mysterious; I was glued to the pages wanting to know what was going on and had high hopes that they would make it out of the maze and learn of their purpose. It was filled with many surprising twists and turns, the concept is extremely unique and the journey we were taken on from the beginning to end was exciting.

I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed descriptions and James Dashner’s engaging writing; there were some strange overused slang words that were bothersome and repetitive but nothing that was too frustrating.

Overall, The Maze Runner is a great start to the series with an intriguing cast of characters, a dangerous setting and filled with action, manipulation, adventure and mystery, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. This was a book I couldn’t put down.

Thank you to Scholastic Australia for the opportunity to read and review The Maze Runner.


James DashnerAbout the author: James is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.


Website : Twitter : GoodReads : Facebook


Friday, 19 September 2014

Review: Scratch by Rhonda Helms

ScratchAuthor: Rhonda Helms
Series: -
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 240
Release Date: 30/09/2014

Synopsis:

The most painful scars are the ones you never see. 

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she's reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up. Like Casey, he's a senior. In every other way, he's her opposite. 

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable. He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach - or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

The premise is what originally intrigued me about Scratch - a young girl with a traumatic past who puts her efforts into DJing and her studies whilst also finding an unlikely friend and eventual love but unfortunately it fell flat in execution for me and I was unable to fully appreciate the book.

The characters: Twenty-one year old Casey is a college senior with a tragic past; she isolates herself from everyone except her grandparents, her days are spent studying and some nights DJing at a dance club. Daniel is in Casey’s Philosophy class and inserts himself into her life much to her reluctance; he was an all-round great guy with bucket loads of patience.

What I enjoyed:

  • * The build-up to the mystery surrounding what had happened to Casey and her family – her stomach is covered in puckered scars, I was eager to learn what had happened to her.
  • * As a love interest, Daniel was a great guy – kind, calm, persistant and tolerant.
  • * The beautiful cover art.
  • * Casey’s amazing grandparents were a wonderful support.
  • * The believability of Casey’s anxiety and panic attacks

What I didn’t enjoy:

  • * A heroine I couldn’t relate to or connect with.
  • * Insta attraction/lust & love.
  • * The writing seemed stilted and the dialogue made me cringe.
  • * I didn’t feel the connection between Casey and Daniel, too much seemed to happen between them too soon. They were chalk and cheese.
  • * I would have loved more page time with Casey and her passion for music and * DJing – we only get a small aspect.
  • * Casey’s hot and cold personality drove me crazy! I constantly wondered why Daniel would stick around when she constantly pushed him away.
Scratch is a book that I feel has potential; it just needs a little refining.


Rhonda HelmsAbout the author: Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.

When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cover reveal: ReBorn (Angel Creek #3) by Ada Adams

ReBorn by Ada Adams is high on my wishlist, the Angel Creek series is one of my favourites so I’m super excited to be able to share the cover with you 
today.


Synopsis: TBC
Release date: March 2015


About Ada Adams: "Many people sing in the shower. I write scenes in my head and act them out."

A self-proclaimed book and TV junkie, Ada Adams spends most of her days immersed in imaginary worlds. Much like the kick-butt female characters she enjoys writing about, she is a martial artist with a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. She is also a big proponent of lifelong learning and has attained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Masters of Science in Education.

Ada began her writing career at the age of three (with a string of short stories that only a mother could love) and has been inventing quirky characters and imaginary worlds ever since. She is the editor-in-chief of VEUX Magazine (www.veuxmag.com) and a passionate advocate for the arts.

Ada lives in Toronto, Canada. When she is not writing, you can find her on an adventurous nature hike with her puppies, Caramilk and Oreo. Or, more likely, deep in a jar of Nutella.

ReVamped (Angel Creek, #1) ReAwakened (Angel Creek, #2)

Revamped: *teen/young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal, action/adventure, humor*

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

ReAwakened: Becoming a vampire guardian was Dawn Fairchild’s ticket out of the Scarlet House. Fresh off a successful mission, life in Angel Creek should have been great. But when her sort-of-maybe-boyfriend, Sebastian, disappears on a quest to help a beautiful vampire from his past, Dawn finds herself amidst a web of danger, lies, and deceit.

Joining forces with Razor, an enigmatic rebel lacking both a verbal and a physical filter, and her band of Misfits—Brooke, Sophie, Hunter, and Seth—Dawn is thrust into a race against the clock to solve the mystery surrounding brutal Born kidnappings and come to terms with the sudden discovery of her own unique powers. With time ticking away and Born vampires’ lives in jeopardy, it quickly becomes evident that someone—orsomething—desperately wants Dawn and is willing to shed any amount of blood to get her.

Dawn has only one chance to face her demons and overcome all obstacles standing in her way as she embarks on the biggest mission of her life—one that threatens a deadly outcome for all involved.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ARC Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black IceBlack Ice

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: -
Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Amazon
Release date: 7th October 2014

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. 

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. 

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? 

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

I was instantly attracted to the cover of Black Ice and the synopsis had me intrigued, I have never read a Becca Fitzpatrick novel but I have heard tidbits about her Hush Hush series. Despite this being an interesting book, I can’t say it really wowed me.

At the beginning of the book we meet Britt Pfeiffer and her best friend Korbie who are about to embark on their week-long trip to the Teton Ranges, something they have been planning for quite some time; when Britt finds out her ex Calvin Versteeg, Korbie’s brother will be tagging along, it certainly leaves Britt with conflicted feelings – eight months after he broke up with her.

I’m at odd with my feelings about Britt, I didn’t really like her, I felt sorry for her but I didn’t dislike her as well. She would do things that I thought were brave but at other times she was a complete dumbass. I also wasn’t a fan of her pining and immaturity when it came to her ex and also her relationship with Korbie who I can definitely say I didn’t like at all, I’m not sure why these two were even friends. I found myself constantly disappointed by their choices and actions.

The premise for the book is intriguing and shrouded in mystery, when an unexpected blizzard forced them to seek shelter in a remote cabin with its two mysterious lodgers Shaun and Mason who they find out are fugitives, their trip takes a turn for the worse and Britt ends up a hostage and playing tour guide to lead them off the mountain.

There were a number of far-fetched scenarios in Black Ice that left me shaking my head and some really silly moves made by the characters that left me wanting to smack them. I did like mysterious Mason and I was eager to know what he was hiding and it definitely wasn’t what I had expected, I did enjoy the element of surprise.

Becca Fitzapatrick’s writing style was easy to read which allowed me to finish the book rather quickly. The book was suspenseful and entertaining but in the end I couldn’t really connect with the characters and their actions.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick.



Becca FitzpatrickAbout the author

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. Her new book BLACK ICE arrives in bookstores everywhere October 7, 2014.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: Made For You by Melissa Marr

Made for YouMade for You

Author: Melissa Marr
Series: -
Pages: 368
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: 16th September 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

When I received an offer from Melissa Marr’s assistant to read Made for You I jumped at the chance! It has been high on my wish-list for a while and it didn’t fail to disappoint.

At the beginning of the book we meet Eva Tilling who wakes up in the hospital after being hit by a car and left for dead but not only does she need to question why someone would want to hit her she finds that she has also awoken with the strange ability to foresee people’s deaths.

The plot was mysterious and I enjoyed reading along trying to work out who wanted to hurt the very popular and well-liked Eva, I was clueless in the end but I loved the element of suspense and the twists and turns we are given along the way with cryptic clues, things at times were a little chilling.

Eva was a realistic character, she wasn’t without her flaws but she was likeable. When her path crosses with her childhood friend Nate, she is surprised he is there to support her after an extended length of time spent ignoring her but his life hasn’t been too easy. I liked Nate and the way in which he supported Eva; we also get a small amount of romance but it definitely wasn’t at the forefront of the story.

The side characters were great; Eva’s best friend Grace was wonderful, she’s the friend everyone needs to have. The killer was developed well, he was seriously messed up! I enjoyed all of the characters interactions and the pivotal role they each played in the overall story and it was nice to see Eva’s parents present.

Made For You is written well and kept me entertained from the very first page, told from three different POV’s it was nice to get insight into Eva, Grace and the Judge - killer’s thoughts. The paranormal element was done well.

Overall, Made For You is a thrilling mystery with wonderful characters and an engaging storyline – highly recommended.


About the author: Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college lit for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing.

Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the US (NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) as well as various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely seriesfor teens and Graveminder for adults.  

Wicked Lovely was her first novel; it was simultaneously released in the US and UK by HarperCollins in 2007 (with translation rights also sold in twenty-some countries). It debuted as a NY Times Bestseller and evolved into a multi-book series with myriad accolades and international bestseller lists.  

Her debut adult book, Graveminder, released to strong critical reception in 2011.  Following that she has edited anthologies with Kelley Armstrong (Enthralled and Shards & Ashes) and with her friend Tim Pratt (Rags & Bones), and released a second adult novel (The Arrivals) in 2013.  

With Kelley Armstrong, Melissa is the co-author of the Blackwell Pages trilogy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), a children’s series about the Norse myth of Ragnarök. 

Her upcoming HarperCollins 2014 release, Made For You, utilizes both her graduate degree in Southern Literature and her personal experience with stalkers in a story about a killer who terrorizes a small North Carolina town.

Her first picture book (Bunny Roo) will be released in 2015. 

Currently, Melissa resides in Virginia with her spouse, children, and many dogs.