Tuesday 26 February 2013

The Darkest Minds

4 Stars/5

At the age of 10 Ruby was sent to the rehabilitation camp, Thurmond, along with all the other children who survived the mysterious which killed most of the children in America. However, the children that lived have developed powers which scare the people in power so they send them away. 6 years later Ruby and another child escape Thurmond, but she thinks the people who helped her have other motives, so she runs away from them and meets up with 3 other children who have escaped their own camp and are searching for the East River and the Skip Kid, who is said to help them find their families. However, as Ruby grows closer to the group, she fears that if they discover her secret they will but frightened of her just like everyone else.

The Darkest Minds is a YA dystopian novel set closer to modern day than most in this genre. The Darkest Minds is a really good story with lots of twists and turns which keep you guessing what will happen next. The pacing of this book is ok but I felt it was too long and could have done with 50 to 100 less pages.

I like Liam, Ruby and Chub but my favourite character is Zu as I just want to protect her and keep her safe. However, the main problem with this book is that I found it really hard to connect to any of the characters and I have no idea why.

The story is really enjoyable and I really look forward to reading the next book especially with what happened at the end of this book. I would recommend The Darkest Minds to people who like YA dystopian such as Matched or Crewel. 

On Dublin Street

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books Ltd for giving me this book to review.

As a teenager, Jocelyn Butler left America and all the painful memories of her dead family and moved to Edinburgh. Now in her 20s she is moving in to a new house on Dublin Street, where she gets to know her new roommate Ellie and her attractive brother Braden. However, can Joss protect her heart from both of them or will her arrangement between her and Braden grow into something more.

I have read and really enjoyed Samantha Young’s YA books and decided to give this a go even though it is not my normal type of book. On Dublin Street is a quick read and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Joss is an interesting person who is stubborn but also very vulnerable which likable in a character. Braden is a good male lead but I did not like how possessive he was. My favourite Character is Ellie as I feel we have the most in common and I liked how sweet and nice she is.

While I liked this book I’m not sure I will read Down London Road as I’m not sure how Young will deal with the ME/CFS of the main woman’s mother, as I know people with this illness and would hate to see it dismissed. I would recommend On Dublin Street to people who like nice and easy to read romance novels.

The Seven Markets

1 Star/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Smith Publicity for giving me this book to review.

Ellie finds a flyer outside her family’s farm, and finds out that the Market is coming to town. The market comes every century, and is filled with magic and wonder. Ellie is due to be betrothed to Jason, and enters the market with him. Whilst waiting for him at the Markets in, the Prince takes an interest and magically charms her into leaving with him forgetting all thoughts of Jason and her life before.

I found this book to be very confusing as nothing is explained, and you lose interest before finding any explanations. The pacing of this book is too long and too descriptive, slowing the book down even further.

Ellie is a very naive character; however we do not see much of her or of any other character as the author’s description does not cover the characters thoughts or emotional reactions.

I found The Seven Markets to be dull and confusing and would not recommend it

Escape from Riddler's Pass

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Warner Press for giving me this book to review.

Jesse, Silas and Rae are returning from their failed mission to get the Scorpion Jewel and are on their way to recover Pavel whom they left to recuperate from his injuries. They are still reeling from the revelation that the youth guard are put together and deliberately made to fail, by the king to remove the brightest and bravest young people from the country to stop them plotting to overthrow the king.

Escape from Riddler’s Pass is ok, however is a bit preachy, and tries to convert you to Christianity. This gets annoying after a while, however, if you ignore this it is as good as Quest for Scorpions Jewel.  The pacing is quite good, however neither book seems to have a full ending, with most of the questions raised not being answered.

Jesse and Rae have not significantly changed since Quest for Scorpions Jewel, however we see a change in Silas as he goes to confront those who killed his father, and we get to see more of Pavel.  Pavel comes across as very Christian, and is trying to convert everybody, including the reader.

I felt Escape from Riddle’s Pass was ok, and would recommend it to people who liked Quest for Scorpions Jewel.

Quest for the Scorpion's Jewel

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Warner Press for giving me this book to review.

Jesse has a crippled leg, and after his parents disappear he is left to live on the mercy of his aunt and uncle, who run Mir’s inn. After 3 members of the Youth Guard, Silas, Rae, and the injured Pavel, come requesting aid at the inn, Jesse is asked by Pavel to go with Rae and Silas, and complete their patrols mission of extracting the missing tribute from the Sheik of Da’armos in the form of the Da’armon people’s sacred jewel, the Scorpion Jewel.

Quest for the Scorpion’s Jewel was a good book, with a few semi-expected plot twists, which is set in a different world, without any magic (so far at least). The book can drag you in, and has good pacing, however, there are quite a lot of questions which have not been answered which I hope will be answered in Escape from Riddler’s pass.

Jesse is quite a nice boy, who seems to be a bit too willing to volunteer for the most dangerous of jobs. Rae is quite aggressive and confrontational, but very loyal to her friends.

In conclusion, Quest for Scorpions Jewel is a good book, and I would recommend it to people who enjoyed the Temereaire series by Naomi Novik

Tuesday 19 February 2013

The Gathering Dark

5 Stars/5

Alina is a pale, lonely, orphan who, with her best friend Mal, are journeying across the shadow fold, a dangerous, impenetrable darkness that has separated Ravka in half. However, when disaster strikes Alina discovers she is a Grisha, but she has a unique power that could be the key for setting Ravka Free. But can Alina ever forget her best friend and person she has always loved, Mal or will she be seduced by The Darkling’s allure and power.

The Gathering Dark is a magnificent YA fantasy book which makes you want to carry on reading to find out what happens next. This book has adventure, romance, magic and a storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I really like Alina as she is strong but does not realise it and also feels like she does not belong anywhere which I think most people can identify with. I also like Mal as he is strong and cocky but is also sweet, however, I wish there as more of him in this book.

However my favourite character has to be The Darkling as he is such a complex person and I could not guess what he was going to do next. I really liked the magic in this book and also how it was set in a Russian inspired world and not the usual medieval Europe setting.

The Gathering Dark is an amazing Young Adult fantasy novel and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Grisha series. I would recommend this to people enjoy reading the Black Magician’s trilogy.  

Monday 18 February 2013

Fractured Soul

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Cedar Fort Inc. for giving me this book to review.

Llona is an Aura, a being of light, and after her friend is killed, and she is bitten by a Vyken, she is sent to Lucent Academy, a school for Aura’s and other magical races. The only other magical race that Llona knows of at Lucent Academy is Fury’s, like her friend May, who comes with her. There is also a training facility near Lucent’s for guardians, which Christian attends. However, Llona finds that not all is as it seems at Lucent’s, and with the help of Liam, a strange Vyken she meets whilst outside the academy’s grounds, and all of her friends, they try to discover what is going on, and find out that the mystery is deeper than it first seemed.

I was slightly confused by Fractured Soul book, as I did not read the first book in the series; however the book explains the main back story of the first book. I found this book to be quite good, however very like many other young adult books as it is set in a school. The pacing of this book is very good, and allows the reader to be dragged into the story line.

Writing about the characters is difficult with this book as I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers. Llona is a complicated character, who is a creature of the light, but battling the dark she received from the vyken bite. May is almost too nice, and very trusting, and comes across as too good.

In conclusion, Fractured Soul is a good book, with good pacing and varied characters, which I would recommend to people who enjoy the Vampire Academy series

Rapunzel Untangled

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Cedar Fort Inc. for giving me this book to review.

Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her mother, as she has an illness which could kill her if she goes outside. After she gets a computer and goes online to do school work, she joins Facebook, to find out what the world outside her tower is like, against her mother’s permission, and friends Fane. As her friendship with Fane develops, and she starts to explore the world, through her computer and in person.

I liked Rapunzel Untangled as it is the classic Rapunzel tale, set in modern day. The pacing is quite good; however there is a very long build up to the end showdown.

Rapunzel is very naive; however this comes across as realistic, as anybody who has been shut in a tower for their entire life would be. Gothel is an interesting person, as she has some strange character quirks which add to the character. The romance between Fane and Rapunzel is sweet but very predictable.

Whilst this book is very good, I felt it would be improved if it didn’t include magic. This is because it is introduced very late in the book, and feels almost like an afterthought.

In conclusion, Rapunzel Untangled is a good book, and an interesting reworking of a classic tale. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Beastly by Alex Flinn

Sister Assassin

1 Star/5

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for giving me this book to review.

Sisters Annie and Fia are both unique girls as Annie is blind but can see what is going to happen and Fia has perfect instincts. After their parents death they are offered a place at Kessler School for exceptional girls but, Fia know there is something different and wrong about the school. However Fia will do anything the school says to protect Annie from them, even kill.

I was disappointed with Sister Assassin as it had a really good premise but it did not deliver.

I could not connect with any of the characters in this book and I did not really care what happened to any of them. Also the points of view are really confusing because, Annie and Fia’s voices are very similar, and there was too much jumping back in time.

Apart from the first chapter the story was very slow and not very interesting. I would not recommend Sister Assassin as I just could not get into it. 

The Indigo Spell

5 Stars/5

Sydney is feeling very conflicted between what the Alchemist’s have taught her and what her heart feels after the events of the last book. Therefore she goes in search of Marcus Finch a former Alchemist who has escaped and has a way of stopping them controlling. At the same time an evil witch is targeting young women with magical powers and Sydney must master her abilities or she might be next.

The Indigo Spells the brilliant third book in the Bloodlines series which has romance, action and an unpredictable plot. While this book is excellent, it definitely felt like a middle book and I hope we get to explore more about the Alchemists world in the next book.

Sydney is much more uncertain about everything in this book compared to Bloodlines and The Golden Lily which I felt added another level to her. I also like that she is less obsessed about what she ate as I did not like that aspect of her. I love that we got to see another side of Adrian and how really sweet and romantic he is.

I hope we get to see more of Jill, Eddie and Angeline in the next few books, as since Bloodlines, they seem to becoming less important characters as the series goes on.

I can’t wait for The Fiery Heart to come out in autumn, especially as it is told from the point of view of both Sydney and Adrian. I would recommend The Indigo Spell to people who enjoyed Vampire Academy and liked the other novels in the Bloodlines series.

Saturday 9 February 2013


5 Stars/5

Scarlet starts a few hours after the last book, with Cinder escaping from prison and the death sentence by Queen Levana. She meets up with fellow prisoner Thorne and together they go on a search for answers to Cinders past and how she came to live with her Step-Family. Meanwhile in France, a girl who always wears a red hoodie called Scarlet is searching for her missing Grandmother who everyone believes just wondered away but she does not believe this. Scarlet meets up with a street fighter called Wolf, who believes he knows where her Grandmother is being held captive, but can Scarlet trust him or is he more involved than he is saying.

Scarlet is the fantastic second book in the Lunar Chronicles, and I love the touches of both Cinderella and Red Riding Hood but in a way never seen before. Scarlet is a much shorter time period than Cinder but it is just as action-packed because if one of the stories slows down, the other is in the middle of the action.

In this book Cinder is having a bit of a personality crisis, as she has only just found out she is the missing Lunar Princess and a lot of people are desperate to find her, but she is still the same person we grew to like in the first book. I also really liked Scarlet because of her love and loyalty to her Grandmother and her belief that you should not judge someone before you know what they have been through. However the one person I could not really connect to was Thorne as I felt we don’t really know much about him and I hope we learn more about him in the next book.

The romance between Kai and Cinder was not as interesting as the last book as they were not together at all, so I could not the connection as much as Cinder. That being said it did feel their feelings for each other did influence some of the decisions they made. However, Scarlet and Wolf’s romance was nice and enjoyable and this book really left you guessing if Wolf actually liked her or was actually using her.

I really love this series and I cannot believe that I have to wait until 2014 to read the next book Cress. I would recommend Scarlet to people who liked Cinder or dystopian novels with a twist.

Friday 8 February 2013

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

4 Stars/5

Finley, Griffin, Emily and Sam are travelling to New York to save Jasper, who they believe has been arrested for murder. However, Jasper is not with the Police he is being held captive by his former gang. If Jasper returns the machine he stole from the gang’s leader Dalton, then Jasper’s first love Mia will not be killed by the mysterious clockwork collar around her neck. Finley goes undercover to help save Jasper and Mia, and to find out what this machine does and stop Dalton from using it.  

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is the second book in the steampunk chronicles and is just as good as the first as it is still action-packed and full of romance. However this book is much more predictable than the last, as I could tell what would happen next and who the good and bad guys were.

While Finley’s two sides of herself have merged into one however she is not sure which side of herself is dominate the lighter or darker, this adds a lot of depth to her character and really makes her relatable to most people. I also really like the tension between Griffin and Finley as it adds another level to their romance.

Kady Cross is really talented at writing characters as they are well written and I could identify with every single one of them. I hope in the next book we learn more about Emily’s past and we get to see more of Jack, also I would like it if Wildcat was in it again as I think she would fit in with the group.

I really can’t wait to see what happen next in the series. I would recommend The Girl in the Clockwork Collar to people who liked The Girl in the Steel Corset or readers of steampunk. 

The Girl in the Steel Corset

4 Stars/5

Finley Janye is not a normal 16 year old girl, when her boss’s son tries to take advantage of her; she fights him off and wins. This is because she has a darker side, which is stronger than most men and more daring than most girls in 1897 England. When fleeing the sense, she runs into Griffin King an orphan Duke who has a unique power of his own, he can control Aether. Finley joins the Dukes group of misfits including a girl with an affinity with machines, a boy who is half machine and an American cowboy who is super-fast and has a secret. They have to stop The Machinist, a man who is using robots for some sinister purpose.

The Girl in the Steel Corset is a fascinating Young Adult Steampunk with action, romance, humour and suspense. This book seemed longer than it is, but in a good way as there is a lot information and action in this average sized book.

Finley is an interesting character as you can identify and understand both sides of her, and Cross has cleverly been able to merge both sides of her together and yet see both of them in her. I also really like the rest of the group especially Griffin as he is one of the best YA love interests, however I just could not connect with Jasper but I feel we will get to know him better in the next book.

While I liked the characters, I did not like the romance as I am not a big fan of love triangles, and this book has two. I especially did not like the triangle between Emily, Sam and Jasper as it did not really feel needed. Also the copy of this book had The Strange Case of Finley Jayne in it and it felt that the events in that story did not happen to the Finley in this book.

I can’t wait to see what happens next to Finley, Griffin and the rest of the gang in the next book. I would recommend this novel to people who like The Infernal Devices series. 

Saturday 2 February 2013

Devil's Due

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin UK Ltd for giving me this book to review.

Lucia Garza is stuck in the middle of a power struggle between two powerful but sinister psychic organisations The Cross Society and Eidolon. She and her partner Jazz have been working with The Cross Society believing they are the good guys however, she is not sure who she can trust anymore, even Jazz’s ex-partner and their newly hired private detective Ben McCarthy.

Devil’s Due is the Second book in Caine’s Red Letter Day series and starts right where Devil’s Bargain left but from the point of view of Lucia instead of Jazz. This book is fast paced and has nonstop action and tension.

While I enjoyed this book I just could not connect with Lucia even though I am more like her than Jazz. I think part of this might be because her past is mentioned quite a bit but we never get to find out much about it.

I also could not feel the chemistry between Lucia and her love interest and just could not understand why they were drawn together. However, I could feel that Jazz and Lucia clicked as, while they are both different, they are really good friends and work well together.

While I did prefer Devil’s Bargain, this book did wrap up the series nicely and has a good and interesting story. I would recommend Devil’s Due to people who like Devil’s Bargain. 

Shadowhunters and Downworlders

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and SmartPop/BenBella books for giving me this book to review.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders is a book of essays from well-known authors about Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices books.

When I requested this book I did not know it was a book of essays, I thought it was either an in-depth look at Shadowhunters and Downworlders by Clare similar to the Dark-Hunter companion by Sherrilyn Kenyon or a book of short stories by famous authors set in the same world. This is probably why I just could not get into this book at all.

However, a few bits I did enjoy especially the introduction by Clare. The two essays I enjoyed the most was Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero and Why the best friend never gets the girl.

This is really not my type of book but I would definitely recommend Cassandra Clare other books to people who like Young Adult Paranormal novels.


3 Stars/5

Michelle De Freccio and her father have just moved to England and all Michelle wants is to be normal and not be known for having a psychic mother and a brother who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. However she soon starts drawing a knight called Christopher from the 1400’s. As she starts getting drawn into his world, she does not know if this is real or if she is going crazy.

Drawn is a fun Young Adult read about time travel and a timeless love. It was slow to start but picked up a bit as the book progressed. I wish there was more far-reaching consequences to the butterfly-effect in this book as it would have been more interesting than the little bits seen in Drawn.

I liked Michelle as she is a strong person even though she is an outcast, which makes really easy to connect to. I just did not like Christopher although I cannot put my finger on why, maybe because most of the book you did not know if her was real or not and good or not.

I did not like the ending and wished Lamba would have written it differently. I would recommend this to people who like Timeless by Alexandra Monir.

Heart of the Dragon's Realm

4 Stars/5

Princess Kimri is angry because her brother King Dereth sold her to the mountain King for swords to defend his Kingdom. However, King Tathan is different from how she expected and offers her a year of courtship before her deciding if she want to marry him. As the year goes on she finds that she likes the Mountain King and may even grow to love him, but when the war changes, she may have to rely on only herself to save her Kingdom.

Heart of the Dragon’s Realm is a wonderful light fantasy novel which is both sweet and enchanting. This book has a great mix of romance, fantasy and adventure, and has a really good pace to it.

Kimri is a delightful heroine who has a good heart and acts realistically especially at the beginning of the book. I would have liked to find out more about Tathan as I felt there was much more to him and it could have been expanded on.

Heart of the Dragon’s Realm is a charming story if a bit predictable; also it could have done with another hundred pages or so. I would recommend this novel to people who like Witch Song or Magic Under Stone. 

Elemental: The First

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Pauma Publishing for giving me this book to review.

Rose Frost is use to moving house every few months, so when she go to live with her Grandmother, it is not too bad, especially as she has childhood friends from her holidays here. With people disappearing, Rose and her friends must discover who is behind it and who she should trust. However, Rose has a gift which must be kept secret, but is it somehow linked to Halika Dacome a local legend and the person Rose has been dreaming about?

Elemental: The First is an enjoyable book which is really hard to categorise but is mostly a YA paranormal book. However, while I liked it, it was very slow and hard to get into and there was not as much excitement as there could have been.

Rose is a really likeable person, who is very mature for her age considering she has just moved and is away from her family. However, I just could not click with the secondary characters as Rose got to know and be really good friends with them too quickly seeing as they has only really known each other for a few days.

The book ended at a really odd point because it finished just as it was getting really interesting and it seemed like it ended a chapter or two to early. Elemental: The First is an enjoyable book which I would recommend to people who like paranormal YA novels.