Category Archives: BOOK REVIEWS
Book Review: A FEAST FOR CROWS by George R R Martin
Crows will fight over a dead man’s flesh, and kill each other for his eyes.
Bloodthirsty, treacherous and cunning, the Lannisters are in power on the Iron Throne in the name of the boy-king Tommen. The war in the Seven Kingdoms has burned itself out, but in its bitter aftermath new conflicts spark to life.
The Martells of Dorne and the Starks of Winterfell seek vengeance for their dead. Euron Crow’s Eye, as black a pirate as ever raised a sail, returns from the smoking ruins of Valyria to claim the Iron Isles. From the icy north, where Others threaten the Wall, apprentice Maester Samwell Tarly brings a mysterious babe in arms to the Citadel.
Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory will go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel and the coldest hearts.
IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS, PLEASE DO READ… JUST TO BE SAFE FROM ANY POTENTIAL SPOILERS…
So, after the explosive events of A Storm of Swords (Book 3) we arrive at A Feast for Crows, the 4th installment, and a very dark chapter in the series.
The War of the Five Kings is coming to an end and Westeros is now knee-deep in the aftermath, the nasty bleak open road that now lies ahead. Where do the characters go from here? The war was devastating; people slaughtered, farms and villages burned. Winter is coming and there are hardly any crops or bounty to be had from the Autumn harvest. Not a particularly nice position to be in, really!
I loved the inclusion of Cersei Lannister’s POV in this book. She really is a nasty piece of work, and a crazy, sinister queen who is completely corrupt by power. Despite her overpowering dark side, however, Cersei does have one redeeming feature: the love of her children. It is an aspect of her personality that has always fascinated me. It makes you wonder about the nature of evil and how it is not as absolute as it seems. Saying that, I do not think that it will ever redeem her for all that she has done. Can she be? Her brother has been. Look how hated he was initially… But then there is far much more blood on her hands. I’m looking forward to seeing how she ends up!
The chapters set in Dorne are fabulous, some of my favourite moments in the book. I just loved the landscape and the ways they worked, and the planning of the Queen of Westeros plot! Very interesting! Will more come of that? A rival for Daenerys?
The cliffhangers made me scream and got excited for more – particularly the Brienne part! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and the very end! CRUMBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m loving this series so much. Can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. On to A Dance with Dragons! Woo Hoo!
Book Review – Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
BY ROBIN HOBB
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.
Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.
So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
This is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb…
Right from the beginning, this story had an intense, emotional impact. Fitz’s life is laced with a painful sadness and my eyes did mist over on many occasion. Hobb’s incredible writing, her skill at weaving a beautiful, visceral sentence, pulled at the heartstrings. But there was not only sadness. There was mystery, action, political intrigue, wonderful characters, amazing word-building and delicious writing.
Fitz is a wonderful character and a great narrator, really pulling you into the world with his voice, sharing his experiences and pieces of history from The Six Duchies. Not only is this a fantasy story, but one about growing up, about finding yourself in a tough world, and even one about family. Fitz is our guide, taking us on a journey through his younger years to his teens, our eyes through which we see an amazing yet cruel world, a world adrift in strange times. His is a life of pain and discovery. I cannot wait to read the second volume of the trilogy (Royal Assassin) and see how it all pans out.
I have to say that The Fool is my favourite character! I won’t say anything further about him, just that I think he is awesome! 🙂
If you love fantasy, I highly recommended this feast of a novel! Happy Reading! 🙂
5 STARS! *****
Review of Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
MAGIC BLEEDS (BOOK 4 IN THE KATE DANIELS SERIES)
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.
Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle–especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.
When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years–and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.
This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…
Hello. Amos here. Let me begin by saying that Cassidy and myself are both obsessed with this fabulous Urban Fantasy series. It all started from a second-hand book shop in Notting Hill, London. On one of my weekly visits to London, I paid a bargain book store a visit to see what treasures could be found in this wonderfully haphazard place – nothing is in any order, apart from genre (not the basement – that’s a different story). That is part of the fun of this shop – the hunt for jewels.
Anyway, one day I discovered Magic Bites. I thought it sounded cool so I made it mine. As I was reading something else at the time, and Cassidy had devoured all of her books, I let her borrow it and read it first – she is a reading machine! She leaves me well and truly in the dust! I’d defo send her off to Reading Olympics if there was such a thing. Cassidy would get gold no problem 🙂 From then on, after huge OMGs etc about how great the first book was, our love affair with the writing duo, Ilona Andrews, kicked off.
Now on to the book. Firstly, if you haven’t read any of the previous titles, don’t start here. Go back to the first one – Magic Bites.
Okay, this book was a game changer. A bloody HUGE game changer. Things heat up, things get darker. The villain is epic, a super nasty character who, while being unhinged and brutal, can be quite funny – there is a scene with the villain and Kate in Kate’s apartment which is deliciously wicked and written with razor-sharp wit.
Now to the love stuff. Won’t give too much away, but please avert your eyes if you want to know nothing – aka newbies to the whole series.
Magic Bleeds brings together Kate and Curran, finally. The build up has been excellent. The great thing about these books is that they took their time getting to the love stuff, slowly racking up the tension until the passion takes over and they hit the sheets. Man, it was so worth the wait. Kate and Curran are a great couple.
Going to stop now. But just before I go, just have to say that the use of mythology is fantastic in this book. The history of things and characters is rich and engrossing. It made for very satisfying reading.
Okay, signing off now 🙂
Rating: ***** 5 Stars!
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, Book 4): Amazon.co.uk: Ilona Andrews: Books
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Well, slightly different this week for Book of the Week. More like, Trilogy of the Week 🙂
THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY
Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
There have been so many review of this series, so we’re probably not going to be saying anything that hasn’t already said. But lets start by saying we both adored this series and both wish we could forget everything that happened and start all over again. I guess a second read will happen again in a few years. We loved it that much.
Cassidy had discovered the books on one of her many travels through across the internet universe, hunting down new fiction feats to get her teeth into – and then pass the knowledge onto me, Amos. I have just finished the books so this is me writing this review, but the views are ones we share 🙂
From the very first page of book 1, you are drawn into the sinister world Katniss lives in – called Panem. I came to the conclusion that it was set in America in the very far future, an alternative Earth, a huge place to inhabit all the districts and the various arenas The Hunger Games took place in – all with different climates and features etc.
The first book roared along at a breathless pace, terrifying edge-of-your-seat stuff. And then the ending, the cruelty of the Capitol…Whoah! It blew me away!
The second book was equally terrifying, and a lot more sinister. The twists and turns came at a frantic level, making me never want to put the book down to eat, sleep or go to work. I couldn’t take it! I had to know what happened. Again, the cliff-hanger ending was a great big “HOLY S$$T!”
And so then came the final book. I was so thankful to have it there waiting for me to consume. I cried, I was shocked, I was stunned, I was breathless. If the last one upped the sinister levels, this one catapulted them into the stratosphere! No, beyond that! The darkness came on thick and fast, the twists and turns so devastating. And then the ending, the closing of the this thrilling trilogy…bittersweet is the only word I can use, but it was so much more intense than that. I cried, there was hope but so much sadness. It was a perfect ending, one that made sense and one that I was so happy with. We were both happy with it, despite the tears.
One thing we also liked was that Katniss had her priorities right. Yes, there was romance and a little bit of a triangle. But not really. So much was going on that she didn’t have time for it, she had work to do, lives to save.
So, in conclusion to this little voicing of our love for this series, we both just want to say that we highly recommend this series to anyone. Even if it not your usual thing. Just try this fine piece of Dystopian Fiction.
Thank you for listening 🙂 Follow the link below for the box set of the trilogy. Happy reading.
Peace and love,
Amos and Cassidy x x x x
Book of the Week is:
JOURNEY TO THE PAST… A tale of romance and survival as three people travel from 2236 to the beginning of time. Jennifer Daykin joins the three-man crew to explore the newly discovered planet, Eden. All was going well until Jenny found herself deserted… She listened for an answering shout – there was nothing. In the distance, Jenny was transfixed with horror as the space shuttle rose into the blue sky of Eden. ‘No… Don’t leave me here ‘ Only the pounding of her heart answered her. …but not alone The instant she hit the floor she curled into the foetal position. Finally, the bare feet walked away. A Native American warrior, had been her first thought, but it was his eyes that had alerted her he wasn’t an Indian or even human. They were completely black; black, dry orbs in a battered face. Ordinary people with ordinary emotions, fears and insecurities. Only this isn’t Earth, and he isn’t human. A modern day Adam and Eve.
I don’t usually read sci-fi and picked this book up on a whim and I am so glad that I did. I totally fell in to the world that Louise Wise created. From the first page I was hooked and didn’t stop reading until midnight, and then only because I had finished. The planet Eden was vividly and atmospherically described, the characters were well-developed and the plot, although simple, had me hooked. I loved Fly and enjoyed the fact that we were allowed glimpses into his head. Jenny was a strong female lead with an abundance of courage.
This book has gone on to my favourites list and I would highly recommend it!
My Rating: ***** 5 stars!
If you have a craving for some dystopian sci-fi, or you just feel like being transported to a different planet, then check out this book! Available on Amazon UK and US.
Links to Amazon:
Book of the Week – Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin
Okay this weeks Book of the Week is:
Sweet Blood of Mine
by John Corwin.
From Mega Nerd to Super Stud.
Justin Case and women do not mix. Man boobs, a love of Kings and Castles, and being tight with the “nerd” crowd certainly don’t win him any points either. After rescuing Katie, his crush, it turns out she might not be the girl he thought she was, while Elyssa, the school’s Goth Girl, turns out to be more. Can high school get any more confusing?
Determined to improve himself, he joins a gym and meets a sexy girl that just oozes a “come hither, Justin” vibe. Until she attacks him in the parking lot, and Justin realizes she’s no ordinary girl but a being with supernatural speed and strength. After a narrow escape and an excruciating migraine headache, he wakes up with supernatural abilities all his own: speed, strength, and the ability to seduce every woman he sees.
While that might sound like the perfect combo for any hormonal teen, Justin is a hopeless romantic who wants his first time to be special. Is that too much to ask for? But he doesn’t know what he is or how to stop his carnal urges. One thing is clear: If he doesn’t find answers there are other more sinister supernaturals who would like nothing better than to make him their eternal plaything and do far worse than kill him
I loved this book. Justin, the nerd, as the unlikely hero who despite all the obstacles and unexplained changes he experiences succeeds in staying true to himself. I loved Elyssia the mysterious Goth chick and the slow blossoming romance between her and Justin. Stacey, the rough tongued mysterious supernatural female, just made me giggle. There were countless laugh-out-loud moments in this book and the end for me was perfect. I can’t wait for the sequel!
My only complaint is to myself – why did I not pick this book up sooner???
My Rating *****
If you love YA UF and you want a male POV then this is the book for you. Or if you simply want a rollercoaster ride of a book littered with witty banter and laugh- out- loud moments then this is the book for you. Or if you…oh just read it and you’ll see what I mean 😀
BOOK OF THE WEEK – BEG FOR MERCY by SHANNON DERMOTT
BEG FOR MERCY
by Shannon Dermott
Everyone dreams of that first kiss. Of that magic moment when your lips finally meet those of that special person you’ve waited your whole life for. A little awkward, a little scary, a little hot and every bit amazing. We speculate that the whole world will shake and time will just stop. No one, however, ever imagines that kiss to bring Death himself knocking.
Sixteen year old Mercy Moore’s life just got more complicated. The kiss that originally could have meant she would finally have a boyfriend now was the kiss that could have very nearly ended his life. A small detail her mother conveniently never told her will take her life for an abrupt u-turn. Dating, no love, was now completely and utterly impossible. And the boy well, that boy would never be the same.
But life, however cruel, goes on. Far too soon for her taste, Mercy finds herself at a senior party with the elite students of her school and her best friend. And of all things, playing a stupid game that could very well mean the death of someone in that small room. If it were not for her best friend, the hottest guys in school, and a small need to fit in, she may have been able to escape the disaster that was to come. Her worst nightmare, her personal curse, her very life, only gets dangerously worse.
This is a young adult paranormal romance novel.
I really, really loved this book. When I read the blurb I was expecting a typical story about a girl trying to come to terms with her succubus nature, but this was so much more than that. There were twists and turns in this book that I honestly did not see coming. The character development was excellent, and I loved every character in this book. I thought Mercy was a realistic teenager and found her very likable. I was flipping pages till the wee hours, and once I read the last sentence I breathed a sigh of satisfaction as the ending did not disappoint. I am going to settle down to read the next book in the series now. I need to know what happens next!
Check it out on Amazon UK and US:
Amazon UK link:
Amazon US link:
BOOK OF THE WEEK
* Hello, all. Welcome to our new category ‘BOOK OF THE WEEK’. Details below:
As I read about 4-5 ebooks a week, Amos and I decided that we would add a new weekly post to our blog called Book of the Week. I will post my ebook recommendation every Monday from the week before. This way I get to include my weekend reads also 🙂
MONDAY, 16th APRIL, 2012.
Broken City by D.D Chant.
In a broken city, filled with warring tribes, lives:
A girl with no future
A man with no past
A little lost boy
And those who seek to find him….
….Welcome to Deeta’s world.
Deeta Richards has never seen the outside world. Before she was born a banking crisis brought civilization to an end and now no one leaves the safety of the compounds unless they need to, but Deeta still dreams of seeing more than the building she was born in.
Tom is in the guard, this group are the only people who the tribal elders allow to leave the compound and Tom knows only too well that Deeta could never survive the harshness that exists outside. Then tragedy strikes and Deeta and her Sister Jan find themselves captured by a hostile tribe. Why does Tom know so much about these people? And why do they know so much about him? As this mystery draws to a climax, they discover that their friend Tom is not quite what he seems…..
I finished this book in one sitting, and am eagerly awaiting D.D Chant’s next offering.
Here is my review:
Broken City is one of those novels that immediately engages the reader and doesn’t let go until the last page.
Often in dystopian novels you get pages of info dump as the author tries to fill you in on the way of the new world they have created. In those cases, I find myself struggling to assimilate all the information thrown at me and invariably switch off. Not in this case. D.D Chant bleeds colour into the world she has created so skilfully, that the reader doesn’t even realise what is happening until they find themselves standing within a masterpiece. The character development is done in such a way that you feel as if you are slowly peeling away the layers to get to the person underneath. I found myself totally believing that a particular character would behave in a particular way, simply because their hopes, dreams, and motivations became real to me.
Broken City is a feast full of romance, action, high emotion and vivid characters. I would highly recommend this book.
Rating ***** (5 out of 5 stars)
You can find out more about this author at her blog:
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5200308.D_D_Chant