Friday, 27 April 2012

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0857074571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857074577

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld...this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Nikki Beckett has been in the Everneath for a hundred years. Holding her in a firm brace is Cole, beautiful Cole who takes away all her pain. And every other emotion, too.

When she was at her worst, Nikki begged Cole to make her feel nothing, to take away all the pain and suffering that was killing her. And he did. So without a goodbye to her father or brother, friend or boyfriend, Nikki disappeared.

But one face reaches her during the Feed – Jack. The boy she left behind. And so instead of going to the Tunnels, or joining Cole forever on the throne of the Everneath, Nikki Returns to the Surface…and back to Jack.

Nikki has to learn all over again how to behave, how to feel. Emotions fly as she struggles to remember small details, but also how to laugh or cry, or even dream.

Everneath is fraught with drama and tension, uncertainty and tenderness. Jack is the ultimate book boy to crush hard on. Steady and patient, he doesn’t push Nikki into confessing where she’s been or why she’s so different.

In a weird way I almost felt maternal to Nikki. Reading her story and watching her come to terms with what she has lost, and will lose again, was extraordinarily emotion. As she takes small steps reintroducing herself back into society was a little like watching Bambi learn how to walk.

Nikki’s decisions could be heavily examined and scrutinised. As her story develops and we learn more about her and what made her give up life for the Everneath, we are faced more and more with a damaged and broken young woman. But before she is judged too harshly, and yes, while she is a heavily flawed character, I guarantee all of us would at least consider Cole’s offer at some time or another.

Jack and Nikki were intriguing characters and every times their names were both mentioned on the page my heart gave a little flutter. It has been awhile since I’ve rooted so whole-heartedly for two characters and their love, but Jack and Nikki deserve a cheerleading squad. One minus a certain Lacey shaped one.

Readers will get to the end of this book gasping for more and frantically counting down the days to the sequel. 


Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night

Happy World Book Night!!!!

This year is a very special World Book Night for me, as it is my first as a giver. I will be giving away copies of Stephen King's Misery in a bit of a different way. All through a certain city I will be leaving my copies for members of the public to find. It's all down to fate and sheer randomness. 

I will be doing a more in depth article about my World Book Night experience at a later date. Right now, in the spirit of World Book Night, I want all of you to tell me the book that has most affected you. Not necessarily your favourite book, but the one that has reached you on a totally different level.

For me, it is easily Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. If you choose to read this, or maybe you already have, you should be able to guess how and why I have given out my books like this.

So once again, Happy World Book Night, and Happy Reading, everyone!

Pamela xx  


Friday, 20 April 2012

Book Review: Emerald City by Alicia K Leppert

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sweetwater Books (10 April 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1599558645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599558646
Olivia Tate is a broken shell of a girl haunted by the tragic events that fill her past. She has closed herself off from the world, each day grasping at something—anything—to live for. Convinced there will never be a way out, she seeks solace in the depths of her medicine cabinet. When she wakes up days later in the hospital she is introduced to Jude, the quiet stranger responsible for saving her life. She never could have guessed then that her mysterious rescuer would end up saving her life a second time, while simultaneously turning her world upside down.

Emerald City is an understated, touching, endearing read. Olivia is living a quiet life, slowly disappearing inside herself while the nightmares torture her nights and her insecurities and social anxiety’s prey on her days. After a particularly bad day Olivia sees no other option open to her, and, just wanting it all to stop, just for a little while, she takes solace in her medicine cabinet.

She is rescued by quiet and strong Jude, who is determined to make sure she realises she has something to live for.

Emerald City is told by both Olivia and Jude and while Olivia’s head is a self-deprecating and anxious place to be in, Jude’s is both strong and sure and equally worried.

The synopsis doesn’t give much away about this book, and I am loathe to do different here. What I will say is it is an edgy and dark read that will take you to difficult places and make you squirm in your seat. But where there is dark there is also light. And even in the deepest shadows, sunshine can still find you.                  

Emerald City holds many surprises. It doesn’t take long before it etches itself on your heart.       


Monday, 16 April 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books (4 May 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 184845094X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848450943

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

Allie and her gang live in hiding, scurrying for food and fleeing from the thing that terrifies them most. Vampires.

They live in a vampire city where humans are treated like blood cattle and forced to pay taxes, but not with money. But there are those that cheat the system and live off the grid. Allie and her friends are a few of those people. But when they are attacked one night and Allie hovers between life and death, she is offered a choice to live or die.

She chose life. As a vampire.

But instead of becoming a blood thirsty fiend, Allie managed to hold onto the scrap of humanity inside her, and while she needed a liquid diet to survive, she didn’t need to kill to do it.  When Allie is forced to leave the city she knows, she turns to the open road, walking and ambling with no sense of direction. Until she meets Zeke and his group of people searching for a better life. Allie has to hide who she really is, especially from the boy who looks closer than anyone.

The Immortal Rules is following the recent trend of vampire novels where they aren’t brooding and love-struck sparkly heroes. These aren’t the romanticised vampires but the ruthless and deadly ones. And it’s amazingly refreshing.

I really liked the idea of The Immortal Rules and Allie’s struggle to keep her animal instincts at bay. Her vampire creator, Kanin, was one of my favourite characters. He intrigued me and was such a complex novel that I actually wished it was more about him than Allie.

But while there were a lot of plus points to this novel, in my opinion, there were too many negative ones. What jarred me the most were all the different sections to the novel. Character progression and story arcs are pivotal to a good book, but too much, like in this case, killed it stone dead for me. Too much was going on and I felt it could have been a much shorter book.

As a huge fan of the Iron Fey series, this book had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately it just didn’t stand up as well as the authors other books. That said, I am still a huge fan of her work and will still continue to read her future books. This instalment of her new series will please endless vampire buffs and is a welcome addition to what is an over-written genre, but takes it into a fresh and edgy new world. 


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atom (7 Feb 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1907411054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907411052


    Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim. 

    Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive. 

    If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers 

Under the Never Sky took my breath away. It wove itself around me, tempting me with beautiful prose and foreign worlds and two characters so completely different they were yin and yang.

Aria has spent her whole life in reverie. The dome protects her from the outside world that would surely kill her. She spent her life in a cyber world reality with her smart-eye connecting her to friends and her mother, who, due to her work, is away more often than not. With a thought, Aria can be snowboarding. Waterskiing. Anything she wants. But when her mother disappears, Aria must look beyond the make-believe and turn her real eye to the outside.

Perry is an Outsider. A hunter for his tribe. All his life he has known violence and anger and the sharp claws of the beasts he must bring back for food. He sees Aria as weak and fragile. An enemy. Aria sees him as a savage. Something not to be trusted. But trust each other they must, if they want to find what they are looking for.

Under the Never Sky is told in alternative POVs from Aria and Perry. I LOVED being in their heads. Most of the time with split POV books, I look forward to one in particular. Not this case. This time I devoured every single word from each character. I couldn’t get enough.

The worlds of Aria and Perry couldn’t be more different. But each is described with enchanting prose that make the background feel real, as though the book came with its own Smart-Eye and I was a guest on Aria and Perry’s adventure.

I cannot wait for the sequel. There have been a lot of competition on the dystopian front, especially with so many new talents emerging this year. Rossi is more than holding her own.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0141339608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141339603
  • The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America's two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history.... 

    Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it. 

    Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital. 

    Only one person could be responsible. 


    And now it's June's mission to hunt him down. 

    The truth they'll uncover will become legend. 

As far as dystopian novels go, Legend is right up there with Divergent and The Hunger Games.

As far as characters go, Day and June could not be more different. One a wanted criminal, the other a promising military student. And yet somehow their lives are intertwined by a moment that changes them both forever.

Day is not who June thinks he is. And June does not know half of what goes on around her. But Day does. And he opens her eyes. And shows her the world.

This is going to be one of my most shortest reviews ever. The book, despite its length, is rich and full and made me ache for more when I reached the end. Day and June became a part of my life. It was a pleasure to watch them change each other’s. Anymore said would ruin the experience.

The first in a trilogy, the sequel is my most eagerly awaited book by far.

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