Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #26

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Release Date: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Girroux
Add it: Goodreads
When Los Angeles is devastated by a catastrophic earthquake, seventeen-year-old human lightning rod, Mia Price, finds herself at the center of a power struggle between two fanatical doomsday cults, one that wants to save the world, and one that wants to destroy it... and she will be the deciding factor in which cult succeeds at their aim.
Author: Gwen Hayes
Release Date: January 3rd 2012
Publisher: NAL Trade
Add it: Goodreads
She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

Struck: First off, I have to say how much I love the cover. We see so many girls in pretty dresses dominating YA covers these days and while they do look absolutely amazing, it's nice to see a girl dressed normal and looking downright BADASS. The cover just screams power and I love it! Plus how awesome is the story?! So, so, so excited for this.

Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2): I loved the first book and the world of Under was so wonderfully creepy, the characters were all fantastic and I just love where Gwen took the story. So of course, I'm dying for the sequel!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt

You've all heard of this book, right? Three teenage descendants of Medusa? Triplets destined to hunting monsters? If that doesn't ring a bell, then you seriously need to hop on over to Goodreads and check it out!

We're all now wondering what the title of the second book in the series will be called. But Tera Lynn Childs isn't one to simply tell you outright. She'd rather send you on a hunt throughout the blogosphere to collect clues and entice you in with some seriously awesome prizes!

What can you win? Tera is giving away FIVE signed copies of Sweet Venom and a grand prize of a $50 bookstore gift card! The hunt is open internationally. Tera will have all the information on her blog and a list of the blogs you need to visit to find the clues. Collect all the letters, arrange the title and fill out the entry form on her blog!

The letter I have for you is:


Good luck! :)

Review: Mammon

Author: J.B  Thomas
Release Date: Septemebr 1st 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Add it: Goodreads
Forget anything you ever heard about possession, exorcisms, salt circles and pentagrams. The modern demon is far more difficult to catch - and even harder to destroy.

After the savage, tragic deaths of their parents, Grace and Joe Callahan learn that they they are descendants of the sarsareh - an ancient order of mercenaries who hunt very special prey. Grace and Joe take their place in the Order, but are treated with hostility and fear by other recruits.

For the Callahan siblings have powers that fascinate and terrify.

Joe is a Ferryman, capable of opening dimensional rifts, while Grace's telepathic abilities surpass anything the Order has ever seen.

To complicate matters, Grace falls for her older, more experienced squad leader, Ivan. Meanwhile, the sarsareh elders have their own plans for Joe.

But none of that will matter if the powerful demon Mammon manages to convince Joe to open a gateway to his demon world and overrun Earth with his armies. If he succeeds: game over
Mammon kicks off right away with siblings, Grace and Joe, quickly discovering that they're not quite the normal teenagers they always considered themselves to be. Grace has telepathic abilities and Joe has the incredibly powerful gift of being able to open rifts into other dimensions - a Ferryman. They learn they're descendants of highly skilled mercenaries known as sarsareh and after their parents are brutally murdered, their Auntie Diana takes them to Renfield - a training centre for the sarsareh. Joe is holding onto the rage of his parents murder, desperate for vengeance, playing right into their hands of the extraordinarily powerful and calculating demon known as Mammon, who has been seeking those  with Joe's talent for years, for it will allow him access to the darkest pits of Hell and with it, an army of unstoppable demons. Can Joe stop himself from going over the edge before it's too late and he literally brings forth Hell on Earth?

Grace was easy to empathise with and I liked that she makes mistakes. I mean, coming into these powers, you're bound to get over-confident or make the wrong calls of judgement and she does exactly that, which I think makes her more human, more relatable. Joe, on the other hand, I struggled to connect with. Toward the end I grew a little more favourable to him, but I suppose it was a combination of his attitude and general personality that just didn't click with me. But he's a necessary character, the catalyst which sparked the whirlwind journey the Callahan siblings were forced into.

There is a hint of romance throughout the novel between Grace and Ivan, which has a Vampire Academy feel due to the fact that he's her slightly older team leader. And did I mention he's Russian? We sure do like our Russian men! I think it's the accent and the general air of I'm-deadly-as-hell-and-can-kill-you-with-my-left-toe. I'm convinced now that all the hot Russian guys hunt supernatural monsters in their spare time. Definitely need to take a vacation to Russia someday soon.

Mammon is told from multiple perspectives, both villains and heroes, which adds more depth to the story, since we're gaining intel from every direction. We know what the enemy is planning, we can see when our heroes are falling right into their web and you can only curse in frustration (but in a good way!) and wonder what's going to happen, how they'll get themselves out of this situation.

While I did find myself a little detached from the characters in the first few chapters of this book, I'm glad I went back for a second bite because as soon as I dove back into this story, I realised that J.B Thomas is clearly a female Ferryman. Because when opening this book you'll find a rift hidden inside, it's magnetic force pulling the reader deeper and deeper into it's world of cunning, ruthless demons and the highly skilled mercenaries who risk their life to fight back. Mammon paces itself well, full of action and an incredibly compelling, unique take on the demon mythology. It's Supernatural meets Vampire Academy and yet another fantastic novel from an Aussie!

Also: How cool is the cover? And totally fitting for the story! That looks like one scary powerful rift hanging above the city.

4/5 Golden Apples

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hunger Games Teaser!!

I'm going to bombard your feed with yet another post on The Hunger Games teaser but... but.... IT'S THE HUNGER GAMES TEASER!!!

Are we excited?! Can I hear a HELL YES, WE ARE! Okay, I'm dying to catch a glimpse of Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Rue, Effie, etc. But it's only fitting we see our main girl first and of course, a voiceover from Gale! I think this making me ten times more antsy for the movie. Or at least a full trailer. Jennifer is looking good as Katniss!!  What are your thoughts?

Gary Ross also said this about the teaser:
The teaser comes to a close as Katniss indeed shows how good she is: arrow meeting flaming target. But all this is just a taste of what’s to come, as director Gary Ross told MTV News earlier this week. “We’re still shooting, so unfortunately it’s just a teaser. We could only give you a little bit because we’re still down here making the movie,” he said. “But there’s a lot of things to come that I think are going to be hugely epic and very emotional and incredibly powerful.”

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

This is my second copy of Bloodlines, but my other is a signed ARC thanks to an amazing BEA attendee, which I want to keep for obvious reasons.... it's signed by the authorly Goddess herself and an early copy of one of my favourite series! The finished copy is for rereading! Most people have read it now so... DID YOU LOVE IT?!

Dearly Departed was a fantastic surprise!! I've been soo excited for this, so it took all my willpower not to just dive in straight away. I will be after I finish my current read though. I'm not sure that Aftertime is YA, but still, it's dystopian and sounds intriguing. I have to wait to read Twisted, since I haven't read any of the other books in the series. Are they good?

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: All These Things I've Done

Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Release Date: September 1st 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Add it: Goodreads
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.
Anya is a very likable, level-headed character. She's got a strong self of will and a good head on her shoulders. She has to, given the fact that she's had to take on the role of mother hen in her family. Both her parents are dead - her father murdered and her mother killed in an accident intended for her father. An accident which left older brother Leo with an intellectual disability. So Anya has a responsibility to not only look after Leo, who despite his limitations, is deeply loyal to his family and such a sweet boy, but her bright and endearing little sister Natty and their dying grandma. Oh and did I mention her father was a criminal who headed the black market trade for illegal Balanchine chocolate? Yeah, playing mother to her siblings is hard enough, doing so in a mafia family is even harder. She's certainly not your average 16 year old.

So being accused of attempted murder and the following whirlwind of events and impossible choices that follow don't seem all that unlikely given the world she lives in. Especially the complications that come attached with falling in love with the son of the new District Attorney. The DA doesn't exactly approve of his son dating the daughter of a crime lord, deceased or not. Goodwin (better known as Win) was a worthy love interest and I really liked how the relationship slowly formed between the pair. Anya is not the kind of girl to go all swoony over a guy. She's very cautious and logical. But a 16 year old shouldn't have to wonder whether having a boyfriend will put her family in danger. The impossibility of ever allowing herself to divulge in life's pleasures, be a normal teen, does make it easy to sympathise. Yet she's not the self-pitying, weepy kind of girl. Her personality made for a refreshing narration.

Zevin weaves the dystopia element in very realistically. Resources are growing more and more scarce, everything requires vouchers or permits. Even sending an email, you have to pay postage. Go into any store. Look around your home. Anywhere. Everywhere. There is just so much STUFF in our lives. Things for the sake of things, hardly necessities or vital to our survival. We're such gluttons and it's easy to imagine a world like this in our future, where rules and regulations need to be put in place to preserve dwindling resources. And with such laws, of course, will come black market trades. Just like Anya's family dealing in the chocolate industry. How many of you chocoholics out there would survive a future with no chocolate? No wonder the Balanchine's do such good trade!

I did wonder why the likes of chocolate were illegal yet alcohol was not only freely available to adults, but even children of any age. It wasn't big enough to deter me from the story, just a minor point that made my brow furrow. Also I have to note, since this is set in the year 2083, the 2011 generation of teen are now elderly and it was amusing to imagine Grandparents using terms like "OMG". Not really something you associate with 80 year olds these days! 

All These Things I've Done is an engaging novel that will sweep you up in a Anya's world of loyalty, love and danger. No choice is easy and without consequence. And no matter how much she tries to distance herself from the business of her father, there is no getting around the fact that she carries the Balanchine name and with it, the responsibilities it demands. Just like a block of chocolate, where you eat a square and find yourself consuming nearly the entire block before you can blink, All These Things I've Done is addicting from the very first bite and you'll find it hard to put it down until you've devoured it all.

4/5 Golden Apples

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Witch Eyes Blog Tour: This or That

I'm delighted to be the third stop on the Teen Scene Book Tour for Scott Tracey's upcoming debut novel, Witch Eyes, which sounds like an absolutely fantastic blend of magic, love and a dangerous fued between two witch dynasties. Be sure to add this one to your wishlists, folks!

Today I'm joined by Trey, the enigmatic love interest of main character, Braden. He's kindly consented to take time away from the magic and danger of Belle Dam to share a few of his preferences with us.

First dibs or Last laugh? Last laugh.
Stop time or Fly? Stop time. I could get so much more done.
Book or Movie? The book is always vastly superior to the movie. Besides, I think people need to read more.
Zombies or Unicorns? Zombies. Killing unicorns just doesn't seem like a good life decision.
Chinese or Italian food? Italian. Especially when it's homemade.
Sunrise or Sunset? Sunset. Maybe it's a little more dangerous, but it's also more fun.
Truth or Lies? Truth. Always truth.
Darth Vadar or Lord Voldemort? Vadar. Even with all his power, he was just a man.
Lover or Fighter? Fighter. Being the lover seems a little too passive for me. I'd rather go out and kick butt.
Eyes or Lips? Eyes. I mean, obviously...
Cookie dough or Cake batter? Cake batter. Then two hours at the gym with my trainer.
Monkeys or Penguins? Anything but wolves.
Horror or Comedy? Comedy. Horror movies hit too close to home.
Befriend an alien visitor or be the alien visitor? Befriend the alien visitor. Then find out how he can help the family.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Trey!

Witch Eyes is released September 8th 2011. You can pre-order yourself a copy at The Book Depository!

Check out the Tour page to keep updated on where Scott is headed next around the blogosphere!

Waiting On Wednesday #25

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Brian James
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Release Date: March 27th 2012
Add it: Goodreads
Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

Author: Cole Gibson
Release Date: March 8th 2012
Publisher: Flux
Add it: Goodreads
Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai tale.

Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn’t explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she’s going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her.
Life Is But A Dream: This sounds so good! Are they really crazy? Or is there something bigger going on here? I think getting inside Sabrina's head and reading her thoughts will be a pretty fascinating experience, I can't wait!

Katana: Teen girl harboring the spirit of a 500 year old sumarai warrior? That's a recipe for badass if I've ever heard one. And it. has. NINJAS!! Ninjas! Did you read that? Ninjas! Don't we all have a hidden desire to have a sexy, kickass ninja double identity? I want this book.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: The Power Of Six

Author: Pittacus Lore
Release Date: August 23rd 2011
Publisher: Penguin Australia / Harper Collins US
Add it: Goodreads
We are the last defence. I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened to John Smith. To the world he's a mystery, but to me ...he's one of us. Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us, if we all still believe in our mission. 
There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another, but our Legacies are developing and soon we'll be ready to fight. Is John Number Four - and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who might be strong enough to bring the six of us together? 

They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio ...and failed. I am Number Seven. And I'm ready to fight.

The Power of Six picks up right where it left off in I Am Number Four. John, Sam and Six are on the run from the law, doing what they can to best evade both aliens and authorities. We're also treated with an entirely new character's story, which is a fantastic addition. Right from the get go, you're pulled into the whirlwind of action, a thrill-ride that refuses to cease until the very last page. You're hanging on every word, wondering how these characters are going to make it out alive, because sure, they've all got these awesome abilities, but they find themselves in such impossible situations that you're really not sure if they'll all survive. And some of them don't.

The Power of Six introduces narration of a new character - Marina. Number Seven. Marina is living in Spain with her Cepan, Adelina. They used to share a close relationship. But during their time on Earth, Adelina has become distant and less focused on the mission of training Marina and keeping her safe. Rather than stay on the move to remain undetected from the Mogadorians, they've been living at a convent in Spain for the past eleven years. Marina hasn't given up though. She may not be receiving any answers or guidance from Adelina, but she is constantly searching the internet for any signs of the other nine Garde and she is almost certain she's find one in America - John Smith. She's desperate to learn more about him, to maybe even find him. I really grew connected with Marina in particular, her journey was just as engrossing as John's and I loved all the people she met along the way.

John left Sarah behind in Paradise and while her absence has weighed heavy on his heart, the long days spent on the run with only Sam and Six has sparked new and unexpected feelings within John. No, no, not with Sam! Six, of course. There is definitely an attraction between those two, which I found myself enjoying much more than worrying about Sarah. Maybe because Six is just way more badass than she is. But Sam is also carrying a torch for Six and it's not entirely clear for awhile where her own feelings lay, but it definitely adds a little tension to the situation. Most of the tension though, comes from the fast moving, edge-of-your-seat plot that never allows you the opportunity to sit idle. It constantly keeps you on your toes, the moment you sit down to relax - BAM. Something flies around the corner and you're reading faster and faster to see how - IF - they'll escape.

Not only are they on the run for the Mogadorians, but Sam and John's faces are on every television screen and newspaper within the country, with a high price for capture on both their heads. They're wanted terrorists which doubles the danger, increases the stakes and forces the trio to be on even higher alert than before. Because while they may evade capture by one, they have another enemy waiting right around the corner

More of the Nine are introduced, bringing with them new alliances and pretty awesome powers. The story moves along swiftly and there's never a dull moment. You're constantly in the centre of a raging storm, danger and uncertainty abound. Betrayals from the most unlikely, shocks and unexpected terrors lurk in every shadow. The Power of Six is a thrilling sequel that manages to far outstrip it's predecessor. The only problem now is waiting for that eagerly anticipated third installment!

5/5 Golden Apples

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

After reading great reviews of Blood Magic from Erin and Cait, I'm really excited to dive in this! And I've been intrigued by All These Things I've Done, if not a little scared because WHAT kind of a world bans coffee and chocolate? *horrified* Can't wait to read all of these!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
Add it: Goodreads
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

The Scorpio Races take place every November. It's Thisby's most busiest season, tourists come from all over to watch the world's most dangerous and captivating water horses known as capaill uisce, as they are pitted against each other in a terrifying race. The capaill uisce cannot be compared to your common horse, their true home is the water, their beauty electrifying and their taste for human flesh is understandably unsettling. Especially since the men that sit atop these majestic creatures are very much in the tasty human variety.

Gabe, Puck and Finn are orphan siblings after their parents were killed by capaill uisce last fall. They've been surviving off the bare essentials ever since, but there are strong family ties between these three, particularly Puck and Finn and I so loved exploring their relationship. In a desperate bid to keep her family together, Kate Connolly (better known as Puck) announces she's partaking in the races this year. But the idea of riding a capall uisce, particularly in light of her parents death, doesn't sit well with her. So she signs up to the races with her common mare, Dove, presenting two reasons for uproar: one, Dove is a mare in a race for capaill uisce, and two: Puck is a girl in a race for men. But Puck is not the kind of girl who backs down easily, she is an absolutely delightful protagonist and probably one of my favourite of Maggie's so far. She's this rough little gem of a girl, so fierce in spirit and had me laughing out loud too many times to count.

Four time winner of The Scorpio Races, Sean Kendrick, is somewhat of a legend on the island of Thisby. Anytime there's a problem involving the capaill uisce, it's his name on the lips of terrified men as they try not to lose a limb. Sean has a deep understanding of the capaill uisce. His touch, his words, his strong, capable presence can soothe even the deadliest.... well, as much as you can soothe a killer water horse. The bond he shares with his own capall uisce, Corr, is a beautiful thing. It's dangerous, it's magical, it's full of respect and by the end, if their relationship hasn't knotted itself within your heart, I'd check to see if you still actually have one. Sean is a strong, quiet, enigmatic character and even though you're reading from his POV, you still want to know more about him. He never speaks for the sake of speaking, his words hold meaning and you cling to what he says. He has a way of completely holding your attention. The slow-building relationship formed between him and Puck is just a perfect touch to this story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Maggie writes her characters so unbelievably well. Every one of them feels so real, so thoughtfully sculptured in all their flaws and mannerisms, thoughts and desires. That's something that she's excelled at throughout all of her books. Her characters are layered and unique and demand you form an emotional attachment. I adored all the secondary characters in this book (with the exception of one particular asshole, coughMUTTcough), especially Finn! He's this sweet, odd, adorable boy who I just want to envelope in a hug anytime he shows up in a scene. They breed those Connolly kids well.

The Scorpio Races is a breathtaking novel that will lure you into its magical tale of loyalty, family, love and danger. It's deadly and beautiful and entrancing and you can literally taste the air of Thisby, feel the rush of adrenaline as you ride the back of a capall uisce or bite into a delicious November cake. From the moment you open the cover, you've no hope of walking away without the smell of sea water embedded in your skin and a heart weighed down with adoration for this gorgeous tale. Maggie Stiefvater is such an incredibly talented woman. She makes you become part of her world and it's hard to pull yourself out of it. You don't want to pull yourself out. Whether you're a fan of her previous work or not, I strongly urge you to give this a read!

5/5 Golden Apples

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #24

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: William Richter
Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Add it: Goodreads
Get ready for the vigilante girl detective of the next generation.

Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At fifteen, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets.

Now the sixteen-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she’s just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. She’ll stop at nothing to find her birth mother before Klesko—her darkeyed father—finds her. Because Klesko will stop at nothing to reclaim the fortune Wally’s mother stole from him long ago. Even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wally’s had her own killer training, and she’s hungry for justice.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, this debut thriller introduces our next big series heroine!

Author: Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral
Release Date: October 13th 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Add it: Goodreads
Glory is a young piano prodigy. Frank is the boy who moves in next door. Over the years, their friendship blossoms into an undeniable romance. As Glory descends from stunning piano prodigy into a kind of madness, Frank's love becomes more and more unshakable. They both become hopelessly fixated on the song "Chopsticks".

Part love story, part mystery, part visual collage, this novel is told through images as much as it's told through words. Ultimately the reader must decipher what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along.

Richly imagined by author Jessica Anthony and hauntingly designed by Rodrigo Corral, Chopsticks will rivet teens and adults alike on numerous platforms, including a gorgeous book and paid app for the iPhone and iPad, with many additional features.

Dark Eyes: How badass does this one sound? I'm excited to see just what this 'killer training' is that Wally has, because I've no doubt it will lead to some ridiculously awesome fight scenes. And she's Russian! Does it get any better?

Chopsticks: The concept for this is so fascinating, I'm excited to see how it comes together in images and words to tell the story. I love those books in particular where you're not sure what is reality and 'madness'. This is so intriguing, thankfully the wait is short!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Hunting Lila

Author: Sarah Alderson
Release Date: AUS September 1st 2011 / UK August 4th 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Add it: Goodreads
17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

You know those books that you finish and then instantly want to go back and reread all over again? Hunting Lila is just that and then some! I was hooked from the very first page. It's not often you kick start a story with the protagonist using telekinesis to hold a knife to the tip of someones eye. This book is all kinds of badass. Don't worry though, Lila isn't psycho, she's defending herself from the jerks trying to mug her. That one incident sets in motion Lila's page-turning adventure that will suck you in with it's fantastic action, way cool superpowers and deliciously seductive romance.

Straight after the mugging incident, Lila makes a run for it. She jumps on a plane out of the country and heads to Southern California where her brother, Jack, and his best friend Alex are living. Both boys work for a top secret organisation known as The Unit. There's something mysterious going on with the case they're working on. Surely the constant supervision by stalkery SUV cars and high-tech security system on the house aren't standard? Granted, they work a dangerous job, but Lila senses something more going on here and she's determined to find out what. Mystery, danger, twists, action and superpowers litter the pages and you're left begging for more.

Alex has been her brother's best friend since childhood and Lila's been in love with him for just as long. It's been three years since she last saw him and now suddenly she's thrust herself back into his world and oh, her emotions are so pitch perfect. The war that rages within her mind any time they're close together, she can't control her thoughts when she's around him and it's so much fun to read. She knows she's a lost cause, she accepts it, admits it's bad. But you honestly can't fault her, because hello, have you met the guy? Her feelings are totally justified! I loved the relationship developed at a comfortable pace, you become wrapped up in their budding romance, waiting, waiting, waiting for the moment when Alex will admit to the feelings that surely he reciprocates, right?! You just want a kiss! A declaration of mutual love, a hot steamy scene between the pair! And isn't that what we love? A tantalising romance and Sarah delivers just that.

Hunting Lila was such a refreshing read. The atmosphere, the setting, the romance, the pacing, the characters and the plot... Sarah twisted it all together to form something that felt so new and utterly addictive. I honestly would not have been able to put this book down had I tried. Which I most certainly did not because it kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what would happen next to these characters I grew so invested in and their pulse-racing journey, narrated by such a likable protagonist. Sarah Alderson is officially on my list of favourite authors. I think I'd instantly buy anything new she comes out with. I cannot wait to get my hands on Hunting Lila's sequel and of course, her awesome new series, Fated, which comes out next year! The wait for both of these books is already torturous.

Also: This book seriously needs to be made into a movie. Because I think it would translate ridiculously awesome to the big screen.
5/5 Golden Apples!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

I know, some shoddy picture quality, but you can tell what they are :)

Wolf Blood by N.M Brown
Fury by Elizabeth Giles
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Other Life by Susanne Winnaker
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
(Extra copy of Forever, so I'm trading it with another blogger).

I won all the Ally Carter books from the Date A Book Facebook page. WOO! I've been really wanting to read her stuff.
Heist Society
Uncommon Criminals
I'd Tell You I'd Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy
Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover
Only The Good Spy Young

I had an awesome book week and cannot wait to dive into all of these! I finished Hunting Lila yesterday and LOVE IT!! You all seriously need to read this book. So awesome. I'm really excited about The Other Life too, it sounds fantastic and it will be my first Apocalypsies read! Wolf Blood is new to me, but it sounds intriguing!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Days Like This

Author: Alison Stewart
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Add it: Goodreads
She has to escape.
But who else is out there?
And can anyone survive days like this?

I want to go back to the days when life made sense. The days before our parents became strange; before the warming ate away at all the living things in the world; before The Committee and their Blacktroopers. Before the Wall.

Lily is a prisoner in her own home. Forced to stay inside by The Committee and guarded by their increasingly distant parents, Lily and her brother Daniel are beginning to ask why. Then, when Daniel disappears just before his seventeenth birthday, Lily knows she is next.
Thanks to the increasingly harsh effects the Warming has had on the environment, 12 years ago a Wall was built around Sydney Harbour to protect those living in privileged areas. When food and water is becoming scarce, it seems only the rich are entitled to a chance at survival. Those outside the Wall were left to defend themselves, while those within the Wall began a supposedly perfect life...

Twins Lily and Daniel, along with younger sister Alice, have been prisoners inside their own home for the last three years. They're not allowed outside or to converse with any of their neighbours, and all their schooling is done on a computer screen. Their only visitors include the slimy Max (or Maximilian as he likes to be called) and the terrifying Blacktroopers who come once every week to ensure they each take their pills. Pills said to ward off disease, but is that really what they do? Even worse, it seems everyday their parents are growing more and more distant. Hugs, kisses, signs of affection have become a thing of the past for Lily and Daniel - their once warm, loving parents have become self-absorbed, caring more about themselves and what they look like than their own children. They're slightly more favourable toward Alice, but the clear lack of love is disturbing.

One morning, Lily wakes to find Daniel gone. Gone from the house they're never allowed to leave. Her parents won't tell her where he is or who's taken him, they offer no explanation or comfort. Not only is Lily frantic with worry over her twin brother, but she has a growing sense of unease that she's about to disappear next. Can she escape before she's taken? Can she find Daniel.... alive? Can she save both her brother and her sister before they're both swallowed up in the sick and horrific ways of The Committee?

Lily's devotion to her siblings really shines through prominently. She's finds refuge beyond the Wall, but all that's on her mind while she's there is going back to rescue Daniel and Alice. She'd never be able to live with herself if she gave up and left them behind. It was nice to see such strong family ties, especially when any such bond was lacking from their parents. Lily's incredibly stubborn and persistent, she won't take no for an answer. She's got a good heart though, not only for her siblings but for everyone around her and I think that really helps to fuel the bravery she demonstrates throughout the novel. Even if that does lead her to stupid decisions sometimes, you've still got to admire her character!

There is a small amount of romance, although not really evident until near the end of the novel, but that's not at all an issue because the main goal throughout the book is to escape, to rescue and to survive these dark and trying times.

Days Like This highlights some of the problems we already see in today's society in quite a shocking way. The Wall began as a divide between the rich and poor, only allowing those with money and status to thrive in a dying world. And it soon morphed into a twisted community where vanity is everything - the fear of growing old and the thirst for power will drive people to sickening acts to achieve what they want. No matter the cost. No matter the lives lost. With the influx of dystopian novels we see set in the US, it's refreshing to read something close to home. If not a little unsettling!

4/5 Golden Apples

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #23

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Anna Davies
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Add it: Goodreads
Miranda has lived on Whym Island since the death of her parents. She has taken comfort in its seclusion and in the folklore that claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and its surrounding waters. It's easier to believe things are out of her control.

But when a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy that haunts her dreams. As the guilt of the accident consumes her, she finds refuge in her late night swims. Until she meets Christian, a boy who seems so familiar, but won't tell her where he is from and why they can only meet at the beach. As Miranda falls for Christian and begins to put the accident behind her, she discovers that there are secrets that Christian is keeping to protect her that may only end up bringing her nothing but harm.

Author: Ruth Warburton
Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Add it: Goodreads
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart. Seth is utterly irresistible and Anna is an empowered, proactive young woman with unimaginable magic inside her. This is fast-paced, sensuous writing with believable incantations inspired by Warburton's research into witchcraft legend and old English.

Wrecked: First off, hello sexy cover! I like. I like a lot. But the plot is also just as captivating. What is the story to Christian? Who is he? Where is he from? Is he as hot as the cover suggests? ;) Seriously though, this sounds really intriguing. And I love the 'mysterious sea witch' that is said to control the fate of the island.

A Witch In Winter: The fact that this has witches is what makes it an instant 'want' for me. And I especially love that it avoids 'submissive female leads'.  I'm eager to see how the relationship will progress between Anna and Seth, no doubt there will be a lot of emotional turmoil given that she enchanted him - is their love real? Deadly conflicts between two witch clans is the icing on the cake. Or maybe I should say... the fire in the cauldron ;)

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Supernaturally

Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: Harper Collins
Add it: Goodreads
Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal
Evie finally has what she's long been craving for - a normal life. But normal is just so... so.... normal. Where are the raging parties, cat fights and passionate kisses? Could her favourite tv show really have gotten it so terribly wrong? Poor Evie. She ran away from IPCA, but spending her days out in the real world with her boyfriend and going to school is not as glamorous as she thought it would be. Nor is facing the horror of gym class. But at least she has a locker. To every grey cloud, there is a silver lining. Speaking of clouds, why did one just try to kidnap her? Yes, Kiersten White has done it again, with such an awesome array of paranormal, mystery and fan-bleeping-tastic characters.

Evie has a lot of internal conflict wreaking havoc within her this time around. IPCA was the only 'home' she ever knew, she had a purpose there. Now she's out in the real world, she has no family, Lend is at college most days and despite the fact that she has school, a job at a paranormal diner and shares an apartment with vampire, Arianna, she doesn't really have that sense of home or belonging. She's struggling to find that and to really ground herself, because with all the recent upheavals in her life, the knowledge that she's an Empty One and her boyfriend's unknowing immortality, Evie has a lot going on in her head. Which might make you presume this is angst ridden and depressing. Not in the slightest! Evie is still just as fun, spunky, and downright awesome as she was in Paranormalcy.

We also see a new character introduced: Jack. Who isn't a faerie, but he can make doors and travel through the faerie paths. Gosh, I adored Jack... most of the time. He was such a crazy addition to the series. Every time he burst back into a scene, 5 year old me was giddy with joy wondering what he would get up to next. He's so childlike and uninhibited. And probably on something. Or maybe just displaying the side effects of having grown up around those psycho faeries. Either way, he'll make you want to go spend an hour delightfully jumping up and down on your bed, just for the fun of it.

This series has sparkle. Not in a vapid, meaningless, 'oh it looks pretty, but it has no subtsance' way. Yes, it does look pretty, but it sets itself apart from many other YA novels. It's fun, quirky and unique while still dealing with meaty issues that leave readers turning the pages faster and faster to see what will happen next. Supernaturally is an awesome addition to the series . I could not put this down, Kiersten has a way of totally entrancing the reader, you come to the end of a chapter, but think, aw it won't take long to finish another, right? And maybe another? And another and another and another until finally you realise she's probably had a vampire compel you into reading the entire thing without a break. She's a sneaky author.

Also: Please do not skip over the acknowledgements in this book. They are pure awesome.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This Week's Gossip #8

A bunch of incredibly awesome Aussie bloggers have united together this month to bring you: Aussie August. A month full of giveaways, interviews, reviews, guests posts and more to celebrate the awesomeness of Australian literature. It's especially great if you're international and want to try your luck at winning some exclusive Australian released books like Burn Bright and Blood Song! Check out the action here!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week nominations have begun. Be sure to stop by and get in your votes for your favourite blogs before August 13th!


If you have a Kindle or a Nook, you have GOT to go snag yourself a free copy of Waterfall by Lisa Bergren! This has become one of my favourite series And the first book is free for a short time, so why miss out?! Go, go, go!

Love yourself a nice slice of Adrian Ivashkov? Who doesn't?! Well thanks to the enthusiasm of fans, the Bloodlines Challenge was a success and Richelle Mead has released the original first chapter of Bloodlines told from Adrian's POV!


I've only stumbled across one new cover this week, but whew, it's a HOT one!

Wrecked by Anna Davies


Becca Fitzpatrick is coming to Australia! Specific details will be revealed soon, but we do know she'll be touring Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in December. Wonder if she'll bring Patch with her as a Christmas gift ;)


Two new stills from The Hunger Games movie have been released! I am greedily devouring all these new pictures. MORE!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #11

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

I'm 3/4 way through reading Supernaturally and adore it just as much as the first. And dude, I bleeping <3 Jack so far, haha. Got The Time Traveller's Wife and I Am Number Four on dvd from the library. I've been wanting to watch The Time Traveller's Wife for a while now and I've read the book version of I Am Number Four, so I figure it's time to check out the movie. Hope they're good! Did you guys like them?

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Add it: Goodreads
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

I confess: I wasn't totally hooked on this novel when I first started. I didn't dislike it, I just wasn't really connecting with the story or the characters. But something happened as I read on. I found myself sitting in the backseat of the car, leaning forward into the front (I know, I know, seat belt safety!), urging Amy and Roger to drive faster. Turn here. Hey, I like this new guy! Great, you're now friends. Come on already, kiss you two! No, no, take another detour, I don't want it to end just yet! Somewhere along the way I became completely invested in their story,  not only the physical journey they embarked on, but the much more personal one.

Amy's father recently died. Her twin brother's in rehab and she's been left on her own for the past month while her mother's setting up their new home in Connecticut. She doesn't want to leave California, so it's with reluctance (well, at least he's cute...) that she gets in the car with Roger, a childhood family friend she barely remembers, who's to act as chauffeur to get her to Connecticut, since he was headed there anywhere. They set out on the boring roadtrip Amy's mother mapped to get them from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible. And so begins a detour that changes things completely.

From Nevada to Kansas, Yosemite National Park to Neverland, all set to the backdrop of a killer soundtrack, two teenagers not only face the loneliest road in America, but the tangled mess of their hearts. What makes this book so 'epic' is not the places they see or the people they meet (but it certainly does add to it's awesomeness), but the emotional roadtrip they take. Neither set out with the intention of completely changing their lives. They both had their issues, both broken in ways mere days stuck in a car, travelling across the country would not fix. But somehow it does. This trip forces them both to look within and deal with all the crap they've allowed to hitch-hike with them out of California. Amy in particular had shut herself away from the world after her father's accident, but as the novel progresses she slowly begins to open herself up, let people in, face the past and  live life again.

The romance isn't central and steamy, but it's realistic and heartwarming. It's nice to see the bond and trust that gradually forms between the pair and the slow realisation that something deeper is developing. You can sense that first kiss building -  soon, soon, soon, come on, kiss already! It was sweet. and smile inducing, as was the unique inclusion of snapshots, receipts, drawings and all the little trinkets collected along their journey, which added a fun and realistic atmosphere to the novel.

A simple detour sparked an incredible change in both characters lives  - they saw new places, made new friends, let go of the past and found a possible future in one another. This book made me want to go on a roadtrip of my own. And also to wear only socks the next time I visit a supermarket, preferably late at night so there's fewer people to give me odd stares ;) Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a perfect read for anyone who loves a contemporary, a drive across the country, people named Edmund and Hillary, tales of self-discovery and a good old' game of Twenty questions.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #22

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Jane Lee Carey
Release Date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Dial
Add it: Goodreads
Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

Author: Allison Rushy
Release Date: February 8th 2012
Publisher: Walker & Company
Add it: Goodreads
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Dragonswood: Dragons, fairies, witches, prophecies, epic romance.... WHOA. If that is not a recipe for success, what the heck is? It has everything I love (due to my recent discovery of how awesome dragons are... thanks, Firelight), so I can't wait to see how all these elements come together.

Shooting Stars: I love contemporary romance. I'm not sure I'd even care what it's about, I'd still want to read it. But this does genuinely sound like a great book! Falling for the teen superstar? Clearly that's going to cause for some conflict with her undercover assignment. Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Go BZRK - Michael Grant's New Series!

If you read my post on Michael Grant's brand new series the other day, you might have been a little confused. And excited. And wondering what the heck next?! Well I've been given some more info to share with you all today. Here is exactly what "Go BZRK" is:

The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK," a new transmedia experience from author Michael Grant.

If you're ready to take the plunge in an interactive story like you've never experienced before, visit and register with to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe.

Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" put YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind.

What to know more? Michael Grant answers a few questions:

What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story?
Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now.  One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.

Why “transmedia”?
There are different approaches to transmedia.  Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms.  My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK.  I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories.  The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world.  I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory.  I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun."

Is this the future of publishing?
I began a few years ago reaching out to publishers and saying we collectively needed to understand that the old models were dead or dying.  I want publishing to survive, and of course I'd like my own career to thrive.  So Egmont Publishing and my partners and I certainly hope this is a part of the future of publishing. 

How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture?
We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork.

What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate?
You don't have to do anything.  You can do one thing and not another.  But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get.  I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books. 

App? You've mentioned that a couple times now.
Just wait and see.

What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”?
It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind.

Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with?
The line between writer and crazy person is very thin.  Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there.

What’s this other world thing all about?
Do you really want spoilers? I'll tell you this. We'll be going "down in the meat." It's going to be vast, bloody, and beautiful.

Wait… isn’t this supposed to be for kids?
Adults like to flatter themselves that kids won't get, won't understand, won't be able to handle, more intense, more complex stories. That's nonsense.  It's the adults who are easy to creep out or scare.  Say the word "biopsy" in a room full of adults. Or "audit."  See?  Easy to scare.  Kids are a tougher audience because kids think they're immortal.


Hopefully that clears up any questions you have. I'm excited to participate in this! Make sure you check out The Society Twins sign up to Nexus Humanus to see what will happen next. I hope to journey toward insanity world peace with you all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane

Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: ATOM Australia
Add it: Goodreads
You're an alpha, a leader. That's what we need. It's what we've always needed. When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save her pack - and the boy - she left behind.Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side no matter what?Now in control of her destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.
Wolfsbane picks up straight after Nightshade. Barely any time has passed and we begin the story just as Calla becomes more aware of her surroundings after she and Shay were taken in by the Searchers.

The first half of the book was more of a history lesson, but a far more interesting lesson than I ever had to endure during school. Evidence of that: I was not passing notes to the person sitting next to me while I was meant to be paying attention. Rather, I was telling everyone else to, "Shut up! I'm trying to read!". Fiction makes history fun! The emphasis is on introducing the Searcher's and learning more about the 'true' history between them, the Keepers and Guardians. Because it's clear that the Keepers have kept a lot of information from the Guardians or else just twisted the facts to suit their own agendas, forcing Calla to acknowledge that much of her life has been a lie. It's more than just the Searchers relaying these facts to Calla though, she also witnesses the surprising dynamic between them all. The fun, easy, playful banter and way in which they cope with being on the constant brink of war. It makes them more relatable and trustworthy, now that she's seeing for herself they're far more than the vicious killers she was led to believe.

The second half of the book is where more of the action begins and things start heating up. Both the reader and Calla are now armed with knowledge and a growing affinity with these new characters, so it seems only fitting to throw them all into mortal peril and ramp up the action and bloodlust. What's a book full of sexy, snarly wolves, twisted magic-users and a bunch of badass humans fighting against them without some gritty, I'll-rip-out-your-heart-with-my-deadly-incissors fun?

While I did miss much of the old gang from Nightshade, I loved meeting all the Searchers. I really enjoyed exploring their relationships, guessing at the hidden pasts that lurk beneath subtle gestures and how Calla, alpha wolf, would fit into their alliance. Andrea has added a great new cast of characters to accompany the old, but with so many souls lurking within the pages of these books, my heart grows weary. Because there's that much more potential for untimely deaths and betrayals. Both of which we see in the sequel.

I thought I was more Team Shay in Nightshade, so I was surprised to find myself missing Ren's alpha-sexiness in Wolfsbane! Which begs me to question where my true loyalties lie. I wanted to see more of that intensity between he and Calla. The glimpses we did catch were satisfying, but left me wanting more. At the same time, things were beginning to develop further between Calla and Shay, yet all the while Ren is intruding in her mind. Warring with her heart. He's infectious, that man. But Shay is coming into his own, growing more into his position as Scion and potential counterpart for Calla. Which is really not doing any favours for the difficult love triangle she's found herself in.

I guessed a particular secret revelation pretty early on, so that didn't really come as a surprise to me when we finally found out, but it was still a juicy bit of information that did help set up for a delightful cliffhanger (because authors just love tormenting their fans). Wolfsbane is a fantastic addition to the dark, sexy world of wolves and magic that readers have already grown to love. Secrets, love, betrayal and war. Sides are chosen, alliances form, friendships blossom and wilt. Andrea leaves fans howling to get their hands on Bloodrose, the final installment in this compelling trilogy, but war means casualties and sacrifice. Making me both nervous and excited to see how it will all end!

4/5 Golden Apples. Nom Nom!
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