I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and I feel I must act on it. I’m abandoning this blog, in favour of a pretty new blog over at BlogSpot. Mainly so that I can have that Google Friends Connect thing, and show how many delicious followers I have.
If you wish to visit me, I will now be found over at http://booksfrommars.blogspot.com/
Add it to your RSS feeds, or Google Friends Connect me, or whatever it is that people do over at BlogSpot.
I’ll sure miss you guys, but I’ve added all the awesome people on my RSS feed, so I can keep up with you.
So, I say farewell. It was great while it lasted. 🙂
It’s 5:30 AM Wednesday morning here in Australia. I’m awake, thanks to a nap that had sneaked up on me several hours ago. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done since then, the most reading I’d done since this read-a-thon had started, actually, which is a bit sad. Anyways, stats:
Currently Reading: Mortal Kiss – Alice Moss
Last Book Read: The Mean Seasons – Bill Willingham
Next to Read: Don’t know yet!
Total Books Read: 4
Total Pages Read: 872
Books Read Since Last Update: 2
Pages Read Since Last Update: 463
Total Time Read: 10 hours
Bleh, it’s 4:30 PM Tuesday, I’m halfway through the read-a-thon, and haven’t been doing much reading lately. Today, I’ve been busy with sleeping (I’m sick, so sleep is important, right?), going to an important meeting and then grocery shopping. I’m hoping to get a lot more reading done this afternoon and before I go to sleep. NO DISTRACTIONS!
Currently Reading: M is for Magic – Neil Gaiman (pg 105 of 249)
Last Book Read: The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary E. Pearson
Next to Read: The Mean Seasons – Bill Willingham; Mortal Kiss – Alice Moss
Total Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 369
Books Read Since Last Update: 1
Pages Read Since Last Update: 220
Total Time Read: 5ish hours
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Pages: 552, paperback
Publisher: Pan Australia
Date Released: November 1st, 2008 (first published 1999)
Genre: adult/ fantasy/ romance / retelling / historical
A beautiful retelling of the Celtic “Swans” myth, Daughter of the Forest is a mixture of history and fantasy, myth and magic, legend and love… To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss and terror. When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for Sorcha to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the live she has always known and a love that comes only once.
(Taken from Goodreads)
It was about time that I started this book. I’d heard nothing but stellar reviews about this book. The fact that Marillier lives in Australia (albeit the Western part, which is literally desert)and being born in New Zealand made this even more irresistible.
When I first started this, I sort of really disliked it. My thoughts were “WTF is this? It’s so slow, nothing’s happening! I don’t care about her family! How do you pronounce that?” It takes some getting used to, because the writing is so thick and verbose. This is not a quick read. This is the kind of book you slowly savour, reading it and relishing in the beauty of the words. Everything comes to like around you, the smells and sounds of the forest, the hardships that Sorcha had to deal with, everything. By the end of the first chapter (which is 30 pages long, but feels like 300), I was loving it. I loved how the reader got to know every detail about Sorcha’s family, no matter how grizzly and dark it may be. I loved the relationships between Sorcha and her brothers, how they all felt real and different from each other, which I think is quite a feat when too many characters are introduced at once. You really get to know all the characters in such a way that they become important to you, and not only do you see a growth in Sorcha, but in everyone else.
Sorcha is a very strong young woman; despite her gift for storytelling, she keeps silent, even when it costs her her life. She does all she can to break the spell that the Lady Oonagh cast on her brothers. She lives through her hardships, seemingly by herself, but she had Red to help her, and her brothers, who believe in her persistence and patience.
The story, based on the Celtic Swans myth, adds so much depth to such a fairytale. I absolutely love fairytales, and this one is one of the best that I’ve read so far. It still retains the magical properties of a fairytale, while having its own element.
This is a novel that doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff. There is rape, abuse, torture. It really feels like a kick in the gut. So why read it, then, if it’s so heavy? Well, there are also moments of hope and love–both romantic love and familial love.
Cover Art: 3
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5 stars
Well, I’m back, like I promised, and here are a few quick stats about the last few hours. I woke up with a sore throat and a migraine today, so I’m a bit loopy on cold and flu medication, which is making reading a bit of a challenge. BUT I WILL PERSEVERE! I need to make a dent in my library book pile so that I can actually manage to read books for review and books that I own.
Also, I might post a few reviews later on so that you’re not bombarded with boring updates.
If you want, you can follow me on Twitter (button in the side column) and follow my progress. Alternatively, you can follow the #OUreadathon hashtag for mine and other peoples progress.
Well, happy reading! I’ll be back in a few more hours with another update just before bed. 🙂
Hello fellow book-lovers. I know I haven’t been doing much updating, but I’m hoping to remedy that with this nifty little read-a-thon.
The Once Upon a Rea-a-thon is hosted by Lori at Pure Imagination, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog, and Angela at Reading Angel, and runs from 12:01 AM on July 11 to 11:59 PM on July 13th.
I’m starting a bit late (it’s12:09 PM July 11th as of writing this), but oh well. I’m sure I’ll catch up. I’ll try to update every 2-3 hours (except for when I’m sleeping, of course) with reading stats.
Right now, I’m reading The Goblin Wood, and have about 20 pages left of it. Afterwards, I’m hoping to dive into The Adoration of Jenna Fox. As for after that, who knows. I’m not sure how many books I’m aiming for in these next three days. Perhaps 6-8. I’ll probably also be reading a few graphic novels to ease the pressure and stop me from getting too bored. I don’t think that’s cheating? I hope. 😛
I’ll see you all in a few hours with updates. 🙂
Hello, fellow bookaholics. It’s Sunday, and you know what that means!
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.
I haven’t been updating much, but I’ve been rather busy lately. I promise I’ll try to be better at updating.
Anyways, I’ve gotten my hands on quite a lot of books this week.
– The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
– Imaginary Girls by Nova Rem Suma
– Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
– Die for Me by Amy Plum
– The Living Dead 2 by John Joseph Adams; Zombies + Short stories + a story by Cherie Priest = EPIC
– The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell
– Juicy Writing by Brigid Lowry
– The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
– Mortal Kiss by Alice Moss; With a tagline like “What would you sacrifice for a kiss?” I’m not expecting much out of this.
– M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
– The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; I guess it’s about time I read this. Everyone and their grandmother has read this.
– The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley; After recently reading Chime by this author, I had to get my hands on her other work.
– The Cup of the World by John Dickinson
– A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson; I’m fairly sure this is set in Melbourne. How could I resist?
– A Novel in a Year by Louise Doughty
That’s my haul for the week. What did you guys get in your mailboxes this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comments 🙂
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 485, hardcover
Date Released: October 5th, 2010 (first published September 25th, 2010)
Genre: YA / steampunk / historical
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.
Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan‘s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.
Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.
(Taken from Goodreads)
To start off with: I hate the cover. It is such a disaster compared to the masterpiece that was the original Leviathan cover. What went wrong? If I were some random browsing the aisles of the YA section of my local bookstore, I would have shrunk back in disgust, and quickly averted my eyes, as if the horrific cover might somehow infect me. In fact, that’s exactly what happened when I did encounter this book. I had heard news of Behemoth‘s release, and I eagerly went forth to buy the book, which I had pictured would be similar in majesty and beauty as Leviathan had been. But no, I was met with this monstrosity. Once again, I ask, what went wrong? What were Simon Pulse thinking? I actively avoided buying this book for almost a year, until I managed to get my hands on it for $1 when a Borders was closing down. Even then, I was reluctant. Was I willing to pay $1 to have this accident of a cover sit next to my beloved copy of Leviathan? Finally, I caved in, but only because I had already borrowed it from the library and loved what was between those frightening covers.
And this is coming from a hardcore fan of the first book. I had waited impatiently for over a year to read Behemoth. I loved the first book so much. I reread it several times. And you know what the worst thing is? That the cover for Behemoth would have been even more stunning than it was for Leviathan. Here, have a look. Aren’t you just seething with rage? It’s beautiful, isn’t it. I don’t understand what Simon Pulse were thinking. They had potentially lost a customer (me) and maybe many more with their hideous reboot covers. (and to be brutally honest, I don’t know who’s who on the reboot covers. Whoops. )
Now, cover rant aside, I loved this book. If I thought Leviathan was good, then this is just a work of art, meant to be savoured.
This book deals with a lot of emotional baggage, from Deryn’s experience with her father dying a few years earlier, to her developing crush on Alek. But, poor girl, she can’t reveal her feelings to him without revealing her true identity! And with that came a fresh and delightful dose of drama. Especially when a new girl enters the picture, causing jealousy to spark from poor Deryn. The results were completely unexpected and hilarious, and I couldn’t have been more pleased at the maybe-love-triangle.
And while Deryn is struggling to hide her true identity, so is Alek. He’s in a new world, filled with the enemy. At any moment, he could be found and killed. The similarities between the experiences of Alek and Deryn make this a great tool to understanding their characters and their motives. They mirrored each other in so many ways, and it was awesome reading about their characters.
The plot is just as exciting as it was in Leviathan, with explosions starting right off the bat (if you’re into that sort of thing). And after that, there’s non-stop action and suspense all throughout the book, making it literally impossible to put down. I sat with Behemoth in my hands for four hours, braving a grumbling tummy and neglected housework. It will leave you completely hooked and wanting more.
The writing is amazing, but, it still uses the annoying over-used vocabulary like bum-rag and such. Thankfully, the descriptions make up for it. Everything was described so vividly that it was really easy to imagine what was happening, and what everything looked like. This is especially amazing in the completely new setting of Turkey, where everything feels surreal, exotic and wild. The city actually felt like a whole new character, just like how the Leviathan felt like a character in the first book. For that, I applaud Westerfeld. It’s hard to pull off a setting like that, and to make it feel like a living, breathing characters with its own flaws and characteristics.
And, lastly, I have to give an honorable mention to Keith Thompson, whose artworks also feature in this book. Once again, they have left me speechless with their precise beauty. They certainly add depth to an already fantastic book.
I’m eagerly awaiting Goliath, but, unless they go back to the original covers, I probably won’t buy it. The cover just looks bad. I’m very picky with my covers, as you can see. But August can’t come soon enough.
Cover Art: 0
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 4/5 stars
Well, it’s that time of the week again, fellow bookaholics! Yep, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.
I got quite a few books this week. A few from an Angus and Robertson that had a super amazing sale (so amazing that I bought 4 books for just $18! *swoons*) (here in Australia, A&R are owned by the same company that owns Borders, and since Borders is completely shutting down here in Aus–yep! you heard that right! *sobs*– A&R are having sales as well), and quite a few from The Book Depository, and finally, several from my library.
– Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier; I got this from A&R for just $5! Justine is an Aussie author, so I’m excited to read it and showcase it here.
– White Time by Margo Lanagan; I’d heard many things about Margo Lanagan’s work, both good and bad–the bad is mainly how Lanagan doesn’t shy away from hard issues, which I think is a good thing–and I’m excited to read it. I got it from A&R for $5.
–Black Juice by Margo Lanagan; Got it for the same reason as mentioned above. It was also $5. *squeals*
– Clarity by Kim Harrington; I was fairly excited to read this book until I had heard some less than stellar reviews from people whose opinions I trusted. But when I found it in A&R for $3.50, I quickly snatched it up. I don’t care if I end up hating it, it was cheap, and that’s all that matters. 😛
The following books were obtained from The Book Depository.
– The World Above by Cameron Dokey; I have to admit, I love the Once Upon a Time series. I’m going to start slowly collecting them. I hope they bring out more, because there just aren’t enough out there! 😛
– Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Society by Carolyn Turgeon; The premise of this book sounds so fun! And it’s about fairy tales! I love fairytales!
– Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon; I hadn’t realised that I got two books from the same author, I only got this because it has mermaids! I love mermaids!
– The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson; I love The Hunger Games and I love essays on modern works. So how could I resist this?
– Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis; I’ve been hearing such fantastic things about this book everywhere, so I knew that I would have to get it. Plus, the cover is so cute and awesome! I hope to review this soon.
– Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson; Can you believe that I’ve never read a book by Anderson? I really should start now.
– Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast; Okay, I hated the first book, but I still found the urge to read the next book in the series. I’m a masochist.
– The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer; I’ve been in the mood for stories with Norse mythology in them and found this. Hopefully, it’s good.
– Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller; I liked Frank Miller’s story-telling technique in Sin City, even though the views on women are sometimes fairly offensive. Plus, I like the Batman world (even though I hate Batman. He has no super powers therefore isn’t a real superhero, IMO).
– Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham; This is the 4th volume in the Fables series. I loved the first 3, and really can’t wait to read this one.
– Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham; I’ve been in a very graphic novel sort of mood lately. This is the 5th volume in the Fables series.
– The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman; I love love love the Sandman series. This is the 7th volume. I really can’t wait to get into this.
So, that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. What did you get this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.
Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: May 24th, 2011 (first released September 30th, 2010)
Genre: YA/ paranormal / romance / action / angels
Source: galley from the publisher
Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip – and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.
They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.
(Taken from Goodreads)
*Sorry I haven’t been updating in a while, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this past week. But I’m feeling better now, and will be updating a bit more often to make up for it.*
I’ll admit, I was rather skeptical about this book at first. I thought it’d be another stupid angel romance story with next to no plot and an abusive, angelic love interest, and a main character who was TSTL (too stupid to live).
Boy, was I wrong. Not only are angels not romanticized here, they’re actually the enemies, who steal something special from their victim, leaving them sick and helpless–a shell. There isn’t some long, drawn out and overused religious lore behind them, they just are. They aren’t God’s messengers. They aren’t heaven-sent. They aren’t the angels you’d expect. They became the perfect enemy, taking over the human world, leaving their imprint and making people of faith put all their trust to them, only to exploit them by feeding off them. What I loved most was that they founded a religion devoted to their worship, making people love them and trust them; it was a nice, ironic touch, and I loved it immensely.
Willow is different from other main characters that I’ve encountered. Right off the bat, we see how strong she is as a character, and she keeps getting stronger. She’s smart, cautious, real. And the way she cares for her mum, it makes me appreciate her more, because, for once, here is a YA main character who doesn’t ignore others for her love interest, especially her family. I love how she gets frustrated with her mother sometimes, because despite doing her best to help her, her mother is too far gone to do anything. Her frustration at her mother’s vegetative state is selfish, honest, real.
At first, I thought the psychic thing would be used to make Willow ‘speshul’, but she actually uses it properly, which is something I applaud. For example, when she see’s Beth’s choices, and what happened to her, she handles it maturely forthe situation and her character, and tries to help Beth as best as she can, even though she knows that it would be futile.
I loved the interaction between Willow and Alex. They had this chemistry together, and it was done really well. They were awkward towards each other, ad avoided interacting with each other because of who they were–Willow, the human/angel hybrid freak, and Alex, the protector of humans and killer of angels–and it brought a whole new meaning to the whole “I love you but I want to kill you” thing that’s so popular in YA romances these days. Alex actually has justification to try to kill Willow at the beginning of the book. He thought she was on the angel’s side, being half angel and what not. All his life, he had been taught that angels are evil creatures, and yet, he found himself stuck with a girl who was seemingly half evil. The way he reacted to her then was fantastic and real.
After a few days of knowing him, Willow tells us that she’s fallen in love with Alex. While this sort of insta-love usually bothers me, I’m willing to accept this, since they’d literally been stuck together for the last few days, getting to know each other and bond. And, oh how they bonded! Their chemistry was beyond delicious! It was addictive, and I wanted more of their shy flirting, of their awkwardness, everything.
Once they manage to finally declare their love, though, they turn into love-sick tweens, acting all cutesy and saying stuff like “I’d die without you”, and it’s enough to make anyone gag. It was a bit of a downer, after such a fantastic build-up. I think I’d rather stick with the teasing sexual tension than deal with twu wuv~! that feels forced and annoying.
One of my main concerns with the book was the writing. It is narrated sometimes in third person, from the POVs of various characters, including the baddies, and sometimes it’s narrated in first person from the POC of Willow. I think that this is the only fault in the otherwise spectacular and gripping writing, but it wasn’t enough for me to drop the book–which I totally would have if it weren’t so OMG-worthy. The writing made it so impossible to put down, it was so action-packed. It will constantly keep you guessing.
This is a book that I would recommend for everyone. It isn’t your typical paranormal novel. It has a well thought out background, a gripping plot and plenty of action. Read it immediately.
Cover Art: 3
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 4/5 stars