Review: Daughter of the Forest

July 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm (5 stars, Australian, review) (, , , , , , )

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Pages: 552, paperback

ISBN: 9780330424417

Publisher: Pan Australia

Date Released: November 1st, 2008 (first published 1999)

Genre: adult/ fantasy/ romance / retelling / historical

Source:ย  library

Premise:

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)

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

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,ย  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
Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5 stars

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In My Mailbox #13

June 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , )

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.

Bought:

Bought from The Book Depository

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

Imaginary Girls by Nova Rem Suma

Bought from a Borders sale

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

Library:

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.

–ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review: Firelight

June 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm (4 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Pages: 323, hardcover

ISBN: 9780061935084

Publisher: HarperTeen

Date Released: September 7th, 2010

Genre: YA / romance / fantasy / dragons

Source: library

Premise:

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a drakiโ€”a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping awayโ€”if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon

I won’t lie. For a YA, this blew me away.

The writing is so vivid and descriptive, and it paints the perfect image in the readers head. It’s so engaging that it becomes fairly impossible to put down.ย  The writing was definitely my favourite part of this book, especially the first couple of chapters, when we see Jacinda in the wild, where she belongs. The descriptions of her surroundings are amazing, and her world is one that the reader can immerse themselves in.

Jacinda was a character thatย  really liked. She was strong, defiant and loyal. Her relationship with her sister is rocky, since Jacinda is a draki, but Tamra isn’t. Tamra’s jealousy got in the way of their friendship as they were growing up, because Tamra was the black sheep in the family and in the pride. But once they escape the pride and live amongst the humans, the tables turn. It’s Tamra’s turn to fit in naturally, and Jacinda is the odd one out. She doesn’t belong in the human world.

Now, regarding that, that’s where my problems lie.Their mother takes them to the desert to kill the draki inside of Jacinda, claiming it’s for her own good. She never once asked for consent in that matter, and the idea of slowly losing her draki actually bothers Jacinda a whole lot more than her mother expects. A friend of mine recently opened my eyes regarding consent in stories–particularly in the case of Tangled, when Ryder cuts her hair without consent. I didn’t think these little things mattered, but now, it really bothers me to see that.

That said, Jacinda’s relationship with her mother is strained. Jacinda tells us that whilst her father was proud of Jacinda’s draki, her mother was wary, as if Jacinda was “someone she had to love, but wouldn’t have chosen”. That’s why it’s so easy for her mother to decide to kill Jacinda’s inner draki. It’s kind of tragic, really, that their relationship is like this. It’s the cause for Jacinda’s rebellious stage, because she’s tired of her mother making all of her decisions.

All the characters here are selfish. Tamra and her mother have no qualms with killing Jacinda’s draki, just to have a normal life as humans, and Jacinda is doing all she can to keep her draki alive. I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but I sort of love it. Their intentions parallel the others’, and it sort of works.

Regarding the romance, I’m sort of on the fence. The writing–as I said before–was fairly fantastic, and it especially shows in the uber hot makeout scenes. The chemistry between Will and Jacinda is just breathtaking, sexy and hot, and it makes me wish that it weren’t YA, so that I could read the hot sex scenes that would have arisen. But Will is an odd character. One moment, he’s sweet, the next, he’s controlling, telling Jacinda what to do. He acts like he has multiple personalities. Also, he sort of breaks into her house and makes her breakfast. It’s sweet that he makes her breakfast, I guess, but still really creepy that he let himself into her house without her permission, especially after knowing her for only a month. And by then, they ‘love’ each other, which I find unbelievable and hardly realistic.
What I liked between them was that this time, it was the girl who was different. It was a nice change, but unfortunately, didn’t stop her from constantly switching from “OMG I love him” to “But we can’t be together :(” and back in a matter of seconds. Ugh, just make your decision and stick with it, please?

I had a huge problem with Brooklyn and Tamra, though. Brooklyn was the stereotypical blonde bitch, who’s angry at the new girl because the hot guy likes newbie more than herself. Brooklyn attacks Jacinda in the bathroom, and when Jacinda fights back–with her fire power, though, so a bit dumb on her part–Tamra throws a massive hissy fit because according to her, Jacinda started that fight just to ruin Tamra’s chances of making friends. Just… no. Tamra didn’t even want to hear Jacinda’s side of the story. Tamra is the most selfish, bratty, conceited sister ever, and I feel really sorry for Jacinda.

Despite that, I’m still really excited to read Vanish, which is expected to come out this September. After the ridiculous cliff-hanger and the plethora of unanswered questions at the end, I’m itching to get my hands on Vanish.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 4/5 stars

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Review: Magic Under Glass

June 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm (5 stars, review) (, , , , , , )

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Pages: 225, paperback

ISBN:9781408802120

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Date Released: February 1st, 2010

Genre: YA / fantasy / light steampunk / romance / faeries

Source: bought

Premise:

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act – singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry’s world, however, buried secrets stir.

Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry’s involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton’s stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon

I had been so excited to read this book, and it wasn’t what I had expected. In a good way.

The most important aspect about this book is the magical elements and the world building. It was done in such a way that, not only does it feel believable, it feels natural. From the Victorian-esque universe to the prejudice that Nimira has to face for her skin colour and background, and the slight hints of steampunk, it created this nice blend.

I really liked Erris and the way that he interacts with Nim when they’re first getting to know each other. Though the book is short–too short for my liking; I wish it had gone on for several hundred more pages–their relationship grows into something sweet. That said, I didn’t feel too much character growth on Nim’s part, which I feel was partly due to the shortness of the novel. Nim started off as a well-rounded character: strong, independent, dealing with the pressure of coming from a well-off background to being looked down upon because of her ethnicity andย  occupation.

The political intrigue in this book was the bast part, I thought. It was all explained in such a way that didn’t make it seem dull, or like a history text-book, which I found most surprising. I haven’t come across too many YA books that deal with that sort of thing and come off natural like this book does.

Now for the magical aspect: the fey, the alchemy, how Erris works, it was so wonderful to read about, and I loved it. Everything was very well-thought out. This is a world that I would love to immerse myself in over and over again.

I can’t wait to read the sequel, Magic Under Stone. I have high expectations of it.
Also, the US paperback to this book came out on the 24th of May, and you can find info here.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5 stars

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In My Mailbox #9

May 30, 2011 at 1:17 am (In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , )

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’ve been a bit absent over the last few days. andย  really apologise for it. Life has been getting in the way of reading and talking about reading, and I’ve had next to no time to myself. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
But never fear, I’m back for now, and promise a lot of posts in the next few days. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bought

I stopped by a Borders that was closing down, and to my surprise, they had some pretty awesome sales. Each book was $2, unless you bought more than 10, and then they’re $1 each. How awesome is that? So I ended up getting 13 books, which would have cost me $249, all for just $13! So so so epic.

Anyways, here are the books:

Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess; I read and reread this book often when I was younger. And I’ve had a hard time finding this in stores, so I was extremely lucky to find it.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link; This looks so cool, an anthology of creepy, weird stories. I think I’m growing quite fond of short stories.

Darkwater by Georgia Blain; The premise to this is just fantastic. I love stories that have a mystery that happened several years before. And the cover is just wonderful.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marrilier; I almost died when I saw this for $1. I love this book, and I love Juliet Marrilier. She’s a master with words. If you haven’t read it–or her other work–then I totally recommend that you do so.

Siren by Tricia Rayburn; Yeah, I got this book from the library last week, but yay, now I finally have it.

Shade by Jerri Smith-Ready; I’ve heard SO MANY good things about this book, and the sequel which recently came out. I am so ecited to finally have my hands on this book, and to finally read it.

Love is Hell by Marr / Westerfeld / Larableister / Zevin / Stolarz; I’d read a few other books in this series of anthologies, and found quite a few gems. Can’t wait to read & review this one.

Vacations from Hell by Bray / Clare / Gray / Johnson / Mylnowski; I’ve read this once before, and quite liked most of the stories in this part, so I’m really glad to have found it.

Love is the Higher Law by David Levitahn; I’d read a few of Levithans colabs with Rachel Cohn, and quite liked them. I’d been wanting to get one of his solo works for a while now. So yay. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Sowrdhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgewick; Oooh, a thrilling vampire story! This excites me. I’m so sick to death of all these romanticised vamps, so this looks like the book for me.

X-isle by Steve Aguarde; Expensive hardcover for just $1? Hell yeah! I hardly know what it’s about, but it looks cool.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld; I love this series so much, but the kid on the cover has always made me wary of spending $30 on it. Yay for Borders!

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King; I love nonfiction about writing, and I’m in the middle of editing a novel, so I need all the help I can get. (Bought from The Book Depository)

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning; I saw this, and knew that I just had to get it. I love the series so much.

Library:

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin; The cover looks really good, and it sounds interesting. Can’t wait to read it.

Chime by Franny Billingsley; I’ve been wanting to read this book for AGES. The cover is so pretty, and the story sounds AMAZING.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch; This looks like a really cool mystery. And it’s got WIZARDS. Hell yeah!

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor & Jim Di Bartolo; I’d heard nothing but great things about this book. I absolutely can’t wait to read this book. *so excited*

Lights out in Wonderland by D.B.C. Pierre; I have been seeing this book everywhere lately, and I guess it’s the next big thing in literary fiction. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

So, those are my books for this week. What did you guys get? Feel free to leave your links in the comments section. ๐Ÿ™‚

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In My Mailbox #8

May 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm (Australian, In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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 a lot of books this week. I managed to find a Borders that was closing down, so everything was 60% off. Then, my library managed to miraculously procure heaps of books. AND THEN, I decided to buy some cheap ebooks on my Kindle.

Bought

From top to bottom:

Snow by Tracy Lynn; I love the Once Upon a Time series. And this has to be one of my favourites. It has slight traces of steam/magicpunk, and it stays rather true to the story. And, thanks to the Borders sale, it was only $4. How could I possibly resist a book so cheap? Even better, I had a very had time finding the books from this series in Australia,so, I would have gotten this book even if it weren’t on sale.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst; I read this book ages ago, borrowed from the library, and loved it. (In fact, you can find my review for it here), so when I saw it on sale at Borders for $8, I had to buy it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Basilisk by N.M. Browne; I remember reading this book years ago, and loving it, so I decided to get it. It was cheap, so why not?
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

–ย  Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink; This book has caught my eye from the moment it arrived here in Australia, but for some reason, I’d been very hesitant in getting it. I love the cover, it has these shiny silver patterns that give it this weird feeling.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depositoryย  / Amazon
(if you get it from The Book Depository now, you get to save almost 60%! It’s not even $5 in AUS currency)

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink; I also got the second book in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, because it was there and it was cheap.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Fury by Shirley Marr; I’d constantly see this book in bookstores, and was always intrigued by it, but never went ahead and bought it. It looks like a really interesting book, and I love the covers. Also, at the beginning of each chapter, there’s a small picture of a mask, and I just love the concept of that. It makes me wonder about the relevance to the story.
Find it on: Goodreads
(Because it’s an Australian book, I’ve had trouble finding it online; it doesn’t exist in Amazon, and it’s unavailable on Book Depository. So if you’re interested in getting a copy of this book, you might have to search hard, or get a friend in Australia to supply you with a copy)

The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey; This looks awesome. The cover is amazing, and it’s a retelling, which I’m sure all of you know by now that they’re my favourite kind of story. I can’t wait to start reading this!
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey; Another Mercedes Lackey book that looks awesome. I think it’s about time I read some of her stuff.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Masques by Patricia Briggs; This book looks cool as. Fantasy with werewolves. Can’t wait to get this book started.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

–ย  Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs; The sequel to Masques, because I get addicted to series far too easily.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Saga of the Renunciates by Marion Bradley Zimmer; I love sci-fi, and apparently this has LGBT characters, which is fairly cool. Plus, it’s so big, that it kind of makes me excited. When it comes to books, size does matter. ;P
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Heritage and Exile by Marion Bradley Zimmer; A big book for a low price. This is the kind of thing I live for. ๐Ÿ™‚
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Library:

Not only did I go overboard with books from Borders, I went nuts in the library.

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes; With the recent influx of Greek retellings in YA, I supposed that I should check out a few of the newcomers. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the premise actually sounds pretty good.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

How NOT to Write a Novel by Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark; I love books about how to write, and this looks like it’d be a great, funny way to learn how not to write.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Thyla by Kate Gordon; This book is about a girl who’s found in the bush with no memory whatsoever. Plus, it’s set in Australia, and I’m a fan of those.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon (kindle edition)

Siren by Tricia Rayburn; So, I’ve been eyeing this book for months. Mermaids? Awesome as! Dark, mysterious cover? Heck yeah! I can’t wait to read this.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves; I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, and it’s finally out in Australia, so as soon as I saw this, I just had to grab it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Mice Gordon Reece; Wow, this looks awesome. A thriller that features what looks like a strong relationship between a girl and her mother.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan; The format of this book just looks amazing. It’s all set like a real dictionary, with words that are relevant to the story. I’d like to see how it pans out.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier; I read the first book of this series, Daughter of the Forest, and absolutely loved it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Search for WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi; This is a Middle Grade sci-fi/fantasy book with such wonderful pictures. I really can’t wait to get into this.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Cold Magic by Kate Elliot; So, I’d heard a whole heap of good things about this book. Plus, it looks like it’s a steampunk, and I love those with all my heart.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medeiros; I really like historical romances sometimes. And this one sounds rather exciting.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith; So, I’d recently been watching the TV series, and am really loving it. I figured I might as well read the book series.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast; I’ve been hearing a lot about this series, so I guess I should see what the fuss is all about.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon
(You can get Marked on Book Depository with 60% off, which is a great deal)

E-Books

Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz; I got this from Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab.
Find it on:Goodreads

Blood Red Road by Moira Young; Also from S&S, I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, so I’m excited to finally read it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Witches of Santa Anna: The Complete Set by Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine; I got this, the first 7 books in this series off Amazon for 99cents. So, if you want seven books for a dollar, I’d recommend that you go get it now, before the offer no longer stands.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon (Kindle)

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer; I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this book, a retelling of The Persephone & Hades myth, but with a twist: Hades is a woman. I can’t wait to read it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon

So, that’s my haul for the week. Um, a lot, eh? *laughs nervously*

What did you guys get in your mailbox during the week? Feel free to share your links in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Review: The Gates

May 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm (5 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

The Gates by John Connolly

Pages: 272, paperback

ISBN: 9780340995808

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Date Released: October 1st, 2009

Genre: Middle Grade / fantasy / horror / humor

Source: library

Premise:

A strange novel for strange young people.

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe’en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue. The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out …

Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it? (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book Depository /ย  Amazon

After reading The Book of Lost Thingsย  by John Connolly, I knew that I needed to get my hands on something else by him, and honestly, this didn’t disappoint. (By the way I totally recommend that you read it).

This book is written in the same vein of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe or Monty Python. Meaning, despite it’s genre, it’s full of that excellent British humour that I so adore. That wit, that sarcasm, oh, it just makes me excited just thinking about it. I just have to show you an example of the wit and hilarity:

“Schwell, the Demon of Uncomfortable Shoes; Ick, the Demon of Unpleasant Things Discovered in Plug Holes During Cleaning; Graham, the Demon of Stale Biscuits and Crackers; Mavis, the Demon of Inappropriate Names for Men; and last, and quite possibly least, Erics’, the Demon of Bad Punctuation. – pg 37

One bother I had with the writing was that there were footnotes, and while they were sometimes funny and often informative, they also distracted me from the text. I often found myself having to reread the previous paragraph, because the footnote sometimes deviated from the text that I forgot what was happening in the story.

What made this story even more awesome was the use of the Large Hadron Collider. I’m not sure if any of you guys remember all that buzz about two years, that it would be the end of the world if they operated it and tried to recreate the Big Bang. I’ve always been fascinated by physics, so the use of this as a main plot hole just rocked my socks.

A major part of this book revolves around the idea that Samuel is trying to get y while his mum is surviving a nasty break-up with his dad. His dad has moved out, and is living with another woman, and his mum is having a hard time dealing with it. It has a fresh and real perceptive on separation and divorce, and the way that it’s described–in the slightly childish voice of the prose–it makes the reader feel just how painful divorce is for the child, not just the parents.

The unlikely friendship between Nord–a demon who isn’t quite so demonic–and Samuel was just lovely. When they first met by an accidental mishap of physics, they really get to know each other, and their friendship grew into something big and believable.

My main concern was at the end of the book, when Samuel is confronted by a demonic personification of his worst fear: spiders. It would only have made sense in his growth as a character if he had killed the demon himself and conquered his inner fear. Instead, his friends kill it, while he’s just standing there, frightened. Apart from that, his character grew well.

The story was filled with action, and the kind of things that children and adults alike would enjoy reading. Each chapter is more interesting than the one preceding it, and you’ll find yourself unable to put this book down.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5 stars

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Review: Preludes & Nocturnes

May 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm (4 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , )

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

Pages: 280, paperback

ISBN: 9781563890116

Publisher: Vertigo

Date Released: December 7th, 1993 (first published 1989)

Genre: Adult / graphic novel / fantasy / horror/ mystery

Source: library

Premise:

A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

I had a love/hate relationship with this volume. It was more love than hate, but the hate parts were more of a slight annoyance, and will hardly hinder my decision to buy the entire series in the near future.

In this graphic novel, Gaiman beautifully crafts out the story and characterisation of the tormented Dream, a Sandman captured and imprisoned by a wizard for decades in a desperate attempt to call Dream’s sister, Death. This particular volume basically chronicles Dream’s search for his 3 tools that he lost to the hands of humanity during his imprisonment, and while not having much more plot than that, it held a lot of substance.

I found it amazing that Gaiman could have created such a story without using many words. I’m not really a fan of comics and graphic novels–I’m more of a word person than a picture person; I hate watching films, and if I end up finally watching one, it has to have subtitles, else I won’t have much fun–but this totally blew me away. I just couldn’t fathom the amazingness.

The artwork wasn’t too great, but then again, it was done in the ’80s. The art for comics has greatly improved since then. But I’d grown a sort of liking towards the artwork. It kind of fit the mood for the story.

On his quest to encounter his lost tools, Dream encounters various characters from the DC world, which perplexed me. I hadn’t realised at the time that Vertigo was an imprint of DC. And you know what? The inclusion of these DC characters hindered the story for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a DC gal all the way, but it took the realism and originality of the Sandman world away. The only DC character that I enjoyed is one I shall not name so as to not ruin the surprise for you (plus, I’ve forgotten his name, heh). He had this amazing character development, and his inclusion was fairly amazing–though fairly gory.

I loved the inclusion of the last issue, “The Sound of Her Wings”, which features a cameo of Dream’s sister, Death. It shows this lovely brother/sister relationship, whilst being oddly philosophical.

Needless to say, I need to get my hands on the rest of the series, and so should you, fellow reader. Though, there are some fairly disturbing scenes, one of which is extremely graphic, featuring violence,ย  sexual violence and mind control, so approach with caution.

Art: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 4/5 stars

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In My Mailbox #7

May 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , )

Howdy y’all, it’s time for another awesome IMM.

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.

All the books I got this week were from the library, as I’m running out of money to fund this terrible, yet awesome addiction.

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting; I recently read The Body Finder, and liked it enough to want to get my hands on the sequel. Lucky for me, the sequel was released about a month after the first book came out, so I didn’t have to wait long. One of the few perks of living in Australia! ๐Ÿ˜›
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook; I’d been hearing about this book a lot, and I’ve got an ebook of it, but since I have no time for reading my own books, I figured that if I borrowed it from the library, I’d be able to finally read it. My logic is confusing, I know. Here’s hoping it’s worth the read.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Genesis by Lara Morgan; I love books by Australian authors, mainly because they get so little recognition. Whenever I find a book by an Aussie Author,ย  I just have to snatch it up. I think in the future, I’ll do a feature for unknown Aussie authors that deserve some recognition. ๐Ÿ™‚
Find it on: Goodreads

Vesper by Jeff Sampson; This just looks like an awesome book. And it’s written by a guy, and the narrator appears to be a teenage girl, so I’m really interested if he’s made the voice feel real, and not like a reversed Ethan / Sam.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Pegasus and the Flame by Kate O’Hearn; I love reading about creatures that aren’t wildly popular, and pegasi seem to fit the bill. This looks like it’ll be a great read, so I can’t wait to get started with it.
Find it on:Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima; I recently read The Demon King by this author, and found it surprisingly good for a stereotypical fantasy. Sadly, my library doesn’t have the sequel to The Demon King, so I’ve had to make do with the first of her other trilogy. Hopefully, this is as good as The Demon King.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman; So, can you tell that I love this series yet? I’m fairly addicted to it, and I urge all of you to go out and read it and become addicted as well. Tomorrow, I’ll post up my review of the first volume, Preludes and Nocturnes, so be sure to catch it if this series seems interesting. Hopefully, it’ll give you the kick you need to read it. ๐Ÿ˜›
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

What did you guys get in your mailboxes this past week? Feel free to leave your links in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

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In My Mailbox #6 – The late edition

May 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , )

So, I’ve been a bit under the weather these last few days after going to a concert on Friday night. I feel like I’ve only just recovered, and it’s already Tuesday. Whew.

Anyway, 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 a few cool books last week, both from the library and bought. Here they are:

Bought:

Wood Angel by Erin Bow; This book is also known as Plain Kate in the US. But honestly, even though you can’t really see it in the picture, this cover is so much beautifuller than the US cover. It sparkles and shines and has little sparkling lights dancing around the girl. I really can’t wait to read this book; I’ve heard so many fantastic things about it. (I got this from The Book Depository)
Find it on:ย  Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz; I have the first 4 books in the series, and I just can’t have an incomplete series, so I had to get this. Though, I wont lie, I do quite enjoy this series. (I got this from The Book Depository)
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris; Man, I can’t tell you how excited I was for this book. I sort of love the Sookie Stackhouse series, even though they’re hardly written well, and the plot is sometimes all over the place. But damn, it’s addictive. I’m hoping to read through the entire series again later this year. (Bought from Dymocks)
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Library:

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning; OMFG, I just love this series. If you haven’t read it yet, then you really should. It’s ridiculously addictive. Plus, the last book ended on a massive cliffhanger, so I just NEED to know what the heck happens next.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning; THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES OMGOMGOMG. Like I said above, I love this series. I’m planning on buying all the books in the near future. It’s definitely good enough for a reread.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff; Man, this book just looks deliciously good. Regency smut combined with paranormal smut? My favourite!
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong; This book looks cool, and I’m in the mood for some good old paranormals right now.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs; I’ve been hearing good things about this series, and since I can’t resist paranormals at the moment, I snatched this up.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Fairies in Tradition and Literature by Katharine Briggs; I love me some non-fiction, especially if it’s about fairies.ย  I like to think of this as research for future projects.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Hollow by Jessica Verday; After the massive scandal in the publishing world concerning Ms Verday and a certain anthology, I decided to go check out her books.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan; Now, this looks like my kind of book. It’s set in a fantasy Medieval Europe, and has romance and adventure and a cat, according to the blurb on the back. CANNOT WAIT. ๐Ÿ˜€
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Dreamwalker by Isobelle Carmody & Steven Woolman; Man, I remember reading this book a million times as a kid. Big mistake, since the story and artwork are just creepy as fuck. I still have nightmares about the sorceress. *shudder* But, it’s so good and worth a reread. I definitely recommend it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon

So, what did you guys get this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comment section. ๐Ÿ™‚

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