Sunday, 29 May 2011

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

It all comes down to now.
The queen is dead and the moroi world will never be the same.
Rose Hathaway is awaiting wrongful execution and there exists only one man who can stall this terrible fate. Rose must look to both Dimitri and Adrian, the two great loves of her life, to find him.
With her best friend, Lissa, in a deadly struggle for the royal throne, the girls find themselves forced to rely upon enemies and questioning those they thought they could trust ...
But what if true freedom means sacrificing the most important thing of all?
Each other.

The latest and final installment in the Vampire Academy series. The series, in reading order is: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and then Last Sacrifice. The series has followed Rose and Lissa as they grow up and graduate and deal with multiple problems. Rose's are normally Guardian related while Lissa's are royalty or Spirit related. If you haven't read the rest of the series, I suggest you stop reading this (there will be spoilers to previous books) and go read them.

So Rose is the main character but since she's spirit bound to Lissa, she's normally in the books a fair bit too. This book focuses on Lissa trying to prove Rose is innocent and also deal with the new queen or king getting voted for. Problems are raised with Lissa being the last Dragomir (as far as anyone is concerned) and Lissa and friends decide to try and stall the new royal vote to buy Rose more time.

Meanwhile Rose still has a letter from Queen Tatiana revealing that Lissa is not in fact the last Dragomir, she has a sibling out there somewhere. Rose needs to find this sibling so that Lissa can take her rightful place on the royal council and help change the Moroi and Dhampir world for the better. This isn't as easy as it sounds as any records of said child have been erased and no-one seems to know anything. It's a race against time for both of them.

I liked this book, but it definitely wasn't my favourite. I like the characters in this series and always have, Rose is brilliant but stubborn and can sometimes be a pain in the ass. The same can also be said about Lissa though, she always seems a bit ditzy but she's not. I never understood why she was written this way. I also haven't entirely made up my mind yet about whether I liked the ending or not, I think a re-erad of all the books back-to-back is in order.

My main problem with this book has absolutely nothing to with the actual story, characters or author. In my copy of Last Sacrifice there are a hell of a lot of mistakes, simple mistakes that should have been caught in the editing process. One or two annoys me enough as it is but there were a lot more than one or two and it really started to get on my nerves.

Even though Vampire Academy is now finished, Richelle Mead has started on a spin off called Bloodlines. This features different characters from the original series as main characters and she has stated that it's a new storyline and not just a rehashing of an old story. It should be released in August and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Book Depository: Last Sacrifice
Amazon UK: Last Sacrifice

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Charlaine Harris' Grave Sight Graphic Novel

At the age of fifteen, Harper Connelly was struck by lightning, an event that gave her the ability to find the dead and see how they died. Since then, Harper's scratched out a living selling her services to anyone with a chequebook. It's not the best life, but it beats the alternative, at least until Harper and her brother Tolliver roll into Sarne, Arkansas and find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery!

Release Date 7th June 2011

I haven't read Grave Sight in a wee while so this was a nice refresher for me. I love Harper and Tolliver and this is a great first book to the series. The artwork is good and I really like how Harper and Tolliver look.

Harper's power is completely unique and because of that not everyone trusts it or believes in it but they still hire her. I always wondered whether it was to try and debunk her or if they were always secretly wishing it to be true.

I've always enjoyed the Harper series and hope to read the rest in comic form as well. Although I am still disappointed that the series has come to an end, seemingly so Ms. Harris can focus more on the Sookie books.

If you're not a big reader of actual books then this is a great way to read the Harper series, it's a great series and well worth a look.

Book Depository: Grave Sight
Amazon UK: Grave Sight

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Dean Koontz' Frankenstein : Prodigal Son

Detectives O'Conner and Maddison delve deeper into the mysterious life of Victor Helios, trying to uncover his ultimate goal, while members of Victor's 'New Race' begin to show they are not as perfect as he assumed. Randall Six continues his quest to escape from Hands of Mercy, as Officer Harker descends further into madness. And Erika Helios discovers some of her husbands' unfinished creations. Mysteries are revealed and revenge is exacted as this horror epic reaches its apocalyptic conclusion.

Release Date 31st May 2011

I've read the books, except the last one, and I love that this series is getting adapted to a comic. I'm not actually a huge Dean Koontz fan but I really liked his take on the Frankenstein legend. The artwork is good, if a little square for my liking. I think they've done well with the imagery of Deucalion, he's big and scary looking, just like the illustator has drawn.

I'm not normally a big comic or graphic novel reader but there are a lot of books being adapted to comics. Is this the new in thing? To be fair, they'll work better than a movie adaptation, which normally upset me. At least there's no casting to be done that can ruin your perception.

I haven't read the book in a while but this had put me in the mood to start the series anew and, hopefully, get the new one while I'm at it.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, finding companionship only with her beloved, misshapen brother, Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

Then a ship arrives bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, and Ariadne meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

But Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .

Release Date 19th September 2011

Very well written story with some interesting takes on Greek mythology. I liked Ariadne and her relationship with her brother. While everyone sees him as a monster, he's still just Ariadne's big brother. She spends time with him and brings him gifts when everyone else would just ignore him.

Ariadne's family are a long line of contacts to the Goddess with Ariadne and her brother being next in line. This take on the Goddess is quite interesting, where she actually inhabits She-Who-Is-Goddess for 3 days of the year so she can get down to business with her husband, who's also inhabiting a member of the town, and hopefully bear a child.

Theseus is an alright character but I didn't love him or anything. He's confused by how things work in Knossos and gets talked into trying to overthrow the leaders and become King. The thing I like most about him is the way he treats Asterion, he likes him. He doesn't treat him like a monster.

I enjoyed this book so I'll definitely be looking for a sequel, I don't know if there is one but I'm hoping.

Book Depository: Dark Of The Moon
Amazon UK: Dark of the Moon

Monday, 16 May 2011

Moon Called Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson inhabits two worlds without truly belonging to either. To the human inhabitants of Tri-Cities she's an oddity, a fiercely independent woman who repairs cars for a living. To the town's darker residents; werewolves, vampires, and fae, she's a walker, a last-of-her-kind magical being with the power to become a coyote. Mercy warily straddles the fine line dividing our everyday world from that darker dimension ... until a boy, mauled by vicious werewolves and running for his life, appears at her door. Now her two worlds are about to collide! Outnumbered and out-muscled, can Mercy possibly save the boy ... or even herself?

I've read and loved all the Mercy books so far, click here for Part One and Part 2, and also River Marked. So I jumped at the chance to read the graphic novel of Moon Called.

I remember reading about it happening but then it kind of slipped my mind. I think the series is well underway but I read Volume 1 which is Issues 1 through 4. It's obviously not the exact same storyline as the book, the same as with film adaptations it obviously had to be cut down but the main parts are there and that's the important thing.

The artwork is great in it. Obviously I had the moments of "That's not what they looked like to me at all!", but everyone will have those moments, I'm sure. There's no way, if you've read the books, you'll agree with every image but the comics themselves are fun and well worth a read ..... with or without the pre-reading of the actual book.

Book Depository: Moon Called
Amazon UK: Moon Called

Friday, 13 May 2011

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose — hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire — is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes — or be left without any future at all.

It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone - and her future full of peril.

Release Date 9th August 2011

I absolutely loved the concept behind this story, like a futuristic and dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a twist. I don't think an exact year is ever given, although at one point I believe there is mention of 2087 and it seems like that was in the past.

I liked Rose, she was troubled and misunderstood by her parents who basically wanted a plaything and not a child. They had no qualms about putting her in stasis just because they were going on holiday or working away. Stasis is like a hyper sleep kind of deal, you go in and get chemically induced to sleep but while you're in there, you don't age or anything. So with Rose being put into stasis so often, she watched others around her grow up while she remained a child.

She awakes in the future and everyone she knew is dead. People believed she had died years ago and now that she's back, she has a lot to learn and a lot to do to try and assimilate into this new time.

I really hope there's more to follow and, judging by certain events in the book, there might just be. If the author hasn't started on a sequel yet, I think she should. I believe A Long, Long Sleep will be a hit with the YA crowd and could definitely do with becoming a series.

Book Depository: A Long, Long Sleep
Amazon UK: A Long, Long Sleep

Saturday, 7 May 2011

South of Salem by Janni Nell

My mother thinks my job is crazy. I'm a paranormal investigator; she's Nancy Reagan crossed with Martha Stewart. She's always preferred my sister, Lily, who is following in her perfect footsteps.

But this time Mom needs my special skills. She believes my stepfather is possessed. I admit he's not his usual dapper, charming self, but sleepwalking doesn't sound that weird. Until the sleepwalking spreads through the family and cousin Donna walks right out of her apartment window to her death. Then my sister goes missing and I have to find her and solve the mystery before Lily and her unborn child are harmed.

Normally I would have assistance, but my right hand, a hunky angel I've nicknamed Casper, has business of his own to take care of-business that might take him out of my life forever. The stakes are too high for me to lose, but I'm not sure I can do it alone...

Release Date 30th May 2011

So when I asked to read this, I didn't realise it was a second book. But I now find myself wondering if there was as much of the little things that niggled at me in this one, in the first one too. There seemed to be an awful lot of repetitive phrases in here, there was a lot of "as my dad would say" or something along the same lines. It got to the point that I sighed in aggravation whenever I read that line but when I looked back over it, it was actually only used about 9 times but it was still enough to bug me. I get it, her dad was Australian but really, having to explain every little non-American idiom used (I can only guess that's the reason, although they all made perfect sense to me) makes me ask, why use that many?

Besides that annoyance, it was a good story. Short but sweet with some interesting bits in it. I'm not too sure if I'd continue reading this series to be honest, as I said, it was an interesting story but there was just something that put me off. The story didn't seem to flow all that well and there was a lot of familial tension between Allegra, her sister and their mother. Too much, in my opinion.

Amazon UK: South of Salem

Monday, 2 May 2011

Before the Witches by Karina Cooper

In America, they didn't care about witches. But all that was about to change.

Katya Zhuvova fled a country that feared her gifts, but her escape to Seattle left her at the mercy of a ruthless man. With no one left to turn to, Katya hatches a desperate escape plan. Undercover Detective Nigel Ferris is determined to bring down a prostitution ring, whatever the cost. In order to the get answers he needs, he attempts to win the trust of one of the prostitutes involved — but one look at the deceptively sultry Katya and the cool, objective cop disappears. Before either can put their plans into place, Mother Nature shrugs: a cataclysm rocks Seattle, and life is turned upside down.

Brought together by chance, Nigel and Katya are in the fight for their lives. Surrounded by death and fear, shattered by immeasurable loss, they have only a bond forged in fire to cling to as they struggle to survive in a world gone straight to hell.

Release Date 17th May 2011

This is a prequel novella to Blood of the Wicked which is due to be released on 31st May 2011. Blood of the Wicked is the first in Karina Cooper's Dark Mission series and it's her actual first novel, I believe.

I hadn't heard of this series until I got this novella from Netgalley and all I can say is ... WOW! What an absolutely fantastic start to this series. Very short but it packs a punch and a half in there. Karina rips the world as we know it apart and sets up the storyline for her series in this.

I liked Katya, she's strong and determined to help others escape the desperate life she found herself in. Nigel is the handsome cop, they're always handsome though aren't they? ;) He has to help Katya, no matter the cost.

Loved the storyline and the disaster scenes were really well written, very descriptive and downright scary as all hell! I can't wait to read the 1st book and, if this novella is anything to go by, Karina is most definitely an author to watch out for in the future.

Book Depository: Before The Witches
Amazon UK: Before the Witches

Bite Club by Rachel Caine

Morganville is a quiet college town where humans and vampires live in relative peace. But lately a great deal of blood is being spilt ...

Having survived a number of adventures with her new night-dwelling friends, college student Claire Danvers has come to realise that for the most part, the undead just want to get on with their lives.

But someone else wants then to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport being broadcast over the Internet: bare-knuckle fights pitting vampires against one another - or, worse, against humans. Claire soon discovers that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville. And if they want to survive, they'll have to do a lot more than fight ...

This is book ten in the Morganville series and Rachel Caine's storylines are still as strong and well written as ever. Usually by the 10th book in a series, I've came across at least one book in there that I didn't like. Mostly because the story was poor, and I fear this with some of my favourite series because it may put me off them. Thankfully, this hasn't happened here.

I absolutely love the characters in the Morganville books. Claire has grown so much since we first met her in Glass Houses and I really like who she's turning into. Shane is hot as ever and we get some Shane POV in this book which is great, I've read a couple of shorts from Shane's POV and I like his voice. Eve is .... well, she's Eve, she's awesome! And Michael has some stuff to deal with but he's still fun. And of course, my favourite character is, and always will be, Myrnin. I think it would be hard to knock Myrnin from my top spot, he's crazy and loveable.

If you haven't read the Morganville series, I suggest you do it but you really have to start from the beginning which is Glass Houses. And if you have read the rest then I'm sure, like me, you'll be delighted with this installment and eagerly awaiting Last Breath which, I think, is out in November.

So it's not too long ...... *taps fingers and chews nails* ........ not long at all!

Book Depository: Bite Club
Amazon UK: Bite Club