Friday, 18 February 2011

Review of The Circus of Horrors

We went to see The Circus of Horrors on the 16th February this year. I've been trying to see them for a couple years now and finally got this chance ...... I so wish I'd seen them earlier! This is the most awesome and amazing show I have ever seen in my life.

Think old-time freakshow mixed with Penn and Teller-ish type magic mixed with awesome, and original, rock music ...... and you still don't have any idea how brilliant this show is, unless you've seen it.

They normally do a different show every tour but we were lucky enough to catch the 4 Chapters of Hell tour which celebrates their 15th year and encompasses different parts of their past tours. We weren't allowed to take pictures but I have lifted some pictures from their website for your viewing pleasure. All pictures are copyrighted by The Circus of Horrors & The Respective Photographer.

Dok Haze is the main guy. He does most of the singing and plays a big part in the overall show.

Oh yeah and he also breathes FIRE!

Along with the fantastic music, you get:

Sword swallowing

Extremely bendy women

Fire Eating

People lifting things with body parts that are not their hands, including this awesome septum lift

Amazing talents including hula hooping with LOADS of hoops, amazing skating talents, fantastic whip tricks and this awesome wheel thing which actually amazed me

And then you've got this dude opening a bottle of beer ......
..... with his eye socket

The above images do not do the show justice. Visit the website and look through the pictures and videos there and, if you ever get the chance, go see this show!
Seriously, I could not give this enough praise. Highly entertaining and funny, although not for the faint hearted or (as the warning at the beginning of the show states) neds or chavs.

Go see it, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee

Victoria's work with automatons has gained her renown and changed the face of London. But her concern that the clockworks are taking too many jobs away from humans, creating social unrest, is ignored. Given the ugly mood of the underclass, she fears more outbreaks of violence similar to the murder spree of the notorious Southwark Slasher.

Dash, unemployed thanks to the clockworks, has pledged fealty to The Brotherhood, a group determined to bring about the downfall of the automatons by any means necessary. His plan to kidnap Victoria goes awry when the unorthodox scientist pledges her assistance to their cause.

Despite their opposite social classes, a bond grows between them, and Victoria begins to feel emotions she never expected for the passionate Dash. But when the Slasher strikes close to home, Dash and Victoria realize that the boundaries of polite society are far from the only threat to their happiness...

This was a short but sweet read, also a very quick read but a very good story was told. It's set in old London but has a steampunk-ish feel to it with the whole automaton story. I think the author did a good job with the time period and the whole "slasher" storyline had a Jack The Ripper feel to it.

I kind-of-but-not-quite believed the relationship between Victoria and Dash. It seemed somehow wrong for the period the story was set on, although there was a lot of "this-isn't-right" thoughts and such so it kind of sorted but I still wasn't 100% convinced on it.

However, this didn't ruin the story for me or anything. I still liked the story and the characters, and I'd quite like it to continue and perhaps become a series.

Amazon UK: Like Clockwork

Friday, 11 February 2011

Winner of Sabina Kane giveaway

Using, the winner of the giveaway is Bea!

Congratulations to Bea, I hope you enjoy the series as much as I do.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Dru Anderson's not afraid of the dark. But she should be.

Poor Dru. Her parents are long gone. Her best friend Graves has been bitten by a werwulf. And she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. Now Dru's strange and handsome saviour, Christophe, has her hidden away at a secret Schola for djamphir and wulfen teens. Trouble is, she's the only girl in the place. The really bad news? Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead.

With all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide...

I said in my review for Strange Angels that I thought I had this book on my shelf, turned out I didn't! So I had to buy it, hence why the follow up review is so long after the first.

As I typed in the blurb above, it struck me just how misleading blurbs can be. Dru's parents aren't "long gone", her mum is but her dad only died in the 1st book which takes place just a few weeks before this one so long "long gone" is a bit much. Also it says "her best friend Graves has been bitten by a werwulf", it was that actual event which led to him becoming her best friend, they'd only just met before that happened. So again, a bit misleading.

But anyway, onto the story. I'm still loving Graves, don't trust Christophe as far as I could throw (which wouldn't be very far). I liked reading the way djamphir and werwulf interact, all we've seen of it so far is between Christophe and Graves and that could just have been personal hatred. It was interesting to find out how special everyone thinks Dru is, although Dru obviously doesn't like being treated as such.

A nice addition to the series and, again, I have to wait to read the next one as I don't have it in my possession ....... yet.

Book Depository: Betrayals
Amazon UK: Betrayals

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Pretty Souls by Julie Particka

Elle hasn’t been afraid of the things that go bump in the night since she became a werewolf. She'd happily give up her inner monster to get her family back though. Hell, she'd give up the beast for nothing. Of course her foster sister doesn't get it. After all, she doesn't battle with her own darker half, but vampire blood can do that to a person.

Their nightly patrols have become more habit than necessity — until a demon spawn comes to town, ripping souls from strangers, enemies, and friends alike. When it threatens her foster mom, Elle's peaceful life is shattered, but she's not going to give up without a fight. Fighting the beast for control at the same time is more than she can handle though. Armed with more attitude than experience, Elle and her sister have to track down the demon spawn before it collects enough souls to fulfill its birthright and open a doorway to hell.

For the first time in years, Elle is scared. She's willing to lose herself in the beast if that's what it takes, but saving the world could cost her soul.

Release date ~ Print 4/3/11, E-book 11/3/11

You may remember Julie from her interview on here last month, Pretty Souls is finally (nearly) here.

So you want to read the review of it, right?

It's awesome! Buy it and read it, you won't regret it.

OK, so if you've scrolled down here you're obviously expecting more than that, what is wrong with you?? You can't just live with "It's awesome"? Seriously, it is! But fine, if you insist on more ....

The story was well told and very well paced, I didn't want to put it down (damn work taking me away from my reading time). I loved Elle and Cass (OK, with Cass, it took me a couple chapters but it happened eventually) and I loved the fact that they're desperate to keep their life as normal as they can so as to fit in and not lose their foster parents. So Elle even tries to stop herself eating as much as she needs with her high metabolism just so she seems like a normal teenager.

I'm hoping (judging by the cliffhanger) that there is going to be another book and hopefully it'll be very soon! *fingers crossed*

This is a great debut novel from Julie Particka and it should be a big hit with the YA audience. I, for one, cannot wait to have an actual copy in my hand.

Book Depository: Pretty Souls
Amazon UK: Pretty Souls

Sunday, 6 February 2011

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop sensation Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. Kaylee can't cry for someone who has no soul.

Soon Kaylee finds that Eden's not the only starry-eyed girl who traded her life for a flickering moment of fame - a deal that has dark consequences no mortal could understand.

Banshee Kaylee swears to help those lost souls. But school football star Nash - Kaylee's newly acquired, not to mention super-hot, boyfriend - refuses to let her in harm's way. Still Kaylee knows it's her duty to save the innocent from the Netherworld - even if it means putting her own soul - and love life - at risk...

Click here to read my review of My Soul to Take, the first in the Soul Screamers series.

This one takes place about 6 weeks after that last one ended and Kaylee is taking bean sidhe lessons from Nash's mum. I like the relationship Kaylee and Nash have with Nash's mother, Harmony seems like a nice laid back parent, although she is 80 years old so I suppose she's had a lot of time to hone her patience.

Nash and Kaylee's relationship is growing at a fast pace. Nash is very protective of Kaylee and wants to keep her from anything dangerous, but being a bean sidhe, this is not entirely possible.

I love Rachel Vincent's writing style, she keeps you interested and keeps the storyline going at a steady pace. I have nothing but praise for Rachel as an author so I can't possibly say anything bad about this book. Go pick it up and give it a read, it's worth it.

Book Depository: My Soul To Save
Amazon UK: My Soul to Save

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Part 2

Click here for Part 1.

Bone Crossed
Car mechanic and sometime shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has learned - the hard way - why her race was almost exterminated. When European vampires emigrated to North America, they found Mercy's people had a hidden talent for vampire slaying. Unfortunately for Mercy, the queen of the local vampire seethe has discovered her true identity.

The undead queen is also furious when she learns Mercy has crossed her and killed one of her own. Mercy may be protected from direct reprisals by the werewolf pack (and her interesting relationship with the Alpha), but that just means Marsilia will come after Mercy some other way. So Mercy had better prepare to watch her back.

I think this may be my least favourite of the series. I'm not sure why, I think it's that the story is not as exciting as previous books. Although it's fun to see Mercy and Adam's relationship progressing, especially as I'm reading it with new eyes.

I like that Stefan was in this book a bit more, and the changes in his and Mercy's relationship are interesting to say the least. And we also meet Mercy's mother properly, I like her. She's feisty!

Book Depository: Bone Crossed
Amazon UK: Bone Crossed

Silver Borne
Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe. And now the leader of the werewolf pack, who's maybe-more-than-just-a-friend, has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they're all about to find out how implacable - and dangerous - the fae can be.

Okay, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday ...

I really liked this one and I think it was because of the whole pack mentality and how they (well, most of them) finally accept her as part of the pack and Adam's mate. I also really like the books that Bran show up in, I love Bran.

This is the book that changed my opinion of Adam, when I read all the others the first time I always though Adam was very domineering of Mercy and he just never sat well with me. But this one showed me a different side of him and changed my opinion, which makes me glad I re-read the series because I like him so much more now.

Book Depository: Silver Borne
Amazon UK: Silver Borne

Well, that's my short review of the Mercy Thompson series so far. River Marked is out next month and I can't wait. If you haven't read the series, all I can say is WHY NOT? Go pick it up and give a wee peeky, I'm sure you'll like it.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Part 1

So I started a re-read of the Mercy Thompson series and rather than review each book individually, I decided to do it in 3 parts. The third part being a review of the new book, River Marked, which is out in March.

So, on with the show.

Moon Called
Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-cities. She's a mechanic - and a damn good one - who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. Her next-door neighbour is an alpha werewolf - literally, the leader of the pack. And Mercy herself is a shapeshifter, sister to coyotes. As such, she's tolerated by the wolves but definitely down the pecking order. As long as she keeps her eyes down and remembers her place, the pack will leave her in peace.

Hardly a normal situation, but then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly a normal young lady ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

I believe I picked this book up purely because it was 3 for 2 in Waterstones and I had to find a 3rd book. I'd never heard of Patricia Briggs before but I liked the sound of the story and I'm glad I picked it up because the series has fast become one of my favourites.

I liked the characters straight away (except Adam but he grows on me in a later book). Mercy is a great heroine, she wants to live her life quietly and work in her garage but she's quick to fight to help her friends. Although we only meet Bran (the Marrok) for a little while, you can't help but love him. Samuel I liked more than Adam but again it wasn't an immediate thing.

Book Depository: Moon Called
Amazon UK: Moon Called

Blood Bound
Mercy Thompson; woken at 3am by a vampire. Stefan also happens to be a friend, and he needs her help. He has to deliver a message to a fellow undead, and needs a witness that won't be noticed - and Mercy's shapeshifting abilities make her the perfect candidate.

But the assignment turns into a bloodbath and Mercy attracts the attention of not just a powerful vampire, but the even more powerful demon possessing him. She can count on the supernatural community for protection - and alpha werewolf Adam would like her to rely on him in other ways, too - but when it comes to being proactive, she's on her own.

So I've discovered something interesting in this re-read, I don't hate Adam as much as I did when I first read it. It's kind of like reading the series with new eyes, apparently the last book that changed my opinion of him has made me see his possessiveness and Alpha-ness in a different way. Which is a good thing because I really never liked him!

I like how you see the character's progress, especially the pack's reaction to Mercy who is unofficially Adam's mate and therefore higher ranking than everyone else. You can imagine how wolves like being outranked by a coyote. We meet some more of the pack in this book as well as the vampire seethe and some faes as well.

Book Depository: Blood Bound
Amazon UK: Blood Bound

Iron Kissed
Mercy Thompson enjoys being a mechanic, but life is never simple given her increasing closeness to the local werewolf pack, and her ability to change into coyote for at will. And when a member of the fae community calls in a favour, needing her skills for a covert murder investigation, she jumps into the hunt.

But the dangers multiply and she clashes with shadowed creatures of great power. When her old boss Zee is charged with a brutal assassination, Mercy finds herself fighting alone. There are those who love her, who would keep her safe, but she is wary and holds her freedom precious. Until, that is, she has nothing left to lose but her life...

This is an awesome installment into the Mercy series, her life gets thrown about like crazy in this one. One good thing is we finally get to see the outcome of the Adam/Samuel saga .... and of course, I'm not telling you what it is!

Good storyline in this one and some hard hitting stuff as well. We meet some new faes (scary faes) and Mercy finally realises some stuff about her place in the pack. I think the readers already knew what she took ages to realise but I suppose that goes with reading a lot of these types of books and learning to read between the lines.

Book Depository: Iron Kissed
Amazon UK: Iron Kissed

So that's what I think of the first three books in the series. Part 2 will have the last two and then I'll give River Marked it's own review since it's the newbie.
If you haven't already read this series or started it and then gave it up, I suggest picking it up. It's well written and entertaining.