Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters must prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually they select their victims at random, but this time around the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.

It's going to take the whole White family to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love — just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between family and the girl he loves. One thing's for sure, whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.

Release Date 12th June 2012

So a book about mermaids? Yay, who never wondered about being a mermaid or contemplated mermaids being real when they were younger? But, not only mermaids, murderous mermaids? Hell yeah! Of course I wanna read that!

In this book, mermaids kill people to get their emotions. But what happens when a merman falls in love with a human? That's the question this book answers for you. And it does it in a very well written way. I really enjoyed Anne Greenwood Brown's world and her characters. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Calder was changing forms, I like it when an author writes the change as a physical thing rather than magic. It makes it seem more real for me 'cos I imagine it being a very sore process and I just never like the idea of it being over in a second and being painless.

I really enjoyed this book and, unfortunately, there's no clues with the ending as to whether there will be a sequel or not. I can only hope there will be.

Book Depository: Lies Beneath
Amazon UK: Lies Beneath

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Pack and Coven by Jody Wallace

Harry Smith is a lone wolf, and he likes it that way. When he's targeted to be co-alpha of the local pack, there is only one thing he can do to maintain his freedom: flee. But it'll take a miracle to stay a step ahead of shifters in their own territory.

June Travis has been in love with Harry for years, but he doesn't know her real identity. He sees her as the sweet owner of the local tearoom - the facade June presents to humans and werewolves to keep them from finding out she's a witch. She may not be able to offer Harry a miracle, but she can help him escape.

Harry is drawn to this new side of June, and not just because he's grateful for her help. With her magic temporarily hiding Harry from his pursuers, the witch and the wolf explore their mutual attraction. But there are consequences for witches who bed down with wolves...

Release Date 20th February 2011

As I write this review and I see the cover of Pack and Coven after reading the book, the cover model for Harry is not right at all. He's too piddly looking, the facial hair just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

Pack and Coven has a very well written world with some really great characters. The good guys are more than likeable and the bad guy is downright scary and has the ugliest personality. Definitely someone you want to see bad things happen to.

Highly recommended to any werewolf and witchy fans and I'll definitely be looking for more from Jody Wallace.

Amazon UK: Pack and Coven

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Curse by Mike Norton

In 2009, cartoonist extraordinaire and internet sensation Mike Norton (BATTLEPUG, DOUBLE FEATURE COMICS: THE ANSWER) took the "24-Hour Comic" Challenge and created the pug-tastic comic THE CURSE over the course of a single day! He returned with sequels spawned during "24-Hour Comic" events in 2010 and 2011. Now all three tales of pirates and pugs are available in print in this new hardcover collection!

Release Date 12th September 2012

Completely hilarious graphic novel about a pug who's also a pirate - a pugrate?

Short but funny stories and the artwork, while not fantastically well done, is still good. I mean, anything's better than the crap that would come from me. I like easy to read comics and this is definitely one, pick it up and give it a read. If nothing else, you'll get a good giggle.

Book Depository: The Curse
Amazon UK: The Curse

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders — seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson.

It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party — and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Release Date 13th March 2012

Lissa Price has created quite a scary dystopian world in Starters. All the adults are dead, only people over 60 and kids have survived the spore wars. Kids with no grandparents are forced to either live on the streets since they can't work or get taken into an institution, which is basically like a slave camp for kids. Callie has her brother to look after and is forced into going to Prime Destinations to get money, but her rental malfunctions and she's forced to pretend to be her renter while she tries to fix things. But she soon finds out her renter had big plans for her body.

You don't meet a huge amount of characters but all the enders (old people) come across as stuck up and seem to look down on the kids. Callie is a bit naive for someone who lives on the streets, I know she's young and all but I would've thought she would have a bit more sense. The whole renting your body thing squicks me out, I don't think I could do it no matter how much money they were offering. Although I get that the world created here isn't exactly normal. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

Book Depository: Starters
Amazon UK: Starters

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Release Date 27th March 2012

A fantastic sequel to The Goddess Test. Kate has passed the test and is now Henry's Wife, after spending her summer with James she's excited to get back to Henry and officially become the Queen of the underworld and rule by Henry's side. But when her coronation is interrupted by Cronos, the king of the Titans and the only being capable of ending the world and the council, Henry has to leave her to try and stop him. Unfortunately Henry and the rest of the council end up needing saved by Kate, with help from James, Ava and Persephone.

I actually quite enjoyed finally meeting Persephone, the girl who broke Henry's heart and make him want to fade into death rather than take on another wife and Queen. Kate faces some trials and tribulations in this book and tries to come to terms with the knowledge that Henry will never love her the same as Persephone.

This book made me realise I'd quite like to read a story from Henry's point of view. Because I'm just as confused as Kate about Henry's feelings towards her and would like an answer. I was the same with the Morganville series and Rachel Caine wrote a short from Shanes POV and it cleared it all up for me.

Loved this book and can't wait to read more.

Book Depository: Goddess Interrupted
Amazon UK: Goddess Interrupted

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong

Hiking through the snow, holiday baking and playing board games by the fire – what’s not to love about an old-fashioned family Christmas?

Werewolves Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers want to give their four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan, something their parents never had: a nice, normal holiday. No Pack responsibilities, no homicidal half-demons or power-hungry sorcerers to deal with – just the four of them, alone, at a chalet outside Ontario’s Algonquin Park.

Then a strange werewolf shows up at their door…while the town is buzzing about a young man, back from college, found half-eaten in the woods. And there’s the missing little girl ...

With all the signs pointing to a rogue mutt with a taste for human flesh, Elena and Clay have no choice but to investigate. But are they the hunters – or the hunted?

I have to say I prefer the Elena cover over the Clay cover, but I had to have the limited edition so I have the Clay cover. This is another great novella from Kelley Armstrong, when her loyal readers just don't get enough from her Otherworld series and can't wait fr the next novel, the Subterranean Press novellas make a nice little stepping stone.

This novella sees Clay and Elena trying to have a normal christmas with Kate and Logan but when a mutt shows up on their doorstep, their plans change. On doing background checks, Elena finds a story of a young boy eaten by wild dogs and a little girl going missing. She and Clay set about trying to find out more while trying to keep the whole werewolf thing a secret from Kate and Logan.

I enjoyed reading about the twins and look forward to seeing more of them in later novellas (and hopefully a book once the hiatus stops). I also liked reading more of Noah and Reese, they were introduced in Frostbitten and I believe Reese has a short story detailing his life in Australia. Any Kelley fan will love this book and it has her typical wit and writing style throughout.

Book Depository: Hidden
Amazon UK: Hidden

Friday, 13 January 2012

Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells

Life is looking up for Sabina Kane. The threat of war between dark races seems to have passed, and her magic training is also progressing well - just like her relationship with the sexy mage Adam Lazarus. But as much as Sabina feels hopeful about the future, she doesn't quite trust that peace is possible ...

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threaten to stall peace talks between the vampires and the mages. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but this dark investigation soon has her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

So I've had a huge change of mind since I posted my review of Green-Eyed Demon, I don't like Brooks anymore ..... or rather I don't like his new alter ego Pussy Willow. She's a bitch! And she's changed Giguhl and I'm NOT a fan of anything that changes Giguhl.

PW is a huge dampener but thankfully she's not a major character so she's not in the book all that much. Sabina is trying to settle into her new mage life, which means no feeding off humans. It's bagged blood only for this magepire. But, as usually happens in these books, a huge kick up the ass happens and her happy new life is thrown into turmoil. She has to find the murderer before they put a stop to the peace treaty between the dark races.

I'm still a HUGE fan of this series, I love Jaye Wells' writing style and her sarky wit as well as her characters. And I really can't wait to read more, it's just disappointing that Wells already has an end line in sight for the series.

Book Depository: Silver-Tongued Devil
Amazon UK: Silver-Tongued Devil

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Kiss of the Vampire by Cynthia Garner

Warriors of the Rift

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world - or send it spiraling into chaos.

Half-demon, half-human, Nix de la Fuente is accepted by neither and mistrusted by both. Determined to prove she's more human than not, she devotes herself to solving crimes between the world's mortals and its most unsavory undead. But her latest case brings her face to face with the one vampire she could never resist . . .

Called in to investigate a string of violent murders, special agent Tobias Caine isn't interested in rekindling his relationship with Nix. Yet one look and the vampire knows his need for her is as strong as ever. Once, their all-consuming passion nearly cost Nix her fragile hold on her humanity. Now, as their hunger for one another intensifies, exposing them to an unimaginable danger, it could cost them both their lives.

Release Date 1st February 2012

So the basis of this is that entities cross through the rift and inhabit humans, no-one knows exactly how it works but humans react differently and become either shifters, vampires or demons. Tobias and Nix have a history and, typically of this type of story, their break up was a miscommunication and they both think the other doesn't want to be with them ..... boy, are they wrong! They're forced to work together to solve this case which involves an old mutual friend.

I liked the idea of supernaturals (or preternaturals, as they're called in this) being from another dimension or plane, it was different from other books I've read. I also like Nix, she was an interesting character that I enjoyed reading. There were a couple of little bits that felt like the author just went into way too much detail and I was actually rolling my eyes and thinking, "why do I need to know all this?". But aside from that, the story and characters were interesting and it looks like the rest of the series will be following different characters storylines. I'm looking forward to the next one though!

Book Depository: Kiss Of The Vampire
Amazon UK: Kiss Of The Vampire

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

A stunning debut YA novel, destined to blow the dystopian genre wide open – The Handmaid’s Tale for a new generation. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home – before her time runs out forever. What if you knew exactly when you would die? In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it. 16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage – and Linden’s cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.

A completely outstanding début from Lauren DeStefano in this dystopian YA, first in a series but I don't know how many are planned for the series. Hopefully at least a few.

In this frightening world, girls are often kidnapped and sold on to become wives for rich guys purely to try and have sprogs before they kick it at 25, and girls die at 20. There's a virus that kills everyone young except the first generations who were genetically designed and only they can survive past 20 and 25. Most of the kidnapped girls are from orphanages but Rhine actually had a life, a job and a family before she was snatched.

A truly terrifying world (in which I'd be LONG dead) in which it's entirely normal for men to marry little girls as young as 13 expecting her to follow all wifely duties. A must read for any dystopian fan and sure to get DeStefano on the YA author map.

Book Depository: Wither
Amazon UK: Wither

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My favourite reads of 2011

I've seen a few posts of Top Fives and Top Tens but .... I can't choose 5 or 10 so I'm just going to put ALL my favourites from 2011.

And if I've done this right, you should be able to click on the cover to get to the review.
I just realised that I forgot my last read of the year and I don't want to have to redo the whole layout so I'm adding at the bottom.