Sunday, 29 April 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

The Society chooses everything.
The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed, Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems ...

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.

The second book in the Matched trilogy, sequel to Matched, and we find Cassia in a work camp trying to get to where she thinks Ky is. Ky is in a village pretending to be a farmer trying to get back to Cassia where he thinks she is - back in Oria. They both know about the rebellion, Ky more than Cassia, and they both hate the Society but can they both have the same ending?

This book was half Cassia's POV and half Ky's, I really liked Ky's narrative. We learn a lot more about his background and how he ended up in Oria as a Markham. Crossed carries on from Matched quite nicely and the story progresses at a nice pace. The good thing about both Cassia and Ky's POV is the back stories come out more, we also get a little bit of background on Xander from Ky as he knows something Cassia doesn't. I especially like that there's some conflict regarding Ky, Cassia and Xander - everything's not as crystal clear as it seems.

Book Depository: Crossed
Amazon UK: Crossed

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Art of the Mass Effect Universe by Casey Hudson and Derek Watts

The Mass Effect trilogy is a groundbreaking epic that has immersed gamers in one of science fiction's richest universes. Now BioWare and Dark Horse are proud to invite fans deeper than ever into the Mass Effect saga with The Art of the Mass Effect Universe! Featuring concept art and commentary by BioWare on the games' characters, locations, vehicles, weapons, and more-including Mass Effect 3-The Art of the Mass Effect Universe is the most complete companion available to gaming's most compelling series!

Talking from my experiences in the Mass Effect universe, everything in this book fascinates me, since I have spent at least 200 hours living in all 3 games. Being able to see the thought process behind each of the races and the culture behind them, makes you realise the love that was put into the games. The book doesn't just cover the races it has concepts for the various location visited in the story from the Citadel right back to Earth in Mass Effect 3. They even make it very easy to find a particular location or person you wish to look up as the book is divided into the 3 individual games.

This being a concept art book it is very hard to describe how good the quality is. This is 186 pages of fan service giving us an insight into how Bioware were looking at the world they were building, and where things could have went with just a few different choices. This is a very specialist book, directed more to people that have played and loved the games. For a fan of the universe I would highly recommend it. And even for the aspiring artists wanting to get into Art design for gaming, a little more knowledge of how it is done in the big leagues won't hurt.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney PLUS Giveaway

Born into the mysterious world of an ancient alchemical order. Donna has always been aware of the dark feud that exists between alchemists and the fey. Her own mother - bound by a dark Faerie curse - has been confined to a hospital bed for as long as she can remember ... But now there is a chance to release her, and Donna will stop at nothing until she is free.

Armed with her own brand of powerful magic, Donna must face the fearsome Wood Queen in order to save her mother. But in the Ironwood - a place that haunts Donna's dreams - there is far greater and more dangerous magic already at work ...

The sequel to the impressive The Iron Witch sees Donna facing .... god knows what from the judges on her hearing. She doesn't know how they're going to find her or what her punishment will be for what she did in the first book. But her mother seems to get more ill and she discovers that the Wood Queen is behind her illness, to help her mother Donna must help the Wood Queen using her powers that she's not even sure about.

I didn't like this book as much as the first but it was a nice sequel and allowed the storyline to progress a bit more, it also set up the sequel nicely. We don't find out everything there is to know about Donna's new found powers so there's plenty of story still to be told, as well as the small problem of what the Wood Queen made Donna do.

I'm not entirely sure who I can and cannot trust in this series, whenever I think I can trust someone I discover that I, in fact, can't. I enjoy Mahoney's writing style and her character development. Really looking forward to the next in the series and finding out more about Donna's power.

And, as it says in the title, I'm doing a giveaway. This is for a copy of The Iron Witch and this is for a copy of the book I actually own (new and unread, it came with The Wood Queen) so it is only open to UK addresses.

All you have to do is leave a comment below with your name and email address, then I will randomly choose a winner. It's that easy ~ enjoy!

CLOSING DATE: Friday 4th May

Book Depository: The Wood Queen
Amazon UK: The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen

Saturday, 21 April 2012

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

Kaylee can see death coming. Now she must face her own.

As a teen banshee, Kaylee's blood-curdling screams are a death knell for others. Yet she never expected to see her own name at the top of the reaper's list.

Scheduled to die within days, Kaylee knows her magic can't change her fate. Worse, on top of worrying about her own demise, she needs to save mortal best friend Emma from the clutches of a deadly Netherworld creature.

As Kaylee's time on earth slips away, troubled banshee boyfriend Nash and his reaper brother Tod refuse to give up on Kaylee. They're ready to unearth murky family secrets to give her a last chance at life, as their fight to save Kaylee becomes a battle for her love.


FINALLY, Kaylee dumps Nash and gets together with Tod! As I said in my review for My Soul To Steal, I prefer Tod to Nash and, since Sabine came into the series, I've thought she and Nash should be together.

Sorry for the spoiler but that part made my day and I can't help but squee over it.

So Kaylee finds out at the beginning that she's going to die within a week after Levi "accidentally" lets Tod see the list. As she's trying to cope with that she discovers her new math teacher is an Incubus and is trying to find a suitable incubator for his demon seed. As her last days pass on earth, she has to deal with Mr Beck before he hurts Emma. In the chaos of all that she FINALLY realises Tod's feelings for her (where has she been?!) after he risks his afterlife and job to make sure her reaper stops stalking and torturing her. Nash catches them and, understandably, gets pissed.

Loved this one and I was wondering right up until the end whether Vincent would actually kill Kaylee or if she'd come up with some way to let her live. And with all the hints and near misses she was throwing in with Tod and Kaylee, I was left wondering about that until it happened. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Vincent is a great author and I can't give her books anything but praise.

Definitely a must read. Whether you've been reading the whole series and want to know what happens or even if you've never heard of the series before, I highly recommend Soul Screamers.

Book Depository: If I Die
Amazon UK: If I Die

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is - a skin-walker. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows she will soon be able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents, including local bad boy Rafe, with whom she shares a powerful secret.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee their homes during a forest fire they suspect was set deliberately. Stranded in the wilderness of Vancouver Island, only their extraordinary abilities can help them get back home. But can Maya really trust her friends? And can she learn how to control her dangerous gift, before it controls her?

I'm not too pleased with the beginning of this book, bad things happened that I didn't want to happen! But a Kelley book wouldn't be a Kelley book without bad stuff happening.

I enjoyed the progression of the series in this book. Maya is a very mature YA lead so she's very easy to read, a lot of YA leads are annoyingly immature and yes, I do know they're YA so they're supposed to be young but I mean annoyingly immature. Maya is a nice change from that, although it may also be that she's forced into taking a leadership role to help her friends.

I also really enjoyed the little drops of the Darkest Powers series in here, mentions of names and events and I really can't wait to see them meet up. I can almost picture how Derek will react to the new bunch of people showing up and I cannot WAIT to read that scene. Any Kelley fans will love this and any non-Kelley fans, I suggest you start with The Summoning which is Book one of the Darkest Powers series.

Book Depository: The Calling
Amazon UK: The Calling

Monday, 16 April 2012

Forgiven: The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver

The stakes are high when you bet on your soul ...

Hell's finest are ruling the streets and it seems that Armageddon might be even closer than Riley Blackthorne imagined. But with her soul and her heart in play it's all she can do to keep herself alive, let alone save the world. Riley's not afraid of kicking some major demon butt, but when it comes to a battle between Heaven and Hell, she might need a little help ...

I. FREAKING. LOVE. THIS. SERIES!!! I love Riley. I love Beck. I love the trappers. I love the little ninja klepto demon. There's only one thing I don't love about this series, and it's Stewart. That is purely because (as I've said in other reviews) I have major problems with how non-Scots write Scottish language. Even though I now know how difficult it is to write the Scottish language in a way that non-Scots will understand, it still bothers me when I read it. But that problem has absolutely nothing to do with this fab series and everything to do with my little irks.

This book, as with the last book, starts exactly where the last book left off. There's no 3 month gap or anything like that, which is great if the last book is still fresh in your mind and not so great if it's been a while since you read it.

Riley has to deal with the fallout of what happened with Ori and also with telling Beck about it, all while trying to keep out of the Hunters hands. Riley's had to grow up a lot since the first book but more so in this book, she realises a lot and has to deal with it. It's hard to talk about this book without squeeing over my favourite bit!

All I'll say is: It finally happens and then it goes all wrong. This leaves me HUNGERING for the next book!

Book Depository: Forgiven
Amazon UK: Forgiven

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

They say opposites attract, and for werewolves Anna and Charles, this is certainly true. Charles, the pack enforcer, is a dominant alpha - whereas Anna has the power to calm others of her kind. Now that werewolves have dared to reveal themselves to humans, it's their job to keep the pack in line.

The pressure mounts when the FBI requires Charles's assistance. He's sent on a mission to Boston with Anna, and they quickly realise that a serial killer is targeting werewolves. And that they're next on the killer's list.


I find that I'm actually enjoying the Alpha & Omega series more than the Mercy Thompson series, it may be because I like Charles more than Adam and Anna more than Mercy or it may be that the storylines seem to interest me more than those in the Mercy books. Although that's not to be read as me hating the Mercy books, just that I enjoy these ones even more.

The third and latest Alpha & Omega starts off with Anna having a stand off with Bran over Charles, Anna doesn't like him being used as the Marrok's assassin. When Bran realises that it is in fact what's bothering his son, he sends Anna and Charles to consult with the FBI on a case involving dead werewolves. What they find when they get there is that the murders go back to the 70s and most of the victims have been fae. They quickly realise that it's not a human serial killer if they've managed to take down several fae and also a few werewolves. They manage to save the latest victim but it brings the attention onto Anna who, having been a victim before, refuses to become one again.

I love how these books let us see more and more into Charles and Bran's heads, I love seeing Charles and Anna's relationship through his (and Brother Wolf's) eyes. And I think it says a lot about me that I love dominant Charles, he certainly managed to bring forth shivers when I read the scenes he's in.

I adore the writing style of Patricia Briggs and also her characters, she's had several books to work on the characters and I find myself loving them more with each book. And the ending of this book is fantastic! It brings forth a whole whack of possibilities and also leaves the series open for plenty more books.

Book Depository: Fair Game
Amazon UK: Fair Game

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days.
It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take — except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

Release Date 9th October 2012

I saw this cover on All Things Urban Fantasy and loved it so when I saw it on Netgalley, I read the description and decided I had to read the book. It just sounded like my type of book: serial killer named Bonesaw, a purgatory that sounds deliciously gloomy and the heroine sounds like my kind of chick.

Velveteen (awesome name, by the way) or Velvet for short was murdered and ended up in purgatory where she gets placed on a salvage crew - salvage crews find escaped and trapped souls and banish them back to purgatory. But she slips back to Daylight (the real world) every so often to haunt her murderer and try and stop him from killing again ~ this is a big no-no apparently. But a new guys joins the team and Velvet is attracted to him ~ this is also a big no-no. Apparently you're just not allowed to have fun in purgatory.

Velvet is a reluctant heroine, she'd rather bring fiery vengeance down on Bonesaw's head but she has to do her job in purgatory, she doesn't want to be attracted to Nick but she can't help it. She sounds like the kind of chick I would've been friends with in school. One thing I was disappointed in (and this may just be the way my morbid mind works) is that you're constantly teased with bits and pieces of Velvet's torture at the hands of Bonesaw but you never find out the whole story. I was really hoping to find out the whole thing as I thought it would have maybe made understanding Velvet a little easier.

But aside from that small disappointment, I absolutely loved this book. I loved Velvet's relationship with everyone around her and I even loved her teen angst. A definite must read.

Book Depository: Velveteen
Amazon UK: Velveteen

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Release Date 8th May 2012


First off, I love the cover ~ so pretty. OK, so now I have to review the book, right?

The storyline described above? Awesome. The actual storyline that comes off in the book Meh, it was alright. I was expecting disaster and fighting cults and lots of storms etc, but I got a typical YA love story of instantly falling in love with someone. Oh but not just anyone ~ Mia fell in love with someone who tried to kill her, even though she knew he tried to kill her. WTF?!?

Another annoying thing was that even in this disaster struck town of LA, the two warring cults manage to help keep up the whole bitchy cliquey school group thing, you would've thought that after so many people dying the people that were left would try and get on? But no, it kinda seems like LA has been completely cut off from the rest of the world. No-one seems interested in helping them, in fact aside from a little bit of Mia's back story (I would've liked more) the rest of the world isn't even mentioned in the book. Did something happen worldwide and everyone has their own emergency situation? Or does the rest of the world, or even the US, just not care about LA?

Even though there are a lot of annoyances with this book, I still liked it. The idea of lightning being attracted to one person and imbuing them with its power? Awesome. Cults, both of which have leaders in high positions, trying to recruit new members? Brilliant. But, in my opinion, it could've done with more devastation and less teenage wrongly-placed lust.

Book Depository: Struck
Amazon UK: Struck