Monday, 27 May 2013

Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan

For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice's visit, the realm has become tainted — almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they'll have one chance to use Wonderland's own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

Lucky gets transported from Wonderland to our world and in doing, Gwen believes her to be the key in bringing the new Alice to Wonderland. A Wonderland that is nothing like it used to be when the original Alice appeared - Gwen has hopes that the new Alice will help change the world just as the original Alice did.

I really enjoyed this novella - very quick read, I started it and finished it on one leg of my commute to work (just under an hour and a half). I've always loved the story of Alice in Wonderland - what child didn't love the characters and the world as they were growing up.

It was interesting trying to work out what old character each new character was going to be - Who is the new Cheshire Cat? Who is the new White Rabbit? Who is the new Mad Hatter? It's a good start to a new series putting a twist on an old favourite.

Amazon UK: Follow the White Rabbit

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Country vs Country - Jane True

Haven't done one of these in a while, Country vs Country is when I compare the American and British covers of some of my favourite series. This time round it's Nicole Peeler's Jane True series.

Above are the US covers - by far, my favourite covers. As you will see below, the UK ones are very blah. I like the cuteness of these covers & that they're whimsical - it was the cover for Tracking the Tempest that put me onto the series. I saw it and thought, "This looks like a fun series" so I researched and bought Tempest Rising.

Now, if I had seen these covers first? I might not have discovered this amazing, sexy and funny series. The UK covers don't look like they fit the series. The UK publishers need to up their game a bit to compete with the US covers, methinks.

What covers do you prefer?

Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith

No escape.

Those words haunt Scar's dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn't real, but when she's abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn't some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she's not entirely sure she's innocent.

Scarlet likes to fight, when her parents ban her from seeing her friend she sneaks out with her and ends up attacking her. Next thing she knows, she's in some school for supernaturals - witches, werewolves & vampires. Each race doesn't really get on with the other so there is some segregation - except when it comes to a fight club type scenario. They are randomly told where and when their fight will be and will be punished if they're late. Scar discovers something else while she's in fight club - her partners are being attacked after they've fought her and it's starting to look like she's the attacker so she has to clear her name, but she's unsure as to whether it can be cleared.

Scarlet is one of those annoying female leads - she got on my nerves a lot! She's kind of egotistical and I can't seem to find any reason for it. The story itself was a good idea but I found the dialogue and character writing to be quite poor - the story is the only reason I'm giving this a 3/5 on Goodreads.

If you want a quick, light read then this is for you. If you're looking for something to sink your teeth into, try a different book.

Book Depository: Shadow Embraced
Amazon UK: Shadow Embraced

Thursday, 23 May 2013

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Kaylee Cavanaugh's taking her final stand!

After spending the last year undead, Kaylee has had enough of the paranormal creatures who have plagued her ever since she came into her banshee powers. Now she's ready to take her school back from the evil hellions, once and forever.

To protect her friends, Kaylee will need to find a way to turn her living incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another.

Yet when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realises she can't save everyone she loves without making some powerful sacrifices ...

Kaylee is sick of the constant death threats (and deaths) in her circle of friends and family. She decides it's time to end it all and comes up with a plan to finish the war with the hellions (well, mostly one in particular) once and for all. But then it gets taken out of her control when Avari decides to up the stakes.

Yet another one of my favourite series has ended. This saddens me so much - I like Tod and Sabine, and to a slightly lesser extent Kaylee, Sophie & Emma/(Emily). This book really finishes the series off with a bang.

There's happiness, there's tears, there's heartbreak, there's trauma. But most importantly, there's a kick ass story with some awesome characters that I will truly miss. I like the revelation about Kaylee & Tod's relationship (no spoilers from me but it's a good'un) and also seeing how Nash & Sabine's relationship is growing and changing - even though Nash is still a bit of a knob about Kaylee & Tod. And even though the ending of the book means the ending of the series, I really enjoyed it.

Book Depository: With All My Soul
Amazon UK: With All My Soul

Fall of Night by Rachel Caine

Thanks to its unique mix of human and vampire residents, Morganville is a small college town with big-time problems. But it isn't the only town with vampire trouble ...

Claire never thought she'd leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into a graduate course at MIT, she can't pass up the opportunity. Saying goodbye to her friends, especially her boyfriend Shane, is bittersweet, and her new life at MIT is both scary and exciting. Enrolled in a special advanced study programme with Professor Irene Anderson, former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on VLAD, her machine designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.

But Morganville and its inhabitants are never really far from Claire's mind. When she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire begins to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she'll ever make ...

Claire leaves Morganville (and her friends) to go to MIT on a special programme with one of Myrnin's former helpers. She takes VLAD with her and her new Professor wants to help her work on it - using a live vampire as the test subject. Meanwhile Claire's room mate is introducing Claire to a new level of creepiness - courtesy of her ex.

The penultimate book in the Morganville series - yes, sadly (very sadly) we are almost done with the wonderful town of Morganville and the weird and quirky residents. I shall miss my bi-annual dose of Myrnin, and I suppose Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve .... but mostly Myrnin.

This book surprised me by actually having Claire leave Morganville, I kept waiting for something to stop it from happening at the beginning - as normally happens in Morganville. But she does leave and I think it does a lot for her growing up and it definitely did something for her relationship with Shane. The story is told from Claire & Shane's POV - so yet another view into Shane's head which I loved before. It's so nice to read Shane's thoughts (and fears) on their relationship.

And what an ending! It's made me even more excited for Daylighters - even though I know as soon as I read it, the series will be finished. Which causes my face to do this :(

Book Depository: Fall of Night
Amazon UK: Fall of Night

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Demonic Dora by Claire Chilton

She's finally managed to summon her first demon...

Dora Carridine is trying to summon a demon, but she's not very good at Latin and nothing ever works out the way she plans.

Her life is fraught with weekly exorcisms and having to watch her father's fire and brimstone TV show every Sunday. So, when Dora finally succeeds in summoning an incompetent demon lord, she's absolutely delighted when all hell breaks loose.

She thought summoning a sexy demon lord would be the answer to all of her problems, but her problems are only just beginning when her zealot parents try to burn her at the stake, and Dora is left with only one option — to escape and follow her demon straight into Hell.

Release Date 30th June 2013

So Dora is the daughter of a TV evangelist-type person (I don't know the proper words for them) and she likes to try and summon demons in her spare time so you know from the get go that this is not a happy pairing. She gets saved by the demon she (somehow) manages to summon and he takes her to hell where things aren't as great as Dora thought they'd be. For starters, her demon saviour (Kieron) has a crazy mother and a scary father and she has to stay with them and pretend she's dead - all while trying to ignore her sizzling feelings for Kieron and also ignore the constant come-ons from Kieron.

So I figure this book is YA but can't find anything to confirm it, generally I think YA is aimed at 15/16-19 year olds - if that is the age group this book is aiming for it is EXTREMELY immature and if it's aimed a younger age group? It seems TOO mature for that! The 2 main characters are very immature in behaviour but I would say the language was a bit too much for someone of 15 or under - now, I know kids swear but I think there's a difference between knowing it happens and actively encouraging it through literature. So I honestly don't know what age group it's aimed at.

I was hoping to like this, it sounds interesting and I thought I'd like Dora - what with her being a little goth rebel that doesn't like to fit in. I tried to like it - I really did - but it fell flat on its face with a big splat! The writing was subpar and the story was boring and unbelievable (I know it's about demons but some of the precursors to hell are completely crazy). For instance, Dora's father blames her for the demon saying she's possessed and after a failed "exorcism", he somehow manages to convince all the other adults in the town that Dora should be burned at the stake? I mean REALLY?!? Nobody in that whole crowd thought this was a wee bit weird and wrong?

Unfortunately, this isn't a book I would recommend to a friend.

Book Depository: Demonic Dora
Amazon UK: Demonic Dora