Sunday, 22 February 2015

Country vs Country - Weather Wardens

Danielle's back and this time round we're going to be talking about Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine (one of my favourite authors).

Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden - a member of a shadowy organisation whose job it is to stand between the murderous intentions of Mother Earth and the rest of us.  She an control the weather, but not her fate: she's on the run from her colleagues, accused of the murder of her boss, and at the mercy of the storms she's trying to defeat.  Add in a whirlwind romance with a rogue rebel Djinn, and the forecast is for trouble ... with a chance for Apocalypse.

DANIELLE: This is a series I'm not sure I like the UK covers better for.  I'll admit I don't love the North American covers either.  I find them cartoon-y.  Maybe not cartoon-y, but they look animated.  I like the simplicity of the UK, but I like that her car is on the cover of the NA.  I think for me, round one goes to NA.
JULIE-ANNE: I agree about the US covers looking cartoon-y and the car being involved. Jo's love of cars is a very big part of the entire series so it makes sense that they appear on the cover.  I do prefer the typeface of the title in the UK ones and I like the colour palette better.  Also a little thing that I like is when book series include the book number somewhere on the cover, it just makes it easier to pick up the right one if you're in a book shop looking for new stuff.  UK for me.

D: This one I don't actually like either cover at all.  The UK cover feels a bit cheesy, but the cartoonishness (yes, cartoonishness!) just really turns me off.  It reminds me of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from when I was a kid.  If I have to choose though, I think I'll go with NA here. I think.  Maybe
J: As much as I love the UK covers (they're what made me buy the series, well Ill Wind was), this is my least favourite of the series.  I don't know what it is about it, maybe her top?  Maybe the fact that she looks kinda like she's underwater? Who knows! I think US for this one.

D: Again, I don't love either cover but I do prefer the simplicity of the UK cover, VS the cartoon NA cover.  Though I do enjoy the view of Vegas in the background, I think a real picture of it, with a different main part of the cover would have been better.  I'm really not a fan of having faces on book covers, just because I like to get my own impression of the characters, so the UK cover disappoints me that way.  I will choose it over the NA cover here though.
J: I've always loved this UK cover,  I think its her face.  I like her hair and her make-up.  I agree with Danielle on the background of the US one but overall, I'm not a fan of the cover.  UK for this one.

D: The NA cover on this one reminds me a lot of Kim Harrison's A Fistful Of Charms.  I don't mind it though.  I prefer that the model is facing away.  The UK cover model looks a little more like a young adult to me.  I think if I saw this book on the shelf, and had never heard of the series before, I might have assumed it was a YA book.  I think the NA cover wins here for me though, even with the similarity to AFFOC.
J: I've never been a fan of the whole "looking back over my shoulder" thing on book covers.  I do like the background better in the UK one though.  But I think (just for the stance, and maybe the outfit) I'm going to go with US.

D: These two covers are quite similar.  I prefer the fact that the model's face is obscured in the NA cover, and I also like the fire in the back ground better.  I think this round goes to NA for me as well.
J: Danielle's right in that they are similar enough, at least compared to the other books in the series.  I kind of prefer the background in the UK one but I don't like her face.  I'm going to go with UK for this one.

D: I like the colours and the background picture on the UK cover here.  The forest almost feels a little haunted.  I don't like the wet girl facing the camera though.  I think I pick the NA cover for this round as well.
J: I prefer the woman on the US cover but I prefer the background on the UK.  US just ekes the win for this one.

D: All right.  This is where the UK covers changed.  I like the colours and the font of the UK cover here quite a lot.  I don't like the model's makeup, or again, that she's facing the camera.  The NA cover is really dull though.  But I love the car shot.  This is a tough one for me.  I think I'll go with UK just because I really like the colours and the font.  Though I do like the leaves and the car.  Hmm.  It’s a tie!
J: I hated that the UK covers changed here, it bugs me when my books get messed up and the cover change also meant the last 3 books were really delayed in being released over here.  But I'm not here to bitch about that.  I don't like her expression on the UK cover (although I do like the typeface more) so I'm going to go with US here.

D: More with the new and improved UK covers here.  The colours, the font, the storm in the background - all good.  I also think the models face is obscured enough that I don't mind her facing the camera.  The NA cover models outfit is just ... no.  I don't like it for Jo at all.  I don't like her facing the camera.  I don't like this cover much at all.
J: I like that the US cover has a (hint of a) boat on it and I like her expression.  But I think overall, I like the UK one.

D: I love the font and colours on the UK, again.  I like the cover on the whole, save for the model.  I wish she had hair over her face, or was turned away, or something.  The NA cover is very unattractive though.  The colours okay, though they're honestly a little dull.  The model also looks really young.  Though the UK cover model does as well.  I think this round goes to the UK.
J: They're both orange but I prefer the colouring of the UK one.  I actually prefer the whole UK cover over the US.

DANIELLE: I read this series in its entirety, back to back.  It was highly recommended to me by another friend, as this is one of her all-time favourite series.  I enjoyed them quite a bit, though I never fell in love with them.  If I'm going to read Rachel Caine (and I do, frequently.  She's an excellent story teller) I prefer the Morganville series, as well as her Revivalist series.  I didn't read Outcast, simply because I didn't enjoy the Djinn that series is based on, and I didn't love the WW books enough to continue.  I do recommend the Weather Warden series though.  They're fast paced, the characters are likeable (with the exception of some minors).  I wasn't a super fan of how the series ended.  I’ll leave it at that, as I don’t want to give spoilers.  It wasn't a bad ending, just not the one I would have liked.
JULIE-ANNE: I love this series but I have a confession to make - I haven't finished it yet. And I honestly don't know why because I love Jo and David and all the supporting cast, it's just that I've picked up Cape Storm a couple of times but never seem to get very far before a new book or much anticipated book pulls my attention away. Of the covers, I think UK gets my vote by numbers.

Friday, 13 February 2015

COVER REVEAL - Kiss of Life by Seleste deLaney

I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal for deLaney's second full length Blood Kissed novel, Kiss of Life. You can read what I thought of Kiss of Death here.

Without further ado, here is the cover for Kiss of Life:

The vampire's curse has been awakened, and Jocelyn has no choice but to accept her destiny as the Blood Kissed — the one destined to destroy the vampires ... or rule them. While Max and Chad want to help her reach her full potential, not all of the supernaturals share their plan.

The Council of Elders, a crazed sorcerer assassin, and a vampire hunter out for revenge have driven Jocelyn into hiding. She and her ragtag army have holed up in the forests of Michigan's upper peninsula to get ready for the fight. If training is any indication, they should be ready for war by the time she turns fifty.

But no one is going to let her wait that long. War is nigh, the death toll is rising, and when Michigan’s most famous harbinger of doom shows up on the scene, the army of the Blood Kissed is hoping for a miracle, praying to be graced with a little kiss of life...

The cover keeps in tone with Kiss of Death but it seems a lot lighter, yet reading the story above makes it seem quite dark in nature so I don't know why the cover is so light. It kind of, to me anyway, denotes a light-hearted story.

I'm not a fan of headless naked torsos on covers (sorry, Sel!). I do like the colours in this though, it does stand out from other books in the same genre.

Keep your eye here for an excerpt and guest post from Seleste deLaney as well as my review once I've read it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Country vs Country REBOOTED - Demon Trappers

So I thought I'd reboot my country vs country posts but with a difference. I've asked my friend, Danielle, to help me with the post and we're going to discuss each cover for a specific series and decided what we like and/or dislike about each one as well as which covers we prefer.

For our first dual post we're going for the Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver.

DANIELLE: I honestly prefer the UK covers to the North American ones.  I do like the colours, and the picture itself for the NA cover.
JULIE-ANNE: I've always liked the pattern on the UK cover and I like the flame decal at the bottom. On the US cover, I like the red and I also like that she has a sphere in her hand - I don't like that it looks so obviously photoshopped.
Why the different titles though?

D: Again, here I like the UK better.  It's darker and I like that it has a little tag line on it.  I also like the titles better for the first two.  The NA titles are good, but I think the UK are more effective.
J: I think the US cover has too much empty space on it for my liking.  I like that the UK has an image at the bottom of it as well as the smoke decals, there's a definite theme there.
And again with the different titles.

D: With these two, I prefer the face on the UK, even if it isn't how I pictured Riley, but I prefer the flames on the NA cover.  I wish it was tombstones behind them instead of the city though.
J: Both covers for this book seem to be vaguely similar this time. Like Dani, I prefer the UK cover all over, I feel it the different parts mix better. I do like the US cover but the flames just don't really fit in with the rest of the cover.

D: These two are another set I wish I could combine.  I think I like that “Riley” is facing away better.  I also like the blues.  But, I prefer the landscape in the UK to the boat in the NA.
J: Again they seem to have similar looks. I prefer the colouring in the US cover but I prefer the backdrop image at the bottom of the UK cover as well as the font and layout of the title.

DANIELLE: This is a series I really enjoyed.  I hadn't ever read Jana Oliver before this series, and I was glad I did.  It's upper YA, which I enjoyed.  I read a lot of YA because I love angsty stories, but this series also has enough adult situations to feed my love of romance and sexy scenes too.  Though this series doesn’t have very descriptive sex, it does contain some.  It's a great series.  I highly recommend it.

All in all, I think the UK cover of Forbidden is my favourite of them all.  I like the colours, I like the font, and I like the title.  I think it has a catchier title than “Soul Thief”, and I like the little tagline on it as well.

JULIE-ANNE: Overall I prefer the UK covers and titles to the US, they both follow the same theme from the beginning whereas the US covers change theme halfway through along with the titles which I'd be unhappy with is I had these covers.

I'd like to thank Danielle for helping me on this one and I hope to continue posting these.
I have done a few already and have some lined up as well but please leave any series suggestions in the comments if you'd like to see the differences in the covers for different countries.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralising her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,

Release Date 24th February 2015

It's been a long time since I've read about Yelena and Valek; and Snyder didn't let us fans down with this new book. Technically the start of a new series but also carrying on from the Study series, Valek and Yelena are still juggling their lives in separate countries with their relationship. All seems well until Yelena gets attacked on the way to meet Valek and loses her magic, she has to find out what happened to her magic when something else comes out of the woodwork to keep them both busy.

Anyone that's read either the Study or Glass trilogies will know that Snyder has created a huge world with plenty of interesting characters and even with the long break Valek and Yelena are just as exciting.

The fun thing about this book is that we get to read from Yelena, Valek and Janco's perspective. There's also an intriguing storyline with the Commander that I can't wait to see continued in the next book, and how Yelena and Valek handle the ending should be interesting.

Definitely recommended, especially if you're a fan of Yelena and Valek and I can't wait for the next book to come out.

Book Depository: Shadow Study
Amazon UK: Shadow Study