Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Call of the Forgotten, #1
Pages: 379
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 23rd October 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

My Thoughts:
The Lost Prince is the first in the new series from Julie Kagawa, The Call of the Forgotten. Being a huge fan of The Iron Fey series, I read this as soon as I could (back in August now) and devoured it in less than 24 hours. It's the story of Meghan's little brother, Ethan, and his adventures in the land of the faeries, and I really, really enjoyed it.

If you're a fan of The Iron Fey series, this book is a must read. It's got the essences of The Iron Fey, so much at times that it could quite happily be in that series instead, but for the most part there are significant differences that make it able to stand on its own as a new series. Ethan was similar to Meghan, yet somehow even more stubborn and determined. I thought Meghan was bad but Ethan was so set in his ways that he sometimes put himself in the most stupid of situations that easily could have been avoided... And he just couldn't contain his curiosity, especially when it came to the Fey. He knew he had to stay away at the beginning, but he still didn't and got into more than a little bit of trouble because of it, and that made me laugh, because it was so typical that he takes after his sister in that way. But he always got himself out of his problems and made them as right as he could, so it wasn't so bad.

I really liked how the first third or so of the book was set in the mortal world, our world. It was nice to read about how people who can see faeries cope with living in the real world, something that we rarely saw in The Iron Fey. I liked watching Ethan try to pretend that he didn't know that Todd was half-fey, and it was exciting to think that he could see these weird new Fey, the Forgotten, when no one else could. He also took  these martial arts kind of lessons (Rattan, or something, maybe?) and reading about him fighting and demonstrating was amazing. I've said it many times before in my reviews of Julie Kagawa's other books, but she is excellent at descriptive writing, she really is.

As usual with Julie Kagawa, the writing is flawless. I could read her books forever... I will quite happily read everything she writes in the future, even if it's something that I'm not really interested in, because I really do feel like she could write the dictionary and I'd still enjoy it (well, okay no, that's a slight exaggeration). It's full of action, fast paced and exciting, but not too fast that it feels rushed or like it's missing things out. There's a smidgen of romance too, a romance that will hopefully blossom into something amazing in the next books, and of course massive twists throughout to throw everything off balance. It felt so good to be back in Faery, especially as I didn't think I'd get to read anything new set there, and Julie's writing always brings something new to it. I loved it!

My favourite thing about the book, however, was Kenzie. I adored her. Also, she made me like my middle name a lot more... Anyway, she was so cute and funny and she brought out the good in Ethan, and showed him that he didn't have to hide away just because he could see the faeries. She made him realise that it wasn't all about him (he could be a little arrogant at times) and showed him that sometimes just because *he* didn't want something to happen, it didn't mean that it wouldn't. She also made him become a lot more open and friendly, and by the end I liked him a lot more than I did at the beginning, and I don't think I would have, had Kenzie not had a huge part to play.

Then there were all the little things (and some quite big things) from The Iron Fey series that I recognised that made me smile. For example, the reappearance of both Grimalkin and Puck! My two favourite characters from Meghan's story appeared and I couldn't stop grinning. They're funny and so frustrating but I love them both to pieces. It was also nice to see how Meghan's life has progressed since she became The Iron Queen. Seeing her embrace her role as leader of the Iron Fey was awesome, as was how she put her own little personal tweaks on her realm to make it more friendly and not such a daunting place to be.

The Lost Prince was a brilliant book. I'm sorry for such a long review, but I just have so many things that are awesome about it to share with you! If you're an Iron Fey fan, this is an absolute must-read. I would say that you'd probably need to have read the whole of The Iron Fey series first, starting with The Iron King, but if you don't mind spoilers (and they'll be massive) you could probably get by without reading them, though I don't recommend it! It definitely does not disappoint and I am most excited for the next book in the series.

*Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for giving me access to this egalley in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 


Friday, 12 October 2012

Book Review: Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)Title: Poltergeeks
Author: Sean Cummings
Series: Poltergeeks, #1
Pages: 320
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: 4th October 2012
Source: Publisher event*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.


My Thoughts:
Poltergeeks is pure fun. It was my second read from Strange Chemistry books, a new YA imprint, and it was another great pick from them. It was exciting, funny, and super readable, and I would definitely recommend you pick it up!

Sean Cummings is fantastic at creating really well fleshed out characters that you can't help but love (or love to hate!). From spirits that inhabit talking dogs to geeky best friends, they're all brilliant. Julie was a great main character and I loved her determination to save her mum despite the fact that everything she needed to do in order to be able to save her was completely ridiculous. Marcus was amazing too, and he was so adorable in his letter to her, and his loyalty was awesome... *sigh* :)

I loved the witchcraft in this book. It was spells, potions and spirits and it was great fun! I loved imagining all the spells that Julie performed and trying to guess what spells she could use to prevent (or cause) certain things to happen. The ghosts were pretty awesome too, in that they were violent and crazy, but the kind of ghosts that you really wouldn't want in your house, because they might kick you out of your house. Literally. I also really liked that it wasn't dark or heavy and the characters didn't seem to take themselves too seriously. They were just nice, well-rounded people who happened to be able to do magic, but didn't make a big deal out of it (Well. Julie and her mom didn't...). You know, because they're real and all that... ;) Anyway.

The plot was brilliant. I read the first couple of chapters pretty slowly (I was in the car and my brothers were talking = distracted Bella) but once I'd got into the story properly I couldn't stop reading. It was very twisty and very turny, and things just kept happening! Plans were formulated and carried out in spectacular ways and relationships grew and became even more awesome than before... It had everything from explosions, spells, big fights, the afore-mentioned talking dog. AWESOME.

Poltergeeks really was an awesome read. I would definitely recommend it for the awesome characters and the super exciting plot. If you're looking for something fun to read over the weekend or during the holidays, or in the run up to Halloween, you should go and get yourself a copy because this would be perfect.

*Thanks to Strange Chemistry for this review copy in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Across the Universe by Beth Revis



Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. It's really annoying when you can't remember what happens and don't have time for a reread, so this hopefully will be a huge help!
__________

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Synopsis from Goodreads: A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

__________

Happily Ever Ending: After Elder gets Amy some medicine to cure her from the haze she was left in by the medicated water, Elder takes her to the Recording Hall. There they discover that the ship has potentially been travelling for a lot longer than the 250 years it was meant to have been, and that something bad happened during the Plague - something so bad that all records of it were destroyed. When Elder asks Eldest about it, he reveals that there was never a Plague. He takes Elder to the engine room and explains how the fuel is not reprocessing like it should be, and instead of being 25 years behind schedule, they’re 250 years behind. He then goes on to reveal that the Plague was actually when a leader told his people the truth - and they began wars and committed suicide, etc. The Elder/Eldest system was then established and the season came into play. He tells Elder about Phydus - a chemical in the water that removes emotions, ensuring people wouldn’t be consumed by extreme emotions and cause another ‘Plague’. The Hospital meds for ‘crazy’ people kill Phydus, leaving them free to think for themselves and hopefully be able to save the ship from potentially dying if something goes wrong.

Meanwhile, Doc is also sharing this information with Amy, warning her that if she gets on Eldest’s bad side, she’ll be delivered a lethal dose of Phydus and be killed.

Elder goes down to the cryo level to see Harley and take a shift watching the frozen people to make sure no one else gets murdered. When Elder wakes up, someone has painted red crosses on 38 of the frozen people, and Harley has locked himself in the hatch. Elder watches him get sucked out into the stars.
Up in her room, Amy is examining the lists she had painted on her bedroom wall - all the details about the people who had been rudely unfrozen. She ignores her own list and realises everyone unfrozen has something to do with the military. She doesn’t - but her dad did - could there have been a mistake and she was unfrozen instead of her dad?

They rush down to the cryo level to check, and they check the wi-com locator to see who could have drawn the red crosses. They realise that Orion doesn’t have a wi-com, because he must have been down there to take a painting from Harley to give to Amy. When they get to the cryo level, they find all the x-marked frozen people open, so the shove them all back in. Then they sneak into the lab on that level, and overhear Eldest and Orion arguing about the dead Elder and putting more Phydus in the water pump. Elder decides he doesn’t want to rule a Phydus controlled community so with Amy's help he destroys the water pump.

Eldest then reveals that all Elders are clones, and that’s why they have the same scanner name. While this is happening, Orion, who is the ‘dead Elder’ sneaks in and pours a bucket of Phydus over Eldest’s head, killing him by ‘calming him to death’.

Orion then reveals he’s been killing the military frozen people to stop them from using the people on the ship as soldiers when they get to the Centauri earth. They realise he’s just as evil as Eldest and Elder pushes him into a cryo chamber and freezes him.

As Eldest now, Elder decides to get rid of all drugs and make the truth available to anyone who seeks it. It is then revealed that Elder was the one who unplugged Amy, not Orion, but he decides he can never tell Amy that - she'll never understand, she’ll just blame him for taking her away from her family. But he tells her anyway and she’s furious, but she realises he was genuinely sorry and he really didn’t realise what he was doing when he flipped the switch. She asks him to stay with her, and he replies with, ‘Always.’

_________

I hope this helped! Now you're all set up to read the next one! If I've missed anything important or you think there's something wrong, let me know in the comments! I'm not all that good at these... ;) 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Title: Alice in Zombieland 
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles, #1
Pages: 404
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Date of Publication: 5th October 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….


I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

My Thoughts:
This book was awesome. I knew as soon as I read the synopsis that it was a book that I needed to read, and soon. I'll admit I did think it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but with zombies, from reading the title... I mean, there were the odd references, like there is a white rabbit, but it's definitely not a retelling. So don't get confused like I did! Despite it not quite being what I expected, it was a really great read that only got better as it gets further into the story.

I really liked Ali. She was determined and strong, and so brave to try to take on the zombies despite seeing them brutally kill her whole family. She made me laugh out loud more than once, and although there were several guys vying for her attention, she could be pretty independent at times, which I really liked, even if it didn't really last...

And it didn't last because at the beginning, there was some major Twilight-esque insta-love... She's the new girl, she's not particularly spectacular, yet two guys, one who never speaks to anyone apart from his twin sister (sound familiar...? *cough* Edward *cough*), and the other is the leader of the group of 'bad boys' in the school who is completely off limits to everyone, can't keep their eyes off her... Oh, they're both drawn to this mysterious new girl. SHOCK HORROR. Totally didn't see that one coming... ANYWAY. The reasons they are drawn to her ARE explained later in the book, so it's not all bad, I just thought I'd mention it because it really did annoy at the beginning and the rest of the book is awesome so I didn't want you to be put off by the beginning if this is the kind of thing that annoys you!

The supporting characters were great too. Cole, the leader of the bad boys and main love interest, was awesome, and I might just be a little bit in love with him, despite his reputation... But Kat, Ali's best friend, was definitely my favourite. She was funny, loud and she just seemed like the kind of person who you'd want as your best friend. She was loyal and she put up with Ali's secretive ways and the twist at the end for her was pretty upsetting... But I'm sure it'll all be fine in the next book! (I bloody well hope so!) #secretivenonspoileryvagueness ;D

The zombie parts of the book were done fantastically well. If I were judging this purely on the zombie aspects, I would rate it as my favourite zombie book. The other parts were awesome too, but the zombies were just amazing! The fight scenes were brutal and exciting, and the whole ghostly aspect was such a good idea and it worked really well. I won't say anything more about that because I don't want to spoil you and I don't know how much you already know if you haven't read it, but I found it to be a nice surprise while I was reading so I'll keep quiet.

The plot was action-packed and super fast but not confusing at all. It's full of awesome. Seriously, apart from the whole unexplained insta-love triangle at the beginning, there wasn't a part of it that I didn't like. I loved how all the strands came together at the end and it was written superbly. I can't fault it, though I'm not amazing at picking out plot holes... Which is probably a good thing in the long run!

So, hopefully that portrays my feelings on this book accurately! I've focused on the good and made light of the annoying... With unforgettable characters and a plot to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, I would most DEFINITELY recommend this book to all fans of paranormal young adult, as it's brilliant. It really is. I can't wait for the next one and I shall certainly be seeing if I can get my hands on copies of Gena Showalter's other young adult titles!

*Huge thanks to MIRA Ink for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Also, apologies for the awful use of a hashtag in this review. It won't happen again. Probably. I'm lying, it totally will xD Ach sorry I'm really hyper right now... :P And WOW you're awesome if you're still reading this, despite it being tiny and it being me not really saying anything of importance xD

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a WallflowerTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Series: Standalone
Pages: 213
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 30th August 2012 (reprint)
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts:
So many people have been telling me to read Perks for about a year now, and with the movie coming up soon, I thought it was finally time. I mean, it looked quite good, and you have to read the book before the film, right?! Anyway, I decided I would read it on holiday when I had nothing else to do so I could read it all at once, and as it's really not very long this was pretty easy. While it didn't quite live up to my (probably too high) expectations, it was a really good read, and I'd definitely recommend it!

The characters were very believable and easy to relate to. I found Charlie was quite a lot like me- not a loser exactly, but definitely not one of the popular ones. He had his group of friends with Patrick and Sam, and while I found it a little strange that he didn't really have any friends his own age, I actually really did enjoy his story.

The book is written in the form of many letters, written by Charlie, sent to no one in particular, a complete stranger. It was an interesting idea, and I found that it was easier for me to imagine writing to a complete stranger about everything that happened in my life, including the good, the bad and the awkward, than it would be to write to someone I knew and had to see on a regular basis. I felt that this way we learnt a lot about him and the way that he thinks, and it was pretty awesome.

There was nothing particularly amazing plot-wise - it was just a story of a normal kid going through the normal process of growing up, and determining who he wants to be. I loved that it was so realistic! I've been reading a lot of paranormal and dystopian lately so it was refreshing to read something that I could easily believe could actually happen to me, or one of my friends at school. My only complaint was that it was kind of forgettable... There was nothing that had the wow-factor, for me, and if I had to describe the plot to someone, I'd have difficulty past just saying it's a coming of age novel... It most definitely wasn't boring or anything though!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a really good read that while not being particularly life-changing as I'd been promised it would be, it was extremely enjoyable. I'd recommend if you're a fan of YA contemporary, or if you're looking for something light and believable to read in an evening or over a weekend. I'll end this by saying that I'm super excited for the movie, and if you're planning on seeing it, make sure to have read the book first! ;)

*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Strange Chemistry Launch Party Giveaway Winner!

So, my contest ended on the 26th, and I completely forgot... Anyway, if you didn't read the post, I went to the launch party for the Strange Chemistry imprint back in August, and they gave me a goody bag containing some swag and a couple of their books to giveaway on my blog! You can read the post and read all about the prize here.

Strange Chemistry

I've picked the winner, randomly using Rafflecopter, of course, and it is:


Yay! Thanks to everyone for entering, and I hope to bring you more giveaways in the future! Cicely - if I haven't emailed you/DM-ed you already, I will do soon :) 

Blackwood  Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)
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