Thursday, 13 December 2012

Review- Pathfinder and Ruins by Orson Scott Card

Title: Pathfinder
Series: Pathfinder

Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: December 12th 2011
Book 1

(Sent by Simon and Schuster Publishers) 
Rigg is a young boy, well-trained by his father to keep countless secrets. The biggest secret being kept is that Rigg can see paths. Paths of animals and humans are characterised by colours and shapes depending how recent they are made. His father has taught him everything he knows ranging from subjects like Geography to Astronomy. Rigg believes that all of these teachings are pointless, as his day to day life consisted of setting traps for animals in the forest then selling their furs for money. Little does he know that the day his father dies, everything will change. Betrayals and mysteries will be uncovered, along with others who have similar abilities to him and Rigg will use his father's teachings to uncover who he truly is and who he can trust.

I generally liked this novel as the author provided great depth to each of the protagonists and each scene was described with utmost precision. The author weaves a binding tale, leaving behind a web of mysteries and conspiracies that leave the audience awestruck. The novel was a likable with the exception of a few setbacks. When the author was describing each character's ability, he confused me so much to the point where I had absolutely no idea what some of the character's abilities are. Similarly with the plot of the story and some descriptions of it, the author answers questions with questions leaving me dumbfounded as to what the answer might be. Some parts of the novel dragged on for so long because of this and one of many particular scenes with Rigg, thinking to himself lasted for approximately 12 pages and it ended up being irrelevant in the end anyway. Overall, the main plot of the story is well-written and I think it could've been a lot better if the answers to some of the questions were clearer and the abilities of the characters are actually specified.
Rating: 4/5


Title: Ruins
Series: Pathfinder
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: November 1st 2012
Book 2

(Sent by Simon and Schuster Publishers) 
Rigg and his friends have finally passed the Wall into Vadeshfold. They believe that they will find a safe haven, invisible to the eyes of the people who want to kill them. But there are new dangers that are exotic to them. They soon discover that Vadesh-- the wallfold's expendable-- is untrustworthy, but they cannot even overcome their issues and trust each other. They learn that there is a danger fast approaching towards Garden. They must learn to trust one another, learn to control their time shifting abilities and alter the past, or there will be no future for Garden. 

The thing that I most liked about this novel was how the author adds just the right amount of depth to the characters and their emotions. Similarly with the first novel, I enjoyed the premise of the book, however, the author just writes the book in a way that didn't appeal to me at all.The thing that I most disliked about the book was that it was basically pointless. The protagonists just kept on going into the past to try and figure out how to stop their world from ending and by the end of the book, they still fail to discover WHO DID IT, WHY THEY DID IT, AND WHAT THE RESOLUTION IS! It was an endless ring of time shifting, going back to the present because it failed, then time shifting to another point and still coming back to the present because it failed. Similarly with the first book, Pathfinder, the author also answers questions with questions for chapters at a time with no real answer you just stare at the book thinking "that was pointless".

Overall, this book wasn't as appealing as I expected it to be and it is the same for the first in the series. For the most part (by that I mean the plot), the novel was good and the characters were great but I think it could of been better if the author had a proper resolution and STOPPED answering questions with questions for CHAPTERS at a time.

Rating 3/5:

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review- Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Title: Poison Princess
Series: The Arcana Chronicles

Author: Kresley Cole
Published: October 1st 2012
Book 1

(Sent by Simon and Schuster Publishers) 
The Review for Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles #2) can be found here

Evangeline, "Evie", Greene is plagued with hallucinations, nightmares and hearing voices. She leads a regular life as any sixteen year old teenage girl would, trying to suppress and ignore her aggravating hallucinations and the irksome voices that penetrate her mind. When an apocalyptic cataclysm demolishes the country, Evie begins to discover that her hallucinations predicted the future. And they continue to do so. She has no choice but to turn to her delinquent classmate; Jackson Deveaux. He and Evie travel across what’s left of the catastrophic land and along the way meet others with unique abilities to answer the call that was laid upon them. Evie discovers a shocking ability that will cause her to either save or destroy the world. 

I pride the author on her eloquent style of writing that remained consistent throughout the novel. It contributed to creating the mystical and enthralling world in which took place events that enticed me to keep reading the next couple of chapters just to see the outcome. Each character seemed to be developing throughout the book which forms a bond between them and the readers. I constantly empathised with many of the characters in this novel as the author weaves a binding tale which continues to be intriguing and spellbinding. It honestly amazed me how the author managed to incorporate small parts of romance between characters even though the world around them is slowly crumbling.

What really drew me to the book was the cover. It surprises me that this one image gives away many of the events that unfold throughout the novel. The raging fires and barren land in the background giveaway the event of the apocalypse. The main image provides us with the information that these are the two protagonists of may have a forming or already formed relationship. The cover is an excellent pick which defines this novel perfectly. The only minor thing that troubled me in this novel was the sudden rages that Jackson had for absolutely no reason at all. 

Overall, the novel Poison Princess was, in my opinion, a great success and I highly recommend it. Kresley Cole, the author, creates an excellent first novel in the Arcana Chronicles and leaves me waiting for a much anticipated sequel. 

Rating 5/5

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review- Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellcaster
Series: Spellbound

Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Published: April 1st 2012
Book 2

(Sent by Harlequin Publishers) 

After breaking a century-old curse, Emma Connor is glad to be with Brendan, safe and back to their normal lives-- for now. An old friend of Angelique's (Emma's best friend) called Megan is trying to break apart Brendan and Emma once again but this time for their blood. Megan used to also go to Vincent Academy and she is a witch just like Angelique. Megan left Vincent Academy and started travelling on a darker path. Megan has tried to break apart Brendan and Emma and even went to the extent of harming civilians  Will Emma and Brendan have trust in each other to continue? Will they beat Megan at her own game? And will Emma's newly found witch's powers prevail against Megan?

The first thing that I liked about this novel was that it was a lot more action packed compared to its prequel. In the prequel, there was a whole lot of romance and the action only began towards the end of the novel. In this novel Emma and Brendan face several obstacles that Megan has thrown into their paths to separate them forever. I also liked how we see a bit more magic in the book compared to the prequel. There are more spells performed, more characters introduced and more obstacles faced. The characters each have their opinions on everything and no two characters are alike. Randi (Angelique's cousin) is a beautiful blonde witch who helps Emma and Angelique in their path to defeating Megan, while Angelique is a character who has a darker nature (in terms of wearing black clothes and performing spells in her room with candles). Angelique also discovers a new and unique power that added extra interest in this book.

What I didn't really like about this book was how much romance it contained. Although it improved greatly from its prequel, this book still has a lot. Every couple of pages, Emma is enthralled with Brendan's beauty and Vice Versa. I also don't really like how slow-paced the book is. At times the book just drags on and nothing interesting really happens. Apart from these flaws however, the book would be a great read.

Overall, I believe that this book should be read by all who love the romance genre. Compared to the first book which I rated three stars, this book has improved in many ways and I expect that it will continue to improve.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Review- Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked by Derek Landy

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant

Author: Derek Landy
Published: August 30th 2012
Book 7

(Sent by HarperCollins Publishers)  
In the enthralling world of Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain, magic is a disease. Mortal people across the land are developing unimaginable powers and it is spreading like wildfire. The novel begins when four teenagers develop these mysterious abilities and use it to terminate whatever and whoever is in their path to become "Gods". Unlike normal magical people, these four teenagers have several different abilities which they can call upon and wreak havoc. In addition to this major drawback, another mortal who was infected by transforming into an aggressive Werewolf leads detectives Pleasant and Cain on a hunt for a man named "Argeddion", who is the man that is responsible for this crisis. Detectives Pleasant and Cain are desperately needed to put an end to the madness of this situation. However will they get to Argeddion before the four teenagers destroy the world with their powerful abilities or will Argeddion get to them first?

The first thing I would like to say is that Derek Landy has truly outdone himself with the seventh installment of the Skulduggery Series. His writing style is honestly out of this world and he has the talent to blend several genre's into one completely spellbinding book. It has everything! Fantasy, magic, adventure, humor, a little paranormal and a lot of mystery. This book was eloquently written and I believe that every moment of it kept you wanting to read the next couple of chapters. The cover of the book is just amazing and gives the audience a little hint of a scene in the book. I also love the witty captions on the bottom of the book cover. They are very creative and suit the book. I honestly think this is the best installment of the Skulduggery Series until the 8th and 9th books come out in the future.

This book ended with the largest cliffhanger ever imaginable in the Epilogue! It just left me awestruck and made me want to get my hands on the eighth book straight after, but it wasn't out anytime soon :( I honestly think that the this series is on my top 5 list and I couldn't think of any improvements to be made. I would give this book more than 5/5 if possible. Derek Landy has an amazing talent and passion for writing and I am proud to say that he is now one of my favourite authors ever!!!

Overall, I believe that this book should be read by anyone and everyone of all ages! It is truly a magnificent novel that I recommend to all. I can spot no flaws in this astonishing and enthralling novel and I rate it:

Rating 5/5 Astounding Crests

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Review- Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Touch of Power
Series: Healer 

Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published: December 20th 2011
Book 1 

(Sent by Harlequin Publishers) 
In the enthralling yet mystical tale of Avry, Healers were a hated race of people. They were believed to be the cause of the Plague that took the lives of a large part of the population in the world. They were hunted and treated like animals if they weren't already killed upon sight. Avry is a Healer, she has been running for several years, stopping from town to town and forest to forest. In one of the several towns she has visited, Avry offers to babysit a small child who is extremely sick. In the dead of night, Avry healed the child, absorbing the sickness into herself. Avry became weak with sickness and slept through until the remnants of the illness was out of her system. Her healing abilities allowed her to heal faster than any normal person and by morning, she was in perfect health. Instead of being grateful for the health of their daughter, the parents called soldiers upon Avry because they had a suspicion that she had healed their daughter. The soldiers rained upon Avry, capturing her and putting her in a prison cell while she awaited her execution. During the night of her capture, four men came and visited Avry, requesting her help to heal an important friend of theirs and in return, they would save her from her execution. Avry agreed and accompanied them on their journey to save the life of their friend. Throughout the journey, friendships were made, hardships were faced, battles were fought and betrayals were committed. 

I am going to begin by speaking about the characters. The protagonist, Avry, is extraordinarily created with the sheer talent, imagination and creativity of the author. Along with the protagonist, Maria V. Snyder has also created a talented group of characters that each are unique with different qualities. Aside from the characters, a number of exotic plants and animals have been newly introduced to the readers. Death and Peace Lilies play significant roles in parts of this novel as their properties are, on various occasions, used for different purposes. Towards the end of the novel, there are zombies introduced which gives this novel the extra genre of Paranormal and it makes it all the better. Maria V. Snyder has provided us all with another novel that we must add to our To be Read list.

The only minor thing that I didn't like was the fact that the novel was very slow-paced in various moments. Especially when the group was travelling, the plot of the story became repetitive at rare times but then it improved not long after. Despite these minor drawbacks, the novel was a complete success written by a talented author. 

Overall, I give this novel 5/5 outstanding stars as the plot of the novel was unlike any other that I have read and it was one of my favourites. Maria V. Snyder is an extremely talented author who is obviously passionate about her work and puts a lot of effort into producing an excellent novel.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 10 August 2012

Review- Tredan's Bane by Lita Burke

Title: Tredan's Bane
Series: Tredan's Bane
Author: Lita Burke
Published: June 30th 2012
Book 1 
(Sent by the Author)
Lanith is the wife of a former enchanter who is lost throughout the midst of a war between Church Magicians and fellow Enchanters. Lanith is on a quest to seek her missing husband after discovering their store and overhead apartment emblazoned in flames. There is nothing left of her possessions and she had specific instructions from her husband to find the Enchanters if anything happened to him. Taking him up on his word, Lanith seeks to find an Enchanter who will help her find her husband and stumbles upon Enchanter Nyle. A friendly relationship develops between them as they embark for their quest to save Tredan. Along the way, Tredan's journal is found and it contains dark magic on ways to torture and Enchanter, remove his/her powers and other horrific ways to cause any Enchanter harm. Questions without answers are left flowing throughout Lanith's mind and she begins to wonder if her husband is the man that he claimed to be.

The first thing that I loved about this novel is the pure originality of the plot. It leaves you in awe and makes you wonder how the author came up with such an amazing tale. The way she descibes how the characters feel or react to certain situations is expressed in a way that I have rarely ever seen before. I also loved how some characters have their own murky pasts that always ends up catching up to them in the future. The characters are unique, have great personalities and there are twists, betrayals and more.

I mean no offense to the author, but I disliked the cover of this novel very much. It does not show any excitement or talent that is portrayed in the content. The cover does not do justice to the novel and it doesn't show any symbolism of the actual plot except for the picture frame with Tredan's Journal. It is really bland and should show a little more colour and the main image should be more symbolic. I did however love the amount of magic in the book. It just overflows off the pages and it is a perfect example of the originality in the book. The only thing wrong with the new magic introduced is that it is not all explained. I am left guessing what the properties of the types of magic actually do.

Overall, I absolutely loved the content of the book and will be eagerly awaiting its sequel. I recommend it to all the "magic-lovers" out there. All that I think could be improved is the cover of the book and the explanations of the magic. The positives of the book however, rule out most of the negatives and I am rating this novel:

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Review- The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Series: Steampunk Chronicles 

Author: Kady Cross
Published: May 24th 2011
Book 1 

(Sent by Harlequin Publishers) 

In this binding world of Finley Jayne set out in 1897 England, she discovers that she has a darker side that likes to come out at the most inconvenient of times. At one stage, she was working for a famous young man in England who was the son of a Duke, and who was known to be a drunk that was extremely violent until Finley put a stop to that, the next she found herself crashing into the lives of an odd group that is trying to defeat the man that is trying to destroy the world; The Machinist. Griffin King, the Duke of Greythorne accepts Finley as one of "them" as he knows that there is something different about her, something that could either make or break his team/friends. Finley has the extraordinary power of strength and acute senses. She can throw a man across a room and even crush metal without putting in much effort. That is however, when her darker side takes over and she cannot control the squirming beast within her-- yet. This causes the team to drift apart even further than they already were and they will need to re-unite to save the world in time.

What I especially loved about this novel was the fact that there were several twists coming in from all directions and it caused me just to keep on reading. This was by far one of the most addicting novels I have ever read. The characters are described extremely well in each situation and the scene is also described perfectly which sent a clear image of what is being played out to me. The characters each have their own abilities, flaws and personalities but the one thing that they all have in common is the protective instinct for one another. This is the permanent theme of loyalty that stays between them no matter what the consequences.

I also absolutely loved the cover of this remarkable novel. It is vibrant and is inviting to readers. One of the reasons I wanted to read this was because of the cover. The cover captures the central image of the protagonist who is hiding half her face which indicates that she has a dark side as well as her normal side. I also loved the plot of this novel as it was extremely well planned and unique. I have not read a Steampunk/Historical Fiction novel as good as this in a very long time and it now sets the bar VERY high for others to follow. 

The one minor issue that I had with this novel is that there were small parts of it that dragged on and when the action parts arrived I felt relieved but also a little disappointed because the sections leading up to the action was not causing much excitement. 

Overall, I absolutely loved this novel, despite the minor faults. It really was a great pleasure to read and get to know the characters and their environment. This truly was a great beginning to what I am sure will be a much anticipated book series.
Rating 4/5

Monday, 16 July 2012

Review- The Flight of the Griffin by C.M Gray

Title: The Flight of the Griffin
Series: The Flight of the Griffin
Author: C.M Gray
Published: April 16th 2012
Book 1 

(Sent by the Author)
In a world of excitement, danger and fantasy, four crew members of a boat called "The Griffin" begin a journey to find the three crystal skulls that intend to save the world. The four crew members are Pardigan; the thief, Tarent; the priest, Quint; the fighter and leader and Loras; the magician. Accompanied by the shapeshifter, Mahra, the crew of The Griffin begin the journey by inheriting gifts from "The Book of Challenges". Each gift is unique to that person and they use their gifts to help them on the thrilling quest. Faced by hardships such as demons and riddles, the crew and Mahra intend to save the world whether or not it means sacrificing themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it was something very original and unique. I absolutely loved how Gray described each and every scene of the novel in extraordinary detail, especially the parts where they are battling. Each character is described comprehensively and each emotion is displayed upon the hardships and excitement found throughout the quest. In a series of unexpected parts in the novel, the crew are allied with the people chasing after them against one common enemy; Belial, the "King of demons". An exciting yet terrifying battle between Order and Chaos unfolds the mysteries behind the riddles of The Book of Challenges. 

 I also liked how the book shifts perspectives for not only the protagonist, but the antagonist as well. In many other books, only the perspective of the protagonist is shown, therefore not revealing how they feel. This is one of the many qualities that I loved in this book. There are parts of the novel that have a little added humor which I thought was extremely clever and it lead me to liking it even more. I was extremely glad when C.M Gray sent this to me as it was truly an exciting tale filled with mystical creatures, magic, the chance for adventure and everything else you can think of. There are absolutely no flaws in this novel and I am proud to say that it is an enticing read. 

The cover of this novel really shows the adventure encountered throughout the novel. The Griffin (in bird form) that was standing on The Book of Challenges was puzzling to me at first but that was before I was half way through the novel. It was a really clever idea and I won't say anymore until you read this. The scarlet red droplets of blood I'm guessing symbolize the hardships faced throughout the novel and the compass is showing the direction of where this enchanted quest has lead the crew.

Overall, I believe that this book should be in the top five of everyone's TBR pile no matter how old you are, as it truly is a great journey to experience with the crew of The Griffin.

For more information on the novel or if you want to buy it, visit the following:
Twitter - @cgray129

Rating: 5/5

Monday, 9 July 2012

My Second Blog Award!

Versatile Blogger Award

Firstly, I would like to thank Atmika from Books are my Best Friend.
You definitely need to visit her blog and follow!

  • Each person who is nominated must nominate another 15 people to accept this award
  • Remember to let the people know that they have been tagged
  • Tell us 7 facts about yourself
  • Remember to let them know that they have been tagged
  • Thank the blogger who has nominated you
  • Add the Award picture to the post
  • You CANNOT tag people back!

  • I love to write short stories and narratives 
  • I like to play the game League of Legends on the computer (its a Fantasy Game)
  • I love chocolate chip pancakes with ice cream OR nutella ontop
  • The first book I ever read was Harry Potter
  • I love chocolate coated strawberries
  • Blue is my favourite colour
  • I love to sleep in on a rainy day and when I wake up I like to read in front of the heater
~15 Bloggers I have Nominated~
(I only did 10 but you still need to visit these) 

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Review- The Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe

Title: The Weeping Empress
Series: The Weeping Empress
Author: Sadie S. Forsythe
Published: December 14th 2011
Book 1 

(Sent by the Author)
An intricate world of bloodshed, slaughter and demise brings forth a young woman named Chiyo Alglaeca. Waking up in an unfamiliar part of the world, Chiyo finds herself enclosed in a battle with unknown forces. She does not know who the hero or the villain is, she does not know where her family is and she does not know where to go. 

The battle results in two energetic yet serene men with triumph and Chiyo, deciding that she has nowhere else to go, follows along. Chiyo has evolved throughout the novel by travelling with the two men overtime that are like brothers to her and transformed into a bloodthirsty warrior that shows no remorse to her victims. As Chiyo strengthens in terms of her form and skill, she becomes a companion to the two men who love to cause mayhem for the deceitful emperor.

The first part of this remarkable novel that I absolutely adored was how Sadie S. Forsythe describes each situation in extraordinary detail. The way the characters feel, appear and interpret situations is just one of many factors that highlight the theme of revenge. Forsythe has an obvious passion and talent for writing as she explores the life and experiences of her characters. They develop into confident and unstoppable beings that have a purpose in their world. I was constantly entranced into the world of Chiyo and did not want to put the book down for any reason whatsoever. The end of each chapter left me keen to continue and discover what happens in the next impeccable section.

There was a slight part of this novel that I didn’t find very appealing. It was the fact that whenever there were words in another language, I had to keep flicking back to the glossary to see what it meant. It occurred very rarely in the novel and was not enough to lose a star. The cover of the novel was also a little bit bland and does not give readers a reason to pick up the book. This was also not enough to lose a star because the content of the novel was outstanding and impressive.

Overall, the novel was a breathtaking debut and it left me eager for the sequel to come out (even though that will take a while). With the superb content that it has, The Weeping Empress is a novel that should be read by all people between the ages of 14+. Sadie S. Forsythe is an amazing author that should be renowned for the time and effort she put into The Weeping Empress.

Rating 5/5