Friday, 29 July 2011

Interview with Kevin Hearne

Hey everyone few days ago I had a short Q&A with...yes obviously the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne. Although I did go a little overboard with my question (he is now on my favorite authors list.YAY!) but he was kind enough to answer few of them and I'd like to share them with you guys. 

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer or it just happen?

I've been wanting to get published for 19 years. It doesn't just happen unless you sit down and put in the time at the keyboard, learn from your mistakes, and don't give up.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your ideas develop as you write?
I actually do both. I have a pretty decent outline to begin with and then I feel free to ignore it as I go. Things get added and rearranged.

Q: How did the idea spring in your mind to write about our resident iron druid?
It all started with the idea that I wanted a character who could converse with his dog. A Druid was a class of character that I thought could communicate with animals, so that's where it began. I researched from there.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES to be a six part book or did it only come up after you finished with the first three?
It's going to be longer than six books. The publisher just tends to put writers under contract for three at a time. If the books don't sell well, you don't get to finish the series, so if you do enjoy a series and you want to see how it ends, make sure you tell all your friends about it so that it will get finished. I do have a definite end for the series in mind.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your next book TRICKED?
Atticus and Granuaile will have to deal with the fallout from their actions in HAMMERED, and of course you will find out what happened to the widow MacDonagh.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite author?
Patrick Rothfuss.

-Your favourite band/singer?

-Twitter or Facebook?
I use both, actually.
-Favourite place in the world?

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?
Captain America.

-The last book you’ve read?
Mouseguard, Winter 1152.
-Have you ever googled yourself?
Yep. That was a trip.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
Well, I have a day job, so I guess I'd be that: a teacher.

-And last one....print or ebooks?
I read both. Reading is good regardless of format.

Q: The covers of HOUNDED, HEXED and HAMMERED are really awesome and sexy. Did you have any inputs in it? Who is featured as Atticus on the covers?

I had quite a bit of input to it. There is a detailed discussion of it on my Goodies page on my website, first link at the top (HERE). I have no idea who the model is for the cover.

Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?

Finish writing your book. Get honest critiques. Learn from those, and write some more. That's all you can do. Most first novels (and often second novels) are "practice" novels. Published authors usually sell their third or fourth novels, so there's no way around it: you have to write a lot to get the hang of it.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Interview with Tim Andrewartha

Hey everyone today we have a special appearance by Tim Andrewartha the author of Vitality.

Q. Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in 1981 in England. I moved to Japan in 2006 to teach English. Now I live in Tokyo with my girlfriend.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?
I wrote short stories first before attempting to write a novel and I think this helped me prepare myself so from my experience there is a certain amount of truth in this. However, I know some people say that they have difficulty writing something longer than a short story. Because writing a novel takes so long then you really need to be committed to it to get it finished.

Q: How to you research for a book before you being the writing process?

The kind of stuff that I write doesn’t really require specific research as such. It’s more a case of drawing from my experiences and developing ideas that come to me as I live my everyday life.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?

The best part for me is when I’m reading back what I’ve been working on, after giving it some time for my mind to become fresh, and I’m happy with how my imagination has translated to the page. It’s very satisfying.

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I have always wanted to do something creative. When I was a child I enjoyed drawing and when I was a teenager I played guitar in a band, but as I got older I realized writing was the best way for me to express myself.

Q: Tell us something about VITALITY?

It’s a dystopian science fantasy set in an alternative version of the present day. Stylo Green moves to a nameless city to work for Vitality. The company is making a purple soft drink which they promise will change people’s lives – a welcome gesture in a place where society is spiralling down towards its demise.

The New Movement Party hope to win the next election and clean up the city. Real food is banned so everyone eats plastic-tasting Easy Food except the few who dare to eat illegal fruit and vegetables available on the black market. Dr. Mooseball produces recreational narcotics which are legal and a popular way to relax while Soft Dreams employs people to suck up the ghosts that float around the city.

Emulla, the girl with the beautiful voice, is different from the others. She and Stylo hit it off, and Stylo's packaging designs are chosen. Things seem to be going well for him, but he begins to notice something peculiar about his colleagues. The truth starts to unravel but not without bloodshed. When he finally faces his nemesis, nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

Q: How would you describe it in a sentence?

A purple soft drink promises to change people's lives in a nameless city where society is spiralling down towards its demise.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write?
I think it’s important to know where the story is going and who the main characters are before I actually start to write the novel. So I develop the ideas in my head for a bit and then make some notes. However, it’s only a rough outline and I allow for things to change along the way and for things to happen spontaneously.

Q: What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?

I’m partial to a drop of alcohol every once in a while, but that may not come as a big surprise to those who know me.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living?

The best aspect of writing for a living is being able to express yourself by using your imagination. The worst aspect is the pressure of trying to survive in such a competitive industry.

Q: How did the idea spring in your mind to write VITALITY?

I was thinking about the power big companies have and how they influence the way we think through advertising. A simple product like a drink can be made to seem like it will improve our lives. I found it scary to imagine to what extent this control could be implemented.

Q: How similar to its principle protagonist and the main cast are you?

I have some similarities with the main character, Stylo Green, but I’m not so similar to any of the other characters.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author
Philip K Dick is my biggest influence. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, The Man in the High Castle, and A Scanner Darkly are some of his best novels.

-Your favourite band/singer 
Mogwai are my favourite band. Their music is very moody and atmospheric so it’s great for inspiration when I’m writing.

-Twitter or Facebook
I have been using Facebook for a while and I find it useful for staying in touch with friends. I have only just started using Twitter but it seems good for connecting with lots of people and for finding out about stuff.

-Favourite place in the world
I really like Tokyo. It’s such an interesting and exciting city. There are some really nice traditional elements as well as plenty of modern craziness.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas
Black Swan. I thought it was very good. Natalie Portman’s performance was excellent and Darren Aronofsky is a superb director.

-The last book you've read
The Scar by China Mieville. I’ve been reading a lot of his books recently and I find his work very inspiring. He’s a very imaginative and original writer.

-Have you ever googled yourself
Yeah, I have. That’s usual these days, isn’t it? I was just curious about what would come up.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be
If I wasn’t a writer then I would have to express myself in some way, perhaps music or photography.

-And last one....print or ebooks
I haven’t got into ebooks yet. I still really enjoy reading print books.

Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?

You need to stick with it. It takes time to develop your style and skills. So if you give up too soon you’ll never know your true potential.

       About his upcoming book:- 

Being Published on February 14th, 2012. Our Anti Valentine title

A creepy sci-fi tragic romance twister...
Vitality is a weird fiction/science fantasy novel about a purple soft drink that promises to change people’s lives in a nameless city where society is spiraling down towards its demise. And now, stay tuned for more on the strange purple soft drink.
Go purple. Go on. It won’t hurt you…

Website for the publishing company:

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Iron Druid Chronicles: #3 Hammered

The third chronicle in the last druid's life is here and this time its something different, The Iron Druid Chronicles #3 Hammered by Kevin Hearne.

Here is the summary of the book:

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare. One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

Hammered picks up right after book 2 Hexed finishes. Our resident Iron druid is a man of his word. It is enough to understand that Atticus was born in the Iron age and so his oath keeping talent. And it was time he did something about them (even if they result in his getting in more trouble than before) even if they yielded life threatening results. Also in many ways this book is very different from the previous books Hounded and Hexed. In a way the title of the book is self-explanatory as to what is about to happen in here and if not the previous books provide some hints as to the happenings here. 

Be it stealing a golden apple for a witch at a great cost to his life or following through with the promise he made to his vampire friend Leif (who coincidentally not a sparkly emo-vampire - THANK GOD!). Atticus is gain trifling with the fates. Hammered, practically gives us a rundown of the Norse myths brought to life by our faith. Faith does play a huge part in these don't you think - I mean come on even Spock and Captain Kirk have been realized by faith, among others, appearances by the vengeful Roman god of wine, an obscure Slavic thunder god, an immortal Chinese kung-fu master, and the most influential Christian figure of them all (who is for a lack of a better word - cool -- and even takes a swing at the sparkling emo-vampire).

Despite warning of world shattering consequences our resident Druid follows through with his plan to help his vampire attorney Leif Helgarson to bring an end to the thunder douche (don't mean any dis respect but i'm reviewing as they are put forth). Druid reality check - the Norse thunder God definitely deserves a serious smack-in-the-face. Several chapters are dedicated only to Thor's misdeeds against every member of the group as each share what Thor had done to them to deserve their hatred. 

As with the previous books Hammered is filled with every inch of tantalizing action and every niche but there is a certain difference here, a slight change in the air. Things are much more different here, much more drastic and life changing than before. There's a sense of finality in how Atticus goes about putting his immediate plans into effect. And they go on a bumpy ride to where? None other than Asgard itself. Atticus may be as every bit a sarcastic fellow but he has one big quality he fulfills his oaths and at personal risk and conflicted mind he does the deed. Not only does this give a reality check to the Norse divinity but may also lay the foundation for the next chapter in Atticus' life.

Mr. Hearne you really shake things up in every book so far. Got to give him credit, what would probably have been a flat out boring story with his caliber has everything in it - seriousness + witty remark + jokes + the sarcastic remarks. A winning formula for Hearne. Also the vivid details, they not only keep us on the edge but makes us feel through them as if we are actually in the plane of action as it is going on. In a way this book also sheds light upon Atticus' past. Yes he is an old soul but never before were we treated to his past than what we see here. So, give it a try and Hammered will definitely blow you away. Thankfully, this is not the end three more books are to come after this - TRICKED, TRAPPED and HUNTED. So psyched for them now. Hope you all are as well.

Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Del Ray

Rate:              5/5 (It was amazing, you have to read it)

Sunday, 24 July 2011


Don't normally review novella and this is a first for me. So here it goes - Intoxication by Tim Kizer.

Here is the summary for the book:

For the fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz...How do you force a confession out of a coworker trying to poison you? Do you kill those who dismiss your fears and believe you are paranoid? What do you do if you start questioning your own suspicions--and sanity--as you take the law into your hands? In this disturbing tale of derangement, a young psychopathic woman is slipping into madness as she fights an enemy that may exist only in her imagination. She has to resort to desperate measures when she realizes that a gun, security cameras in her apartment, and constant vigilance will not be enough to survive.

Paranoia or delirium can make you do a lot of things. Things which you would regret later in life. And if it is a life threatening close call then you are bound to be paranoid. Now I don't claim to be a book critic and as I have already stated above I'm reviewing a novella for the first time. So i'll try to straighten out my thoughts.  

Leslie who works for an accounting company just had a near death miss. Someone from her work place had tried to poison her but luckily it was a friend who got in the way and had a fainting spell due to it. This incident  triggers Leslie's senses and she goes investigating for the truth but ends in getting more than she bargained for.

Novellas by description are short novels, i.e., by estimation up to 10,000 words at maximum (may vary). The thing is like in novels where every thing is fully described with long sentences and long paragraphs (again depends) the fact does not work in novella where you have to be short and to the point. And Intoxication has every such quality. It is an easy read.

Apart from Intoxication it also has two more bonus stories - Hitchhiker and The Bike. The three stories in his collection are thriller and expect two-or-three twists is essentially the same. At first the story seemed a bit flat but as we read further the good stuffs come into play. The general plot of this book is intriguing and there are plenty of twists and turns until the surprise ending. Although Intoxication could have been much better as a full fledged novel since the material involved is pretty heavy and a lot of places it felt the plot needed to elaborate more like not enough evidence is shown that Leslie actually had gone made or the fact that she resumed right away that there was poison in the coffee after Rick's fainting fancy. 

But overall it was very enjoyable and I commend Kizer for the amount of work he put in it.

Genre :      Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

My Copy : Courtesy of the author

Rate:              3/5 (Liked it)

Saturday, 23 July 2011 giveaway - Help me pick a book to preorder

Expected Publication Dates:
Cloclwork Prince - December 6th 2011
Lola and The Boy Next Door - September 29th 2011
Chain Reaction - August 16th 2011
The Iron Knight - October 25th 2011

Giveaway I participated in

YA Giveaway!

Winner picks one:
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Solid by Shelley Workinger

Giveaway ends July 31st!
View More Information Here

Thursday, 21 July 2011

WWW: #2 Watch

Second book of the WWW trilogy by master story-teller Robert J Sawyer, Watch. Here it is.....

Summary of the book:

Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer continues his "wildly though- provoking" science fiction saga of a sentient World Wide Web. Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH-the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening. WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.

Where dystopias and post-apocalyptic worlds clutter the shelves in science fiction with the errors of humanity, Sawyer’s WWW accepts the fault in humans and brings hope for change.

Watch picks up where Wake ended. In here, Webmind not only begins to develops cognitive abilities exponentially, but through the help of Catlin begins to develop its sense of ethics and, without being too maudlin, an understanding of "the meaning of life." This novel is primarily about this development, along with government agencies trying to figure out how to shut Webmind down, fearing it will become so powerful it will destroy mankind. Yes I mentioned governmental agencies - always the spoil-sport.

"Watch" is coincidentally a governmental agency that has put it upon itself to wipe out the Webmind (the AI), regardless of no proof that the Webmind means harm to humankind. In fact, Webmind finds that humans are fascinating creatures and realizes that if humans are wiped out, eventually he would be too perish. Overlayed on this tale is the story about Hobo, the intelligent chimp/bonabo crossbreed. Hobo starts to get violent towards the woman who is responsible for him and the scientists have to decide what to do with him. Meanwhile, through Dr. Kuroda, the Webmind is able to view more than text files on the internet and branches out to sound and video files. Eventually, the Webmind witnesses a teen suicide through the net. Caitlin becomes furious at it because it didn't intervene.

The book delves into so many topics together that it is almost mind-boggling to follow but it does it in a way that is easy to relate to and follow. So few books release everyday that make you want to ponder your knowledge of the world - well this is one of them. Racism, animal rights, GLBT rights, the privacy act, national security, international politics, and human rights and differences between artificial intelligence and emerging consciousness, autism, blindness, suicide, and the question behind how emerging consciousness can override natural selection and evolution were some of the deeper issues were touched upon by this book.

This tale has WATCH involving other governmental intelligence agencies in the investigation. Caitlin and her associates are interviewed by agents trying to discover Webmind's nature. And as usual with a lot of novels centering upon AI these government organizations want to disperse the entity even before they know its nature - just because it has a capability that far exceeds their own. (Although yes I understand that up to some extent this may be a standard protocol for the intelligence agencies but yes they do tend to poke their noses were they are not welcome)

General complaint about second books in trilogies is often the least exciting or action- or drama-packed, because it often serves as a bridge between the beginning and the end. Not so with this one; Sawyer manages to make mince-meat of that common complaint. Sawyer continues the great storytelling from Wake, discussing the concepts of game theory, and what a sentient presence on the Internet could really mean for the world in his comfortable, conversational way.

Overall it is an enjoyable and an easy read and maybe a much better book that its predecessor and I'm definitely starting the last book of the trilogy Wonder as soon as I finish my currently reading pile.

Genre :      Fiction, Sci-fi

Publisher: Ace Hardcover

Rate:              5/5 (It was amazing)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Dragon Stones

Ahh fiction and an easy read...been really wanting to read one since ages - Dragon Stones by Kristian Alva.

Here is the summary of the book:

Sequestered deep in the capital, the tyrannical Emperor Vosper weaves a plan to destroy all the dragons. He succeeds in driving them to the very brink of extinction. Only a handful of dragons and riders remain; living in exile in the desert. When young Elias Dorgumir finds a carved dragon stone in the forest, it brings empire soldiers to his doorstep, and puts Elias on the run with a bounty on his head. With some help from his friends, Elias must escape the emperor’s wrath and try to make it to the safety of the dwarf caverns. Elias holds the key to the salvation of the dragon race. Is Elias strong enough to save himself and halt the evil that is spreading across the land?

I originally am a fantasy lovers and the type of the said genre I like are where the underdog finds himself an important role and goes on to become the hero. Coincidentally, Dragon Stones is just the same and kind of reminded me as a mixture between Lord of the Rings(J.R.R. Tolkien) and The Inheritance Cycle(Christopher Paolini). In here also, Elias is running away from his opponent because he really isn't good at using his powers yet. 

The world building here is the stereotypical high fantasy world with mages, dragons, dwarves, elves, etc. but the thing I liked about it was that it wasn't too complicated, as many fantasy worlds tend to be. The author introduces the world slowly and lets it build so that us reader are able to enjoy the story and get to know the characters first. This book starts out with some dragon slaying, then moves to our main main character Elias and his grandmother Carina. It gets really comfy, like an old fashioned classic fantasy.

At first I thought Elias' character spoke and was treated a little young for his age. I kept picturing him as of to be between 10 and 13 years of age even though he is supposed to be 16. Thorin the dwarf was a great character and made the story feel a little lighter when it could have felt too dark. There are quite a few times when Thorin really looks on the brighter side of things. He is also very bold at times and is a very kind character.

Every book has its pros and cons and for me I felt the dialogues needed some more work. Yes the book in a young adult fantasy but its a high fantasy and after reading some of those you feel like the dialogue should be more formal not colloquial English. 

But nevertheless when the adventure begins and secrets start to be revealed, you won't be able to put it down.

Genre :      Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: PassKey

My Copy: Courtesy of publisher

Rate:              4/5 (really liked it)

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Good enough but not that great here I present before you my views on Trent Jamieson's upcoming book Roil.

Here is the summary of the book:

Shale is in trouble - the creature-filled darkness known as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land, swallowing cities whole. Where once there were 12 metropolises, now only 4 remain. It's up to a drug addict, an old man and a woman bent on revenge to try to save their city - and the world.

Its steampunk - its sci-fi - its full of action and its a dystopic future and on top of that a gorgeous cover -- great combination which should make for a good enough read for me but somehow I lost interest half way through. Lets speculate why....

So, in the south last defence of civilisation, city of Tate succumbs to Roil, a chaotic mass of creatures with one consciousness, that came out from the core of the planet. Roil can't stand the cold, which is the only weapon of the last human cities against its invasion. Margaret, the only daughter of Tate engineers manages to get out of the dying city and heads off up north. In the north David, an addict and a son of one of the leaders of the opposition to the current tyrant watches his father die from the hands of Vergers, some sort of genetically modified human hunters. His father's friends arrange his passage away from the city with the help of one of the Old Men, half-mad and very strange Cadell.

Cadell on the other hand has got his own agenda. He is one of the first Engineers who built the Engine of the World, but they played too much with it, civilisation crumbled to what it is now and the Engineers were cursed with virtual immortality, madness and perpetual cannibalistic hunger for human flesh. Cadell wants to see the extent of damage the Roil has done and get to The Engine to switch on the cold and destroy the Roil.

The thing I loved about this book and which I thought was its strongest quality was the creative & robust world-building. Too often in steampunk-infused fiction, the tech is simply used as ornamentation—bells & whistles without much purpose or functionality. In Roil, the tech, which included endothermic weaponry, semi-organic aircrafts, and colossal steam-operated trains & vessels, took center stage right alongside the characters that continuously relied upon it. Moreover, I appreciated the assortment of unique characters and the unusual, slightly ragtag team of heroes. I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for unconventional protagonists who are rough around the edges and who start off without a single heroic bone in their body, but then end up doing heroic things much to their own surprise.

But there were certain aspects of the book that made them unappealing to me. My first complaint is based mostly on personal preference and that is the use of multiple character perspectives. It is not advised to use too many POVs while writing a novel and more than two POVs tend to be distracting and confusing. Roil incorporates multiple different perspectives of both major and minor characters. I could understand the purpose of this—a way to compliment the sprawling magnitude of the story and fantasy world—but didn't like it at all. My dislike was compounded by the fact that I felt the transitions between those perspectives were often done too abruptly and not always very cohesive in nature. A fact that somewhat detached me from the story line.

Then over the three main characters - Margaret, Cadell and David. All three somewhat felt under-developed and making me not feel attached to them at all.

And finally the pacing was a bit uneven. The first half of the book was rather sluggish with a few bursts of action accompanied by lots of traveling between locations and talking without clear explanation which thoroughly turned turned about for the next part. It took me half a book to get into it and somewhat made me give it up. But I suppose any of you could give it a chance - well second chances should be given.

Genre :      Fiction, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Steampunk

Publisher: Angry Robot

My Copy: Courtesy of netgalley and publisher

Rate:              3/5 (liked it)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Fallen: #3 Passion

Background is always great when you are dealing with series'. And Fallen #3 Passion by Lauren Kate delivers it fully.

Here is the summary of the book:

"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever." Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . . Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last. Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

Passion takes off straight after Torment ends. With the shocking end of book 2 where Luce steps through time to find out her history with Daniel. Luce, Daniel, the remaining angels and demons, as well as Luce's Nephilim friends jumped into the Announcer at the end of Torment. It was pretty exciting to see more of Luce and Daniel's story and how her past lives played into their current love. Passion does not disappoint. The reader is taken through many of their different romances and you learn along with Luce how much they really do love each other and in Luce's thoughts if she should be with Daniel or not. It was a nice change of pace to have the chapters alternate between Luce and Daniel and get his perspective on different situations, considering we didn't know very much about him for the first two books. We finally get more of his personality and his feelings for Luce. In her quest Luce's confusion about Daniel and their past becomes clearer and things begin to look up until a creature Luce has befriended and trusted along the way surprises her.

It was extremely enlightening in terms of the curse that has followed Luce and Daniel throughout the depths of time. As Luce journeys through her past lives, readers finally begin to obtain the many answers that Daniel was so keen to keep away from Luce, such as what it feels like to die in her lover's arms, whether she has a choice to fall in love with Daniel, and much more. I really enjoyed the narrative style as it follows both Luce and Daniel on their separate journeys through time as Daniel attempts to find Luce in the maze of their past lives, giving the reader important background knowledge about both characters.

Be warned though Ms. Kate switches up the entire format of her writing style in this book. Sometimes as readers we come to expect a particular style from the authors we enjoy. Passion does not follow the same written pattern developed in the first two books in this series. Having said that, it did not deter me from enjoying this read. Ms. Kate is an incredible writer. Her narrative is delightfully poetic and powerful.

Luce grew in this book more than in any of the preceding books and she found out that the love she felt for Daniel was real and significant, among other things. In all of her lives, Luce was taught a lesson that brought her closer to the ultimate truth that she learns by the end of the book. The love that Daniel and Luce feel in every lifetime if breathtaking, and Daniel's heartbreak from every one of Luce's deaths in excruciating. Daniel's Journey in this book is also important because he is not just chasing Luce, he also finds himself revisiting important moments in his own history that make him remember why he never gave up after all this time. He renews his own hope and understanding of his situation and believes in his choice all over again. The setting of the individual lifetimes come to life and made us feel as if we were there too.

Passion is the perfect example of starcrossed lovers. Throughout so many centuries, they had to suffer knowing that they loved each other so much, but that their love could be destroyed in the blink of an eye. One thing that I would have liked was that the other characters had a bigger part. I saw no Gabbe or Arriane. There was barely any Shelby or Miles moments. But then again, this was Luce's and Daniel's story, so they didn't really need to have a big part in it.

But there is still a big question as to why Daniel chose Luce. 

In both Fallen and Torment, we understood that Luce and Daniel were fated to be together. Now, after actually seeing how their love played out through history, I found myself really rooting for their love to stand the test of time. It would be lovely to see more of modern-day Luce and Daniel together, but understanding where they come from, and how Daniel has suffered with each of Luce's incarnations, makes their love all the more tangible. So now i'm definitely looking forward for the final book Rapture, and I can't want to see if the curse can be broken so that Luce and Daniel's love will survive past Luce's 17th year.

Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rate:              4/5 (Really liked it)

Fallen: #2 Torment

One drawback for trilogies or series - the ones coming after the first book just serve the middle and as expected the final novel always ends the series with a bang. Book 2 of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, Torment is mediocre at best and a little disappointment at best.

Here is the summary of the book:

Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

So I began Torment without reading the reviews and since I really liked Fallen. I was really hoping that torment would be just as good and exciting. Unfortunately, it was not as good as the first. Luce is so whiny that she becomes extremely annoying. Come on being independent is an admirable trait but girl you should let the guys do the work and not venture into things you clearly don't understand. I almost put it down for good more than once. Luce is away from Daniel for a few short days and starts questioning her love for him and thinks that maybe she would rather be with Miles a boy from the new school. Cliff hangers as long as the rest of the book has something remotely interesting going on. The best part of this book for me were the side characters and the abilities of the shadows (announcers).

Within its pages Torment has an interesting and entertaining cast of characters both old and new, the ups and downs of teenage love, the search for identity, and the ultimate question of what is good and what is evil. The book ends with a promise of more in the next installment. Daniel has hidden Luce away in a new school filled with Nephilm students who are full of surprises. Luce finds new friends, new talents, and finds herself questioning everything she believes in, including Daniel. Meanwhile, Daniel is in and out fighting an unknown enemy, and occasionally drops in to churn the emotional waters. At the school, Luce is more comfortable and less of an outsider than she ever was at Sword and Cross, but it's what she doesn't know that still haunts her. Eventually, she learns the Shadows that plague her are windows to events from her lives, both current and past. She intends to manipulate them and illuminate her relationship with Daniel. The problem? The Shadows only reveal a glimpse. Sometimes partial understanding is more misleading than none at all. Ultimately, viewing her past confuses Luce. And, adding to her sense of bewilderment is Luce's new friend Miles, a warm, funny, open guy who is so different than Daniel.

Like Fallen this one also starts out slow and after halfway through reading Luce whining about life and everything in secret - all the time she is with the others we don't see a hint of sadness in her - she seems to be enjoying herself with other but in secret, when alone would whine for just about anything. The second half picked up, though, when relentless action and a few unsuspecting plot twists are thrown in. From there, I was willing to finish it, and really got absorbed into the story. 

The love Daniel has for Luce is to die for - literally swoon-worthy. There were some things however that got on my nerves in this book sometimes. Daniel treated Luce at times like she was a child, telling her exactly what she could and couldn't do. In my opinion that is something you just don't do to someone you love- unless you have a good reason and even a good reason is only justified by letting the other person know exactly why and the reasons behind it. Daniels desire to protect Luce by sheltering her and not believing she is stronger than he gives her credit for may have been his only downfall in this story.

Luce on the other hand had me wanting to reach in a smack her hard a couple of times. Of course its normal to miss your boyfriend when he's not around but God knows he's fighting people who what to kill you!! I think that might have a little more priority over your need to have him by your side! Well A - He's fighting for your life! B- He left Heaven for you! C- He breaks the truce to sneak back to see you because he can't bear to be without you! D- When you were with him, your conversations ended with you picking a fight because he wouldn't tell you what you wanted to hear. Really??! How much more could you ask of him? In Fallen in thought "thank God at least she is not like Bella" but I had to eat my words in here. Although I'm well against comparing Twilight with almost anything but my fingers are itching to do just that.

Also Luce seems to garner a naive sense about Good and Evil, Angels and Demons or Dark and light - not good at all. Even a lay man can understand Light cannot exist without Dark, Good cannot exist without evil (or bad)  and angels and demons may not be as different as they seems - they are all parts or shall I say two sides of the same coins. Take for example Light and Darkness - Light exists to eradicate darkness - after every night comes a new day, with new hope.

Though she was acting like a fool a lot of times but it is understandably clear as to why she takes a lot of decisions in here and her reasons. All she did was question whether or not she was supposed to be with Daniel, which is ok, but she was all over the place. The constant whining was redundant. I know I have already mentioned this but it really made me angry.

Although no questions asked Miss Kate is a great author. She can write and she writes like a pro. The prose in both the books was amazing. But Torment really tormented me. That said I know I shouldn't read Passion (read it already anyway) but the covers are beautiful and only two are left. So moving onto Passion now.

Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rate:              3/5 (Liked it)

Fallen: #1 Fallen

Once in a while you really get some good enough young adult novels which don't have a way of sticking to you without feeling super-imposed and does not make you cringe like a certain sparkly vampire does. Fallen by Lauren Kate does just that.

Here is the summary of the book:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Fallen is a compelling, dark and sexy page turner with a heavy Gothic element. It is a rather long, drawn out excursion into the teen world of peer pressure, alienation and supernatural boyfriends. But I guess if you enjoy immersing yourself into gothic, forlorn atmospheres and long for intimacy things that creep in the night you'll most likely enjoy what lies within.The plot is pretty simple and easy to get into. Luce, our protagonist enters Sword & Cross, a school for troubled teens, that looks and feels like a prison - in other words, a madhouse - she doesn't expect anything, much less an inexplicably hot guy, to whom she feels completely drawn to, so much that she practically stalks him. Meet Daniel. Daniel who want nothing - and has made it very clear - with Luce.

A good portion of the book centers around Luce and Daniel's relationship. Luce comes across Daniel and is enamored by him. While it is swoon worthy but sometimes it felt downright annoying and made me remember Twilight and I must say i'm well past my obsession over the sparkly abominations of nature. But instead of vampire we have Fallen angels which is a very much interesting concept for me. I'm not a christian nor do I know every nook and cranny of the bible but yes Fallen angels do interest me a lot and so I decided to read it and I must say it is much better than Twilight. Plus the characters are (well most of the characters are) funny and entertaining. Such as, Arriane, my favorite, who is funny, the most entertaining, and certifiably insane.

As Luce is trying to get closer to Daniel, Daniel is making it pretty obvious to Luce that he doesn't want anything to do with her. I should also add that Daniel has a better self control than our resident sparkly cullen vampire seems to have towards Bella. The longer she stays away from him the safer she will be. Can she put him out of her mind and stay away? What will happen if they get together? Will digging into the past get her killed in the end?

Miss Kate had me wear my thinking cap for quite some time and had me thinking why is Luce infatuated with Daniel if there is this hot guy completely falling for her is she crazy! Daniel was rude to Luce on many occasions and I guess the woman in me was getting upset on how she would just keep chasing after him. When everything unraveled only then did I understand why Daniel acted the way he did and ended up in love with his character. Fallen is a story of an age old battle. A battle that has been tested since the dawn of time. The fate of all eternal souls resting in the hands of star crossed lovers. Very biblical don't you think?

The book starts pretty slow clearly Lauren Kate took her time developing the characters. Fallen opens up with a prologue looking into one of Luce and Daniel's past encounters, then the first chapter thrusts you forward into present day Luce creating more of a mystery around her making you even more intrigued to know what happened in her past.

Clearly a YA paranormal romance, Fallen can make easy transition towards adult fiction and is an easy read -  good work of fiction and definitely should be given a chance.

Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rate:              4/5 (Really liked it)

WWW: #1 Wake

A great Sci-fi is one which takes an issue or a topic then speculates on those that are theoretically possible given some of the conditions and advances of our current level of technology. And in the case of Robert J Sawyer's WWW trilogy #1 Wake that speculated future maybe the best so far.

Here is the summary for the book:

Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math-and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something-some other-lurking in the background. And it's getting more and more intelligent with each passing day...

The book centers around networking (kind-of obvious - its named WWW trilogy after all) and its co-relation to sentience. The plot follows three stories, connected only by this thread. Due to a massive influenza outbreak, the secretive Chinese government cuts off its people from the Internet, because of its decision to take care of the problem by exterminating the village where the outbreak occurred. This causes a cascading reaction that "awakens" something in the Internet. It becomes a living being, slowly, even painfully, comes to understand it exists.

Young Caitlin, blind since birth, is offered a chance to see, using a new optical technology, funded the University of Tokyo. Something goes awry, and instead of the actual world, she becomes the first person to actually be able to "see" the web, as a series of geometric shapes, colors, lines and nodes. Eventually, as the plot progresses, she is able to switch her EyePod (!fitting!) to either view WebSight, or, in a different mode, external reality, i.e., her mother, her schoolmates, etc.

The third story is of a primate research lab where a bonobo and an orangutan are given the opportunity to have the first cross-species live webchat. As a result, something "turns on" inside the bonobo's mind, and the researchers realize that he is capable of more than just a few sign-language gestures, but representational art that depicts his favorite members of staff.

And although the the book follows three plots intermingled together, the side plots actually felt meaningless since our main focus is Caitlin and how she gets an implant that is supposed to fix her blindness. However, what she can do after the implant is see the infrastructure of the World Wide Web and then interact with an entity which lives inside of it. She becomes a teacher to this entity just as Annie Sullivan did to Helen Keller (the book's analogy) and radically expands its consciousness, knowledge and ability to communicate.

It was actually the cover (beautiful don't you all think!) as well as the description on the back cover that made me want to read it. Sawyer's writing style is approachable even for those who are not big Sci-Fi readers. An element which I dare say is most often not found within this genre. Certainly the science is there (which is also  accurate) but his books tend to deal more with the culture of the day and the way the characters respond to that while the science goes by in the background.

Thought provoking,a good read and an introduction to modern thought on human perception and pattern recognition. The plot is pure science fiction and points to a plausible future maybe years in the distant future from now.

It is also very refreshing optimistic read of the future. Super-Artificial-Intelligence as a concept can be dealt about but in the long run is a very difficult topic to base your work on without making it an info-dump. Writing an entire thread of the story from the Super-AI's perspective must have been daunting. During the "waking" of the internet being, Sawyer illustrated how concepts that humans take for granted would be viewed by an entity with no framework in place to interpret them, and then goes on to show these concepts and worldviews could be altered.

Wake is a book that will grow on you as you read it. Sawyer has done a fantastic job of researching the science, but also throws in lots of references that any savvy Internet user will recognize, appreciate, and be amused by; as well as putting the readers in the mind of a blind person and how they do the amazing things they do each day. By the end of the book readers will be impatiently wanting the sequel, Watch. I know I am.

Genre :      Fiction, Sci-fi

Publisher: Ace Hardcover

Rate:              5/5 (It was amazing)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Reading Challenge by Reading angel:

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

My Hopeful TBR book Pile for this challenge - 

But I was only able to finish the Fallen series

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Interview with Melissa Lemon

Today we have with us Miss Melissa Lemon the author of the upcoming novel Cinder and Ella. So it goes,

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am married and have three children.  I love to jog and walk, especially in the light rain or whenever the sun isn’t shining too much.  The color blue is my favorite; it has a calming effect and just makes me happy.  I am number four out of five kids and have a large extended family.  Most of the time I am shy and mellow, but can get hyper if I stay up too late or am around people I’m comfortable with.  I’ve always had kind of an obsession with trees.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?
I think that it is true, but I think not everyone will ENJOY writing a book or be MOTIVATED to do so.  I much prefer writing books.  I know I can write short stories, but the only ones I have ever written were either an assignment or were intended to be a novel eventually.  I’m sure some people prefer writing shorter works.  You either have to totally love it, or have some motivation behind it.

Q: When and How did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? And how did you decide upon a fairytale remake sort?
I’ve always loved writing, but I don’t think I ever considered it as a career possibility until the last few years.  It was more a hobby and I guess I thought it was unrealistic to make a career out of your hobby.  But once I started, that was it—I was hooked.  I love fairytales, but a lot of my ideas are contemporary as well.  If Cinder and Ella hadn’t been published, I would have moved on to something else.  But fairytales will be a huge chunk of what I write.

Q: Try to describe your book in one sentence.
Cinderella gets cut in half and planted in soil.

Q: How do you research for a book before you begin the writing process? And how did you come upon the idea about giving Cinderella a new twist? (Which was really effective I must say)
I like to read several stories that are similar, mostly to ensure that my ideas really are fresh.  I also spend a lot of time in my own head, pondering as I examine the world around me.  I can’t really say where the twists in Cinder and Ella came from.  My guess is that having the middle child syndrome helped Cinderella split into two people, one beloved and one ignored.  The legend of the trees most likely sprouted from my deep love of trees and nature.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?
Writing is my escape. Some people read; some people garden; some people paint or draw or knit or sew.  Writing is that thing I can do to relieve stress and pressure and escape the realities of life. There are other things that I enjoy and that have similar effects, but writing brings the greatest satisfaction and pleasure.

Q: Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?
It was always there, even if subconsciously much of the time.  I actually submitted a children’s book when I was around twenty, but one rejection was all I could take back then.  I’ve grown a lot since that first submission. 
I married at 19 and had my first child before I was 21.  Being a mother to my kids was always the most important thing to me, so I spent several years focusing mostly on them and I’m glad for that.  When my youngest was a toddler, the door seemed to open up a little and I jumped at it.

Q: Something special you want to share with us?
That first book I just told you about is about my grandmother.  She passed away about two months before my first daughter was born.  The book is a tribute to her and the things she taught me.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?
I love classics!  Charles Dickens and Jane Austen are my favorite authors.  My favorite children’s book is At the Back of the North Wind by George McDonald.
-Your favourite band/singer?
Loaded question, you ready?  I don’t have one favorite, so here’s a list:  Rob Thomas, Daughtry, Coldplay, Jewel, Train, David Cook, Pink, Michael Buble, Josh Groban.  Just to name a few.
-Twitter or Facebook?
Oh, don’t ask that. I love the public conversation possibilities with Twitter and I love how Facebook has put me in touch with long lost friends. But both Twitter and Facebook drive me crazy in some respects, so...  Blogger?

-Favourite place in the world?

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?
Soul Surfer
-The last book you’ve read?
The Princess Test by Gail Carson Levine

-Have you ever googled yourself?
No, but I’ve googled Cinder and Ella once.  I know better than to google myself.  Googled is a funny word.
-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
You read my mind!  I’ve wanted to do a blog post about this.  F.B.I. agent, hands down.
-And last one....print or ebooks?
Print, print, print.  I have issues with e-stuff.  I just couldn’t get as comfortable with a Nook or something.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write?
I begin with outlines, and I like to know who the characters are deeply because that saves time in revisions, but I do like to see where the story leads.  My outlines are basic: think beginning, middle, end.  Part of the magic of writing for me is experiencing the twists and turns as I write.  It makes me giddy.

Q: How are similar are you from Cinder, Ella or any of the main characters of the novel?
I like to think I’m like Ella in spirit, but I’m not as vocal as she is.  I can relate with Cassandra sometimes, too.  Sometimes I want to say to my kids, “Would you leave me alone? I’m trying to eat here.”

Q: The book has a very beautiful and eye-catching cover! Did you have any input in it?
Yes, I was able to give suggestions.  My first suggestion was the characters, but I’m so glad they decided on the trees because the cover turned out fantastic.

Q: What's next in line for you, are you working on a new book now?
I’m reworking my first novel (a romance), writing something totally new (a YA sci-fi) and doing Peter Pan research for a modern Peter Pan story.

And Last,
Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?
Learn all you can and never give up!  Short and sweet, but both are necessary if you are going to succeed.


After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.                                                                                         

About her book :-

Click Here for my review of the book 
Visit Melissa from here:-        !/Melissa_Lemon                                   

Le' Grande Codex Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design