Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Falling Kindgoms #1 Falling Kingdoms

Presenting Falling Kindgoms #1 Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

Here is the summary of the book:

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....

I sometimes buy books based on their cover .... well 90% of the time and sometimes based on the hype. Many times without reading the synopsis too .... And the cover and presentation of Falling Kingdoms was enough to warrant me buying it ..... Young Adult version of Game of Thrones, well I haven't seen the show or read the books yet  ...... so I decided 'why not it could be a great experience as a stepping stone before I actually began reading A Song of Ice & Fire series' ..,... but ..... It fell flat ...... and from what I gather Game of Thrones is light years ahead in terms of the plot and presentation.

With a full cast of characters, the story focused on one nation per chapter. Aurenos, Limeros & Paleasia. These are the nations that form the land of Mythica and while I applaud the author for detailing all these lands in her narrative to stark details, I would have loved to have seen the same done for the characters as well. Not one of them felt dynamic. Cleo felt like the indecisive princess, Aron the rich brat who threw a tantrum when things didn't go his way, Prince Magnus with his extreme case of daddy issues, Princess Lucia who is supposedly this powerful sorceress but we didn't exactly get to spend much time with her and Jonas, an impulsive character bent on extracting vengeance when it is not warranted.

Each and every character had their own agenda and none of them were honest-to-God good. The only one I remotedly liked was Cleo's bodyguard and secret paramour Theon but sadly he is taken away from us very soon. Magnus & Lucia, some may have problems with this apparent incest but I didn't really bat an eye to that, pretty early on we got to learn that they are not siblings by blood but apparently it was one sided on Magnus' part so again I didn't really feel bad, besides they felt dry. Jonas was bit too obsessed with Cleo .... Seriously just how many of them will actually fall for her .... Of course these latter two were the only ones who actually showed a bit of character throughout.

I appreciated Cleo learning from her mistakes she made and having courage enough to go to enemy territory in search for an impossible cure and try to do what's right after her initial blunder ,,,,, Of course all this would have been righted if the author used a bit more sophisticated narrative to bing out all the facets, a story of these epic proportions has to offer, instead she used everyday YA contemporary tone, which in my opinion was what brought down this too much .... I was actually going to DNF this but a few readers said it gets better towards the concluding part .... so in the spirit of good faith I soldiered on and .... they were right. The only part I actually liked was the concluding battle that gives the book its name.

I hate it when I read something with great expectations but it results in low returns. Although I have heard that succeeding this one the next books are way better so I will get to see something good soon. Also imagine my surprise when somebody pointed out that Morgan Rhodes is the pseudonym of author Michelle Rowen ..... well color me surprised  I loved her Nightwatchers duology and Countdown very well, so in that regard I was disappointed by Falling Kingdoms .... Whenever I get the chance to read the next ones, hopefully they will fare much better that this one.

"Maybe a stepping stone but not upto what it says on the cover"

Genre :     Young Adult, Epic Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: 3rd December, 2013

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             2/5 (It was Ok)

Series by Author(under her name Michelle Rowen):
         Nightwatchers #1 & #2

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 


Presenting Ticker by Lisa Mantchev.

Here is the summary of the book:

A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

Steam powered dirigibles, clockwork gadgets and nonstop action. This is Lisa Mantchev's first tale since Theatre Illuminata and this is my first time reading her work and it proves her prowess with words quite well..... Of course I haven't read the Illuminata series yet, I have them and I am definitely going to read them soon  .... because this has everything I love in Steampunk and add to it the non-stop action it was a must.

Penny Farthing and her clockwork heart. Afflicted with the same rare genetic heart disease that took her sisters, Penny on the other hand got the timely augmentation of a clockwork heart that has kept her running till now but she knows that her ticker is on its last legs. The only one who could help is about to face court because of illegal operations on kidnapped innocent bystanders.

Penny is our protagonist, She is easy to like. She is honest, intelligent, brave and quite brash. She lives in an alternate society, an era of history that has apparently achieved equality for women. She is also resourceful and leader-like, so that's a few more positive adjectives to her list ... and she likes collecting clockwork butterflies. She is moralistic enough to the distinction between good & evil.

Romance can be found also within the confines of the pages. Between Penny & Marcus and her twin Nic & best friend Violet but thankfully they don't overpower the story and its not insta-love for the lead pair, so we can breathe a sigh of relief. As far as the steampunk part is concerned, the story is actually quite jargon heavy, but Mantchev balances it out by trying to explain what the contraptions do. Mind controlling spiders, mechanical augmented organs and floating fortresses not withstanding, I would have definitely loved a glossary at the end though.

Although a few instances still remain unclear but all in all I loved this book very much. Lisa Mantchev's play on words was definitely the highlights. Instead of using heavy Victorian English (like many authors do) she used easy to understand common tongue with Victorian touch, beautifully incorporated the steampunk-iness tot he lot and served us a full-fledged action adventure page turner ..... It goes on and on without stopping, just how I liked it. Of course Calvin Warwick's part as the antagonist could have been a bit more profound but 'Ticker' is a world onto itself and this experience enthralled me very well.

"A non-stop enthralling and action-packed page turner"
Genre :      Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Steampunk


Release Date: 1st December, 2014

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Avalon #2 Polaris

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!! Presenting Avalon #2 Polaris by Mindee Arnett.

Here is the summary of the book:

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.

With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.

The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novelAvalon, Polaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to.

Treading the fine line between power & corruption, good & evil and life & death. Deep Space travel and deadly heists. Mindee Arnett has cooked up a high stakes action-packed finale to Avalon. Jeth Seagrave and his band of mercenaries must execute this high stakes mission, lives depend on it. And if you thought "Avalon" blew your mind well think again because "Polaris" packs that needed extra punch and is a fully packed and a thrilling fast paced drama. (the series remained me so much of Firefly.....)

Of love, friendship and family, sacrifices that push the meaning of tragic, hardship and searing losses and the resulting wonders of success and of hope to the next well. Polaris has it all. Truly I was hesitant at first because I had read Avalon sometime back and didn't quite remember all of it but Arnett puts us all at ease with her master play on words. The flow catches and entrances you in its throws and keeps  your attention from the beginning till the end, just push through and you need not worry about anything else.

I love a solid space opera. Although I don't the scientific hoo-hah much but I appreciate solid simple details and Polaris (Avalon by extension) had it in spades. Jeth, I liked very much. The unconventional hero. He is a young man who got the short end of the stick. Bad decisions lead him to Hammer, but desperate ones take him back to the criminal underworld under a new overlord Dax and the thrall of the implant ...... it very nearly defeats him. We see him struggle, desperate to be free, fighting the compulsion to give in to the outside presence in his mind. Space is a beautiful and deadly place and through Jeth, the author tells the story of less than fortunate souls and their struggles against oppressors.

The romance of course is not far behind. Not important but it is these important bonds that help Jeth fight to win. This is their decisive move against the ITA, a move to eradicate their hold over the universe ...... But "Polaris" has something over its predecessor (Poor Avalon), while the ITA is the large evil though-out, the finale added a super creepy villain ...... Its disgusting how creepy and dangerous he was. He wad the wolf in the man costume who just loved to toy with his victim ....... before executing them.

Lastly the plot itself was just smashing. Factor in a strong plot, strong and dynamic characters, every twists & turns and horrible revelations and happy revelations and the grand heist to free the Pyreans .... I was hoping the Pyrean-Empyria agenda would be explored but oh well ..... I liked the hopeful and serene approach at the end. Mindee Arnett has produced a conclusion that is light years ahead of its predecessor not only in terms of quantity but in quality as well. A fast paced smashing high-octane space opera that will have you clammering in surreal frustration at this marvelous creation being a duology "Please tell me there is more ..... I want more" .... Don't knows about you folks but that was my reaction 

"A smashing hit .... Frex! This is mind-blowing"

Genre :      Young Adult, Adventure, Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopia, Space Opera


Release Date: 20th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 Avalon 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Odditorium #1 Alistair Grim's Odditorium

Presenting Odditorium #1 Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro.

Here is the summary of the book:

This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

Magic, Mystery, Humor and loads and loads of adventure. Presenting Gregory Funaro's enchanting oddity called the 'Odditorium' with the first volume of the series titled Alistair Grim's Odditorium. Just your old fashioned frolick-y adventure but not your garden variety one mind you and it shows its vigor in spades. This is a book of great substance, it has character, it is carefree yet curious, it is mysterious, yet enchanting. Coupled with those magnificent illustrations this is a story that manages to stand onto its own.

This is the story of Grubb (spelled like the worm but with a double b, in case you plan on writing it down someday"), "12 years old or thereabout". An orphan chimney sweep learning under his less than reckoning foster father Mr. Smears but it is not long before he leaves that less than gracious life to join in the adventures of a Mr. Alistair Grim and his equally odd associates, at that equally odd construct called the Odditorium. Housing every and any Odditoria known and unknown to man, the Odditorium is what Mr. grim and his compatriots call home.

Consisting of all manners of cogs & bearing, enchanting mysteries and equally magical beings of the likes of Faeries, Humans and mischievous Banshees alike, the Odditorium promises much and delivers many with its unparalleled imaginarium. It teaches us much as well. Honesty and Loyalty, two o the greatest and most valued quality known to man as rewarding. The right path is not always easy to walk on and courage is found and equally rewarded in leaps and bounds.

Grubb makes lots and lots of mistakes but works equally hard to learn from them to set things right. This is a book for kids but it is ideal for all ages. Funaro's easy narrative and the supporting illustrations takes this enchanting tale to newer heights. Its fun and instructive and I am very invested to know what adventures the next volume offers in the lives of Grubb, Mr. Grim and his associates.

"Enchantingly audacious and magically adventurous"

Genre :      Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Steampunk


Release Date: 6th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Eighth Day #2 The Inquisitor's Mark

Presenting Eighth Day #2 The Inquisitor's Mark by Dianne K. Salerni.

Here is the summary of the book:

After the all-out Eighth Day war in Mexico, Jax, Riley, and Evangeline have gone into hiding. There are still rogue Transitioners and evil Kin lords who want to use Riley, a descendant of King Arthur, and Evangeline, a powerful wizard with bloodlines to Merlin, to get control over the Eighth Day.

So when Finn Ambrose, a mysterious stranger, contacts Jax claiming to be his uncle, Jax’s defenses go up—especially when Finn tells Jax that he’s holding Jax’s best friend, Billy, hostage. To rescue Billy and keep Riley and Evangeline out of the fray, Jax sneaks off to New York City on his own. But once there, he discovers a surprising truth: Finn is his uncle and Jax is closely related to the Dulacs—a notoriously corrupt and dangerous Transitioner clan who have been dying to get their hands on Riley and Evangeline. And family or not, these people will stop at nothing to get what they want.

With suspense, action, and intrigue lurking around every corner, this fast-paced fantasy series will be a welcome addition for fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter.

An extra day of the week, Grunsday. Dianne K. Salerni wowed us with her first eighth day adventure in the first book of the same name. In this sequel titled 'The Inquisitor's Mark', we see of the next step in Jax, Riley & Evangeline's fight against the evil Kin and Transitioners. Just as action-packed and mind-blowing as the first. This leg of the series explores Jax's story and his family on his dad's side.

After the eighth day battle in Mexico Evangeline Emrys wants to find her only living relative, her sister. Fitting since these two are the only living Emrys left and the only source to keep the Grunsday spell alive. But Riley Pendragon & Evangeline Emrys are not really important this time as the Ambrose & the Dulac family comes knocking.

Jax's dad had even more secrets buried in his closet than we were aware of and I loved how Salerni was systematic about the whole ordeal. Disclosing her cards one by one. We find out what really happened to prompt Rayne Aubrey to cut this ties from his very influential family. A centuries old family, you would expect them to be set in their old ways. They are not at all picky when it comes to them using their powers to get what they want. But out of this whole orthodox lot Jax's cousin Dorian I liked best. He was always defying his family in minuscule ways possible, he knows his family is not really the greatest and he tries to work with that.

Jax, Billy & cousin Dorian were the heroes of this sequel. Them against their family. I loved how resourceful they were and how they used their knowledge to get out of sticky situations. They showed great courage and maturity in the face of adversity and I liked it very much. Dianne K. Salerni has put out an equally enjoyable sequel and you would be loathe to miss out on this Grunsday fun.

"Them against family. A sequel as fun as the first with an extra day of the week"

Genre :      Young Adult, Middle Grade, Paranormal, Adventure


Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 The Eighth Day 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Waterfire Saga #2 Rogue Wave

Presenting Waterfire Saga #2 Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this exciting sequel to DEEP BLUE, Serafina uncovers more clues about the talismans, Neela ventures into a sea dragon's nest, and Ling learns the identity of their foe.

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn't know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Underwater plots, fishes, mermaids and whatnot. After an elegantly portrayed stepping stone for the beginning with "Deep Blue", we head headlong with the sequel for some "Rogue Wave"(s). Our 5 merls Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava and Astrid are descendants of the six who ruled over the lost city of Atlantis. The first book saw the river witch call them from across the vast water bodies and made aware of an ancient evil waking up again.

But only special talismans owned by the ancient six could be used to defeat this demon. Thus Sera, Neela, Ling, Ava and Astrid head out in Rogue Wave to discover those artifacts. The sequel only focuses on Serafina and Neela's and in part Ling's journey as they head to Miromara and Matali respectively to search for their talismans. Although the home conditions they find are not something to boast off. Miromara as we know in the first book was attacked by and taken over by Traho and when Neela tries to raise the alarm in Matali she is declared touched in the head.

Things happen as they always do. Sera learns what happened to her people after she escaped the attack and Neela knowing that her bureaucrat country (& parents) would never be able to help not until all the right papers have been filled. So Neela takes matters into her own hands and goes to the dragon's next (literally) to get her talisman. Sera on the other hand has to deal with a lot of shocks. The truth of Mahdi (her betrothed & lover) and of the mysterious Blu are revealed ...... Come on that one was at least obvious, we all knew it and speculated it after reading Deep Blue.

As I said above we had a lot of revelations, that in turn raised a lot of questions. Sera and Mahdi ..... I really don't want to spoil anything but suffice it to say they resolved their issues and be done with it. It was really a wonder just how mature both Sera & Neela had gotten through their ordeal but are stubborn and resourceful Merls and have learned from their mistakes well. Rogue Wave is a sequel that doesn't really have much going on but what does happen and what gets revealed were very important.

Jennifer Donnelly has improved much with this sequel. The one problem I have had with this series was the pacing. Deep Blue while essentially I liked very much had pacing problem. Without establishing a few key points there seemed to be a lot of things happening all at once. Rogue Wave rectified a bit more on the problem and the story flowed a lot better this time. It didn't go too slow and it didn't go too fast and that is just how I like it. Besides these gorgeous covers, how can you really deny it .... *fingers-crossed* lets hope the third book improves on it and comes out much better than its two predecessors.

"A fast and excitingly adventurous read. Rogue Wave scents of the battles yet to come"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance


Release Date: 6th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 Deep Blue 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Fifth Wave #1 The 5th Wave

Presenting The Fifth Wave #1 The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Here is the summary of the book:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Aliens have taken over the world again. This is my first Rick Yancey book and while it is getting quite the hype, I do believe it deserves every bit of it. Of course aliens taking over the human race is nothing new and aliens in the guise of humans is also not new but you will love Yancey's approach. He focused his story on the aftermath of the invasion and telling us of this grim and gritty world post take over. Of course, the hyped commodity does not always live upto its expectations but here's the thing, you are definitely not going to be disappointed with this one.

The 5th Wave deserves its genre credibility as a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Aliens are here. You can clearly see that hulking big mothership hung up there in the sky and instead of big eyed green monsters coming in arms ablaze, they take the subtle approach. They use our own planet against us. The 1st Wave, lights out. The 2nd Wave, Surf's up. The 3rd Wave, Pestilence and the 4th Wave, Silencer.

Tensions and suspicions are sky rocketing. You can't really trust your fellow humans because the others have taken over a certain percentage of us. Then comes the 5th wave. Nobody really knows what that one will be. Maybe its already happened. Maybe it is happening all round them or maybe it has already happened while the smart few have hidden themselves.

And Cassie, fierce and smart is up and about in this silent & strange new world with only an M-16 and her brother's teddy bear for company. The brother for whom she searches for relentlessly hoping against hope that he is still alive and that she had not failed in that one promise she made to him. Alone against the world, a philosophy that has kept her alive till now but she soon realizes just how out of depth she really is ...... How alone!

Such circumstances lead her to the mysterious Evan, who takes her in after she gets shot. She understands her situation. She understands who Evan is but at heart she knows that she won't be able to do it alone and craves the company. And Yancey portrays this soft, suspicious, tense yet warm are to perfection keeping us on tenterhooks waiting for the penny to drop.

We also meet Zombie, Ben Parish really. A colligation that fits. Whereas Cassie tells the story of the aftermath and how the human race copes. Through Zombie we get the most action packed arc. The government is putting soldiers on the front, the children, the last line of defense. Its is sick really, reading about it, putting kids as young as seven in the firing range but the author plays it very nicely. The realization...... the ultimate betrayal. The reality of Camp Heaven. We come to know all this and gasp at the right places as they are revealed.

Making them finally meet .... The actual 5th Wave ..... Rick Yancey did a pretty bang-up job holding in all the pieces and showing his hands one by one, at the perfect time. Leading to the final confrontation. Perfect world building, perfectly developed characters and an amazing plot. This is a 457 paged manuscript and I tell you you truly must not pass it up.

"The 5th Wave is a genius and brilliantly developed page turner"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Adventure, Romance

PublisherPutnam Juvenile

Release Date: 7th May, 2013

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Geek Girl #1 Geek Girl

Presenting Geek Girl #1 Geek Girl by Holly Smale.

Here is the summary of the book:

Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.

Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?

Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar.

Its light.Its original. Its hilarious and a laugh-out-loud fun fiesta. Its fashion and equally the hijinks of fashion. Its the hilariously hijinky metamorphosis of this socially awkward caterpillar into a butterfly. Tackling serious issues and giving it the hilarious spin and frankly full of facts and the sarcasm that will have you rolling on the floor laughing (basically rofl *wink*) and I have been reading a lot of serious fiction lately, so 'Geek Girl' felt like a great change in scenery.

Geek = Harriet Manners. Seriously you just can't help not love her. She is silly. She is quirky. She can't stop herself from correcting others, starts to plainly spout off facts when she gets worked up ... she is plain and simple endearing. She has always defined herself as a geek but she doesn't want to be one. And then she gets spotted by a fashion agency and grasps her chance to get her much dreamed about metamorphosis. Of course she didn't expect modeling to be so different than she thought it would be and we as readers had the time of our lives, as we watch her stumble along this unexpectedly unplanned road & realize that she doesn't need outward help to be perfect but it is what's inside that matters.

She grows through the story at an unparalleled rate. She makes mistakes. Makes a mess out of her life but she knows to learn from her mistakes. She just needs a little help to realize that she is perfect in her own way. There is friendship. There is hate ..... seriously she gets a nemesis too. And that knocking on doors first attraction with her super hot colleague Nick. Her relationship with her stepmother was the stellar point. Throughout the book you realize just how similar Harriet is to her step-mother right down to mannerism, that its just endearing.

Wilbur was fabulous, quirky with all of his silly nicknames for Harriet and surprising little nudges on good advice helped us appreciate him more and just how instrumental he was in Harriet's metamorphosing from 'the ugly duckling' to that beautiful swan. "Geek Girl" is just what you need when you are feeling down or looking to go for the unexpected because this is one coming of age fiesta you won't be disappointed to get your hands on. Highly recommended (if you haven't already done that).

"A hilariously quirky & laugh-out-loud fashion fiesta"

Genre :      Young Adult, Humor, Contemporary

PublisherHarper Teen

Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Heroes of Olympus #5 The Blood of Olympus

Presenting The Heroes of Olympus #5 The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan.

Here is the summary of the book:

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Demigods check. Dangerous quest check. Godly action check. End of the world prophecy check. Amazing characters check. Wittiness check ..... and end of an era check. ...... Players are lining up. Sides have been chosen. Threats and schemes thought up. After the serious and time exhaustive exhilarating adventure at the 'House of Hades', the demigods race against the hour to stop the big bad, Mother Earth from rising.

While it is tempting to take the 'Athena Parthenos' to Athens, if it could help against the forces of Gaea but they know its rightful place is in Long Island to help stave off war between the Greeks and the Romans. So they divide. Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge decide to deliver the statue and the remaining Argo II crew head to Athens..... and coupled with Riordan's witty dialogues, the Blood of Olympus makes for an outstanding finale.

Divided like before into the different perspectives. We see Jason finally accepting his present and overcoming his past. Leo keeping his promise *wink* & Piper was simply kickass. Nico got his closure. Reyna also learnt to leave her past behind and sadly Percy & Annabeth turned out to be bait ... I think I would have given it a 5 star if Percy or Annabeth (or both) had their own POVs, I didn't really see them do much of anything than what we got to read from others..... they kept getting saved .... So call me what you want but 4 stars it is  and no more.

The Blood of Olympus while it was a fitting finale, felt more of a Jason, Piper and Leo show. Of course I would also have loved to see a bit more prolonged battle against Gaea after she fully rose but what we saw worked well..... Ingenious really defeating her in that subtle way. Keeping true to the mythology and incorporating this epic journey, Rick Riordan definitely doesn't not disappoint. Of course i'll say again I would have given it 5 stars if we had seen Percy's POV but all said and done this is a great finale. It is now time to turn our attention to Riordan's upcoming series on Norse Mythology (which I am very excited for).

"A nerve-racking great end to this epic Greco-Roman conglomeration"

Genre :     Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Adventure

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: 7th October, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Series by Author(only those reviewed on blog):
         Heroes of Olympus 
         Kane Chronicles

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Three Short Reviews: Superman Unchained / Transformers: Primacy / Star Trek: City on the edge of Foreve

I will say this again, I am not an avid comic reader and nor do I follow them in their chronological order. I read what I can get my hands on. When I can get them. Superman Unchained was a great time pass. The Man of Steel this time tackles a force even more ancient than he.  A being just like him called Wraith. Much more powerful than Kal-el and they tackle the terrorist group Ascension. And the big alien threat coming towards Earth at warp speed. The art is very well detailed and I very much loved reading it. Although the camaraderie shown between Superman & Wraith was the best part but it failed to deliver the desired effect when Wraith came at him at the end.

"A intelligent and reinvigorating tale of the world's first superhero via its immaculate art"

Robots vs. Robots. Autobots vs. Decepticons. The age old war. The graphic novel details about the war before they left Cybertron to get to Earth. While the plot and elements are very well done, the art had a much less effect. Of course it would be much better as a physical copy but on the digital screen it is much too dark and much too black.

"A pretty dark tale of the everlasting Cybertronian war of the Robots" 

A new version of an old story. I am what you would call a Nutrek fan. I have seen 'The Next Generation' series and the 'Enterprise' series/ So I still have to watch the original series of which I understand that 'City on the Edge of Forever' was an episode. So I can't really compare the old & the new but .... what a great read it is. William Shatner's "Kirk" and Leonard Nimoy's "Spock" and everyone of the original Enterprise crew are realized in stark details. Kirk & Spock's chemistry is perfectly and artistically realized and they tackled some pretty difficult concept too without being obvious. A great read for new & old fans alike.

"For fans of the Star Trek franchise" 

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