Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Girl & the Machine

Presenting The Girl & the Machine by Beth Revis.

Here is the summary of the book:

This short story follows Franklin, a time traveler with limited abilities: He can only travel into the past within his own lifetime. And then a girl shows up in his life. She claims to have met a future version of himself, and that the machine she invented will help him to go anywhere in the past or the future without limitations. When Heather shows Franklin the machine, she ensures him that they will change the world together and make it a better place. But Franklin can't help but feel a little ominous about it all...

PLEASE NOTE: This short story is a part of the larger collection of short stories by Beth Revis, entitled THE FUTURE COLLECTION.

Beth Revis strikes again ...... I don't usually post reviews of short stories in general. As an anthology mostly but not a single story per say .... but this one ..... this one serves a mention. I loved Revis' 'Across the Universe' trilogy and her latest 'The Body Electric' so I decided to try this one out as well and see what it was about. I always believe that the mettle pf an author can be proved if he/she can write a convincing or say perfectly jaw-dropping short (anyone can write long novels with the right ideas) .... So I am happy to report that my belief in Revis' penmanship remains intact.

Without trying to give anything away this short introduces two unique characters Franklin and Heather. Franklin is the guy with the ability to time travel but he can only ever visit the past and never the future. Heather is the studious science student who professes to help him try to travel tot he future. Short stories don't really take the time on character development but morals they depict. We all aspire to something in the future. It is a common thought that the past is excusable and the present is all that matters but what they forget is that be it past, present or future, it is our choices and actions that make us who we are.

Seriously I was not expecting this story to be so dark and astonishing towards the end. When I began it, I thought it was just an everyday sci-fi but I am glad it proved me wrong. Worthy of note is my reaction throughout - (just like many of you have read it) ..... "Ok" ...... "Interesting" ...... "Ok looks solid" ..... "now skeptical" ..... "eye-brows raised in a frown" ...... "OMG" ....... "WOW" ...... "O. M. Freaking. G" ....... Jaw-dropping awesome ..... was not expecting it to go in such a direction ....... BRAVO BETH ..... BRAVA!

"A sci-fi short with epic astounding promises"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Time Travel

PublisherScripturient Books

Release Date: 13th January, 2015

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books from the Author (review links):
               Across the Universe #1, #2, #3
               The Body Electric
Buy:           Amazon 

Monday, 23 February 2015

All that Glows #2 All that Burns

Presenting All that Glows #2 All that Burns by Ryan Graudin.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?

A great and much more affirming conclusion to a duology. Ryan Graudin has created the perfect companion to 'All that Glows', its not really necessary to read it to know how the duology ends but this companion novel asserts its presence nonetheless ..... Also if you are all wondering, no ...... there is no love triangle here ...... if someone said it then you must not believe it.

Things have changed a lot for Emrys & Richard. After giving up her life as Fae and joining the ranks of the mortals, things have been difficult. Now that Richard is King, he must give more hours to the Parliament. Without her powers Emrys on the other hand feels helpless and weak doubting the authenticity of Richard's affections for her and vice-versa. The public is not happy that their King is going to wed an ex non-human. Add to that an ancient enemy has escaped from the Fey prison.

Beautifully rendered, Graudin gave this a much needed reality. There is love, sweet love, doubts, insecurities, public unrest and action .... magical and non-magical alike. Change is not easy and Graudin's prose is prof of that. So their King has decided to marry an ex-Feary, you don't expect the public to be onboard with it in a beat. Richard wants longer light-offs (Earth Hour) to help the Fae into modern society, a novel approach I wager but you won't get everyone onboard for that in an instant either. Change comes gradually, 'All that Burns' is a sure proof of that.

True love trumps all. As seen throughout the course of this book Emrys and Richard release, they must accept who they are and only then go from there. As Camelot's history unravels and old would are unearthed and conspiracies raging afire, Emrys must get over her insecurities (a large portion of the book deals in that) and get Richard and get back her happiness.

"A fast paced unputdownable conclusion to Emrys and Richard's love story"

Genre :      Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

PublisherHarper Teen

Release Date: 10th February, 2015

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 All that Glows 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Secret Origins Vol #1

Presenting Secret Origins Vol #1 (The New 52).

Here is the summary of the book:

At last, the SECRET ORIGINS of the World's Greatest Heroes in The New 52 can be revealed! The beginnings of the most popular characters in the DC Universe are finally told here, in stories that fans have been clamoring for since September 2011. Included here are the origins of The Last Son of Krypton and Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, plus the first Robin, Dick Grayson.

Written by a host of the industry's brightest talent including Jeff Lemire (JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED) Greg Pak (BATMAN/SUPERMAN) and Tony Bedard (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) and painted covers by Lee Bermejo (JOKER), this new series is a fantastic way to jump on with the DC Universe!

Collects issues #1-4

The new 52. Origins stories of our DC superheroes. I am no comic fanatic but even I am aware of the origin stories of almost all of the DC superheros because this graphic novel is almost a waste of precious reading time. Really not trying to be harsh but I was expecting something new or different, what with all of the new origin shows being telecast on tv ..... So I expected something along that line.

Superman. Dic Grayson. Batman. Aquaman. Starfire. Green Lantern. Batwoman. Red Robin. Harley Quinn. Green Arrow. Damian Wayne. The big names of the DC universe. You would have expected solid stories but everyone of them had an almost summary style quality (aside from Superman's story). Also all the origin stories are pretty much what was established since the start. I am not familiar with Starfire so that one for me was new but everything else was the same. I am still wondering though where is Wonder Woman ...... but yes the art I liked ...... I liked very much.

"For all the newbie comic readers out there"

Genre :     Graphic novel, Comics, Superheroes

Publisher: DC Comics

Release Date: 17th February, 2015

My Copy: pulisher and netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Presenting Soulprint by Megan Miranda.

Here is the summary of the book:

Alina Chase has spent her entire life in confinement. With the science of soul-printing now a reality, she is 'protected' for her own safety - and the safety of others - because her soul has done terrible things ...or so she's told. When Alina finally breaks out of prison, helped by a group of people with unclear motives, she begins to uncover clues left by her past life that only she can decipher. And she may not be as innocent as she once believed. Can Alina change her future, or is she fated to repeat her past and face the consequences?

Reincarnation. A topic that has eluded from young to old to the plethora of religious beliefs throughout the planet. Do good deed in the present life and you are guaranteed a better one in the next birth and the vice versa also holds true .... so is the general belief. Whatever skills you accumulate in one life you are believed to carry it over in the next .... Nobody really knows who they were or what they were before ..... Is s along these lines that author Megan Miranda constructed this soulful masterpiece called 'Soulprint'.

Running from her soul ..... This is the story of 17 year old Alina Chase literally running from her soul, her past life as June Calahan. Detained in isolation since her soulprinted Alina has only ever known the island and her secluded, defying her detainers in subtle secretive manners as much as she could. Always on the lookout for help and escape .... she finally manages so with the help of strangers Cameroon & Casey London and the mysterious Dom. Thus loading to new experiences, unclear motives, shocking (yet expected) betrayal and a soul searching journey as Alina Chase starts to unravel clues that may or may not have been left by her past self.

I must confess the first half of the book stretched my patience a bit but then the clues became a bit clearer I began to enjoy the book very much and by the end of it had much to appreciate in it and questions to ponder on. I like books that evict such feelings and appreciated Megan Miranda's Soulprint a bit more. What really happens when a person dies? Should a person be incarcerated if he/she is found to be the soul of a criminal in their past life. And the hypocrisy of humanity to punish a person when they haven't done anything wrong .... Nature vs. Nurture.

While Cameroon, Casey & Dom appeared in the beginning in their bid to help Alina escape I liked our protagonist (Alina) the best. She grows, she learns and she assimilates the changes around her at a fast pace and learns to make the distinction between right and wrong ... Judging a book by its cover ..... rather judging a person by their soul, Miranda's thrilling and suspenful tale brings out the weakness and strength of human nature, so marred by emotions. With lots and lots of action, some twists & turns, decidedly sweet romance and biting truths & betrayals, Megan Miranda's Soulprint proves to be definite gem of literary extravaganza.

"A progressive thriller with a unique plot to boot"

Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Thriller, Suspense, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Release Date: 12th February, 2015

My Copy: pulisher and netgalley

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

The Originals #1 The Rise

Presenting The Originals #1 The Rise by Julie Plec.

Here is the summary of the book:

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they've escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus's attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus's volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

The success of 'The Vampire Diaries' brought along the conception of its spin-off 'The Originals'. We all wanted to know more about the Mikealsons, the original vampires and the spin-off delivered, as we see the original family try to find stability in New Orleans .... And then came this novel series courtesy of Julie Plec. Where the show oscillates between the present and the past. This new trilogy focuses much more on the history. Of how they came to this corner of the world. Of how they were then. Of what leads them to be the characters they are in the show.

Klaus, Rebecca & Elijah. With Kol and Finn daggered & in coffins run to New Orleans to hide from their father and desirous of a home. But the witches and werewolves will not see it happen. Of course Klaus being the maverick and devil-may-care hybrid he is catches the eye of Viviane  .... And he is smitten .... of course it is a bit disconcerting ti see Klaus so hopeful and so in love.

Rebecca for her part falls for a French Captain, in her bid to gather an army for her siblings to make their place in New Orleans but she finds much more than what she would have hoped. There are secrets in every nook and crevice and if you are not careful, they may just come out to bite when you least expect it. Big Brother Elijah on the other hand tries the realistic approach, the aquisition of land, to establish the family. Of course even that approach has its pit falls but as luck would have it ...... rewarding in their case.

In a way they are the same originals we saw in the show but Plec has spun a great grass-root beginning for them. Of love, honor and promises. Of ardent desires and strategies, of refreshing naivette and promises for the coming future. Of bitter enemies, and the blooming war on the horizon with its paranormalia. "The Rise" gives the perfect beginning to the arrival of the family and them finding their roots in the new world.

"A dark and gripping page turner in the lives of our beloved Mikealson vampires"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Romance, Tv tie-in

PublisherHQN Books

Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books on "The Vampire Diaries" universe
                        (review links)
Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lockwood & Co. #1.5 The Dagger in the Desk

Presenting Lockwood & Co. #1.5 The Dagger in the Desk by Jonathan Stroud.

Here is the summary of the book:

A thrilling new case for London’s most talented psychic detection agency – from the global bestselling author of the Bartimaeus Sequence.

In London, a mysterious and potentially deadly ghost is stalking the halls of St Simeon’s Academy for Talented Youngsters. It lurks in the shadows, spreading fear and icy cold – and it carries a sharp and very solid dagger . . .

The headmaster wastes no time in enlisting the help of ghost-hunters Anthony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins.

Can Lockwood & Co. survive the night and save the day?

Novella .... Novella what would I do with you. As opposed to full fledged novels these shorter stories finish far too soon and far too fast for our liking. 'Tis particularly the case with series/stories of our liking. They say all good things are best served in small doses and that is particularly the case right here. When I saw this on netgalley, I mistook it for the third book the the 'Lockwood & Co.' series just as well this is more of a bridge between the 1st and the 2nd books.

After their sweeping success with the screaming staircase our motley trio are enjoying their new fame, new cases and an increase in action. Then they get handed a particularly nasty one from the headmaster of London's St. Simeon's Academy for Talented Youngsters. There is a potentially deadly ghost on the prowl, fear and icy cold to be sure and a very-very sharp solid dagger. Nasty business indeed but it is upto the expertise of Anthony  Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins to save the day.

Jonathan Stroud you are a genius. He maintains the How. The creepy cold atmosphere that we enjoyed so much in the first & second books. While it is rather disheartened that this is a novella but spectre and the like are more creepy to send shivers down our spine. A bridge it may be but Stroud gives us enough ti keep our ghostly appetite sated till the release of the third book ..... and if you still haven;t begun it yet ..... FIE ON YOU ..... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR .... Go for it ....

"A short but equally spookly interlude in the lives of Lockwood & Co."
Genre :      Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror


Release Date: 9th February, 2015

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the Series (review links):
                    #1 The Screaming Staircase
                     #2 The Whispering Skull

Other Books from the Author (review links):
   Bartimaeus #1 The Amulet of Samarkand
Buy:           Amazon

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

Presenting Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Stacy King, Crystal Chan, SunNeko Lee.

Here is the summary of the book:

A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America.

Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions.

Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

After 'Les Miz' and 'Pride & Prejudice', the 'Manga Classics' line serves us yet another illustrious classic, Nathaniel Hawthrone's The Scarlet Letter. It is always a pleasure rediscovering old classics in a variety of formats. Although here it would be discovering the tale .... I haven't read the source material yet, so I can't compare after my opinion of only this manga version.

Reads just like every other manga out there. Back-to-front. Right-to-left. Anticlockwise. As the goodreads synopsis says stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Les Miz). The Scarlet Letter showcases this epic tragedy of the 15th Century Puritan America, of a forbidden romance, shame and bitter revenge. Where the 'Les Miz' manga fails to illustrate the desperate French era (liked the manga version of Pride & Prejudice though), 'The Scarlet Letter' produces stark details to Hawthorne's classic of literal breakdown of religion in a society based by such due to the greatest sin a woman of that era could commit 'adultery', extra marital affairs/relations of Hester Prynne.

Of course the religion in question is Christianity but since I do not belong to that ethnicity so I can't really elaborate on their edicts. But its not just Christianity but others too and its been happening since the dawn of time to this contemporary era too. The hypocrisy of religion. Hester Prynne is condemned and humiliated in the name of God and forced to wear the letter 'A' as punishment.

Of course, the despoiler is never named until the end and her own husband never publically accepts her for mysterious reasons. But what stood out most was Hester's struggle bearing the letter with an uncommon confidence, raising her daughter Pearl helping and aiding where needed .... little-by-little by vigor, she is able to change the perception of her badge of shame to the 'A' for an 'Angel'. It shows that those same people who condemned her then start to start to see her worth. Of course, a few things are unclear but there is no question to be asked, this is a gorgeous adaptation.

"A gorgeous adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter"

Genre :      Graphic Novel, Manga, Classic

PublisherUdon Entertainment

Release Date: 10th March, 2015

My Copy: publisher and netgalley

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Books in the series (review links):
               Manga Classics: Les Misérables
                     Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice

Buy:           Amazon

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Madman's Daughter #3 A Cold Legacy

Presenting The Madman's Daughter #3 A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd.

Here is the summary of the book:

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.

I stand corrected maybe their is a cure. After a dismal sequel in the form of 'Her Dark Curiosity', Megan Shepherd produced a knight-in-shining armor finale, albeit a golden one in the form of 'A Cold Legacy'. In a way I would always love the first book the best but this one comes a close second with the second book coming in last. A decisive battle, even more horrors of the third degree and a 'dark' cold legacy that might just make or break it all.

Having read the whole series we see some strong classic representations. The 1st book bases on the H.G. Wells story 'The Island of Dr. Moreau', the 2nd one takes queue's from Jack the Ripper legends and the 3rd, if you have been following the story on Frankenstein. Decisively less darker than the first two books the author presented her re-imaginings perfectly enough to make it her own and not sounding like a copy .... wrapping up everything beautifully in the end.

The character development is one of the strongest suits of this book. Juliet and Montgomery remaining steadfast in his faith in his lady love and fiancee and still very much in love. Juliet, who came far from the whinny girl she was in 'Her Dark Curiosity' much more world weary, she battles constantly with her darker side. Be like the madman who was her father or take after her mother. The pull of science or that of serenity .... of course her new guardian Elizabeth von Stein and her Manor full of oddities don't make that battle easy.

Lucy & Edward too played quite the role in Juliet's inner struggles. Lucy is a flighty, sometimes hilarious and aggressive when she wants to be and can piss us of too by way of her attitude. Edward meanwhile pretty much remained the same trying to fight his beast,taking poison to try and kill himself and fight this excruciating pain to stay sane. His are resolved rather quickly. I would have loved to have seen a bit more detailed execution to his problem, as he remained a problem since the first book though.

But it was the secrets of the Ballantyne manor that had us turning pages. The ancient, creepy and cold walls of the above mentioned manor hides in its walls a secret that has the makings of sending shivers down to our cores. A mastery over science never seen or experienced before. And Juliet (& us) finds herself more curious than she would have given to believe. Questions and concerns raised. Horrible acts committed. Freaks of nature awoken. Perpetrators defeated and unwitting acts of murders commenced. Horrible past left behind and promises of peaceful and hopeful new beginning realized. .... Where to draw the line ..... follow the madman father, the tragic mother or blaze her own path .....

'A Cold Legacy' in a way surmounts to a great end for the series. An almost standalone, much happens in the conclusion to give it a miss. Helped along by Shepherd's immaculate prose and the creepy cold atmosphere of the Scottish moors, great plot and character development balancing this third act brilliantly. The Terror, the horror, the science, and of nature ... all of them mixed together give this series its own personal touch. Of course the 2nd book was a disappointment but the conclusion pretty much makes up for it. Give this series a chance, you will be thoroughly amazed.

"A cold, dark and breathless page-turner"
Genre :      Young Adult, Gothic, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Romance


Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Books in the series (review links):
              #1 The Madman's Daughter
                    #2 Her Dark Curiosity

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Romance is in the Air GIVEAWAY HOP [INT]

Romance is in the air 2015
Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop
Featuring Young Adult & Clean Adult Romance
February 4th to 14th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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