Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Review of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer has just been shipped off to a reform school for freaks like herself. That is witches, faeries & shapeshifters. She gets off to a rocky start getting on the wrong side of not only teachers but the popular girls too. Thankfully she befriends Jenna, the only vampire in Hex Hall and also begins a complicated friendship with Archer, a warlock, a sexy one, who just happens to be the boyfriend of It-Girl and number 1 enemy Elodie. 

Students begin to get injured, nearly dying, and the number one suspect is vampire Jenna, but Sophie knows it couldn't possibly be her friend. 

As the story unfolds we learn more about Sophie and her past and the School. As well as the truth to the attacks. It is really well written, one of those 'it-doesn't-feel-like-reading-it-feels-real' type books! Loved it. The characters are good, especially lead-girl Sophie. She is really funny and you can't help but fall in love with her. 

The storyline is great, and the ending really leads well into book 2, which I am trying to withhold from buying on account of my dwindled bank balance/massive tbr pile. But i don't think I will last too long. 

Hex Hall is a good fake world to be in. I give it 4.5/5

Friday, 27 May 2011

Review of Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Trella is a scrub. Along with thousands of others. The scrubs are the bottom of the food chain, so to speak, Inside. They work and sleep and that is basically it. They are controlled by the Travas and envy the Uppers. Trella is known as the Queen of the Pipes. She knows the inner workings of Inside like the back of her hand. She has been plodding along not questioning her life until her friend, Cog, introduces her to Broken Man, the latest in Prophets. Soon, ideas of 'Gateway' the almost-myth exit from Inside begin to take over Trella's mind. Before she knows it she is the face of a rebellion. The scrubs are looking to her to make changes. And she is determined to to prove Broken Man wrong about Gateway. What she doesn't count on is believing him.

It was a slow start for me, I must admit. But about 2/3 the way in I was very hooked. It has a wonderful ending and a good lead into Book 2. I Liked Trella as a character. She is a little selfish and thats sometimes good in books, you may know from previous posts I dont like the goody-goodies.

The book is well written and I think it could be quite an enjoyable read for even younger young-adults. 

The plot is good and what I would expect from teen-girl-dystopia. There is a particular twist at the end which really made the book for me.

I give it a 3.5/5

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

It's been ten months since Grace Divine risked her life to save her were-boyfriend Daniel. Ten months since Jude Divine succumbed to the wolf, bit Grace and disappeared. During that time Daniel and Grace had been training to try and keep a balance of the newly acquired wolf powers growing inside Grace. Things get interesting when April and Grace get some clues as to the possible whereabouts of Jude and they meet Talbot, a sexy, hero-type cowboy figure. 

Grace and Talbot begin a friendship, a secret one. Daniel decides that training Grace is too much of a risk and refuses, but Talbot believes it is a good idea. Grace goes behind Daniel's back and becomes drawn to Talbot. Daniel is keeping secrets of his own and Grace begins to question who can she really trust.

This sequel to The Dark Divine was brilliant. I was ho-hum about the first book, but this one made me a fan of the series. It was more action-packed and the introduction of Talbot, and Katie Summers (a girl who Grace thinks is interested in Daniel) ensured an interesting love-square situation.

I also enjoyed that there was more than just the werewolves in this book, and it had some 'Buffy-esque' moments which, to me, is always WIN. I learned to like Grace in this book, where in the first I found her somewhat tedious. The cliffhanger at the end of the book was great and I can't wait to see where the Daniel & Grace story heads in the next, as yet untitled, book. 

I would recommend to people who havent read either book, to still read The Dark Divine first as i think as a stand-alone The Lost Saint would be a bit confusing for a new reader.

All in all I give this book a 3.5/5

Monday, 9 May 2011

Review of The Line by Teri Hall

In this dystopian tale, Rachel and her mother, Vivian, live on The Property with uptight Ms Moore. The Property is far enough away from the nearest town that the Government Enforcement Officer's don't pay too much attention. The Property is however right on The Line. The Line is a National Border Defense system put in place many eons before for the safety of all U.S citizens. No one can get in, but no one can get out.

Rachel's already over-zealous interest in Away, the land that occupies the other side of The Line, is amped up after she finds a recording device with a muffled plea for help, the device is from Away. 

Ms Moore owns the property and is very strict, but what is she hiding about Away? Rachel is determined to find out and Vivian just wants to hide.

This was a very quick read and for the most part it was enjoyable. The characters and plot were interesting enough, however I found it lacking in many ways. I think the shortness of the novel was a big part of this lack. Mainly, there was not much character development or build up to the events towards the end of the book. It was a blink-and-you-miss-it type book, which was a shame as it had real potential as I love all things Dysopia. The sequel, Away, will hopefully fix my disappointment. I have not phyisically seen it, but if it is as short as The Line, I will feel as though it was meant to be one book that has been split in half for sales purposes perhaps?

The character of Ms Moore was the most enjoyable in the book as I felt out of all of them she had the most interesting growth. The main character of Rachel was bland and I felt like we didn't really get to know her at all. The male lead and potential love interest, Pathik, was unappealing, again due to the little we actually know about him.

I recommend it if you have a few hours spare one day, but don't expect your socks rocked.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Review of Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Eff yeah, Unicorns! As an animal lover, I was excited by the idea of a book about Unicorns, evil ones or not. Rampant had been in my TBR pile for some time and through my super-high-tech method of choosing my next book (bits of paper in a hat held high by boyfriend and randomly drawn by me whislt on exercise bike) Rampant came out, and I honestly can't believe I had'nt read it sooner. IT WAS AWESOME.

It is about Astrid Llewellyn, a  sixteen year old girl who has grown up being afraid of Unicorns due to her mothers unnatural obsession with them. Lilith Llewellyn believes in Unicorns, not only that she thinks theyre killing machines who love nothing more than chomping on humans. Astrid hates the whole thing and refuses to go along with her mothers crazy ideas. That is until during a make-out session her sort-of boyfriend is attacked by one. 

Astrid is sent off against her will to Unicorn Hunter Boot Camp, along with an assorted group of young girls from all over the Northern Hemisphere and thrown straight into the very different world of formerly mythical beasts and her apparent destiny to hunt and kill them.

The book was wonderfully written and Astrid is so easily likeable. Another good aspect to the characters is that the ones you are meant to hate are so easy to hate, Diana Peterfreund has done a wonderful job at building up the characters.  

The plot is great, it was so enjoyably and exciting and to use a cliche, a real 'page-turner'.  There is a second book, 'Ascendant' which I am very looking forward to reading to see where things go next.

It is a stand out book for me as it is different to most of the other ya-fantasy fiction around, similar to Firelight, I liked that it was about something other than vampires/werewolves etc.

Some of the book may not be suitable for very young kids but nothing too bad. 

If you havent read it, I say, Do it now! Especially for the lovely little 'pet' Unicorn the girls have called "Bonegrinder" - Hello scene stealer! 

Clearly, I give it 5/5

Review of An Apple for Zoe by Thomas Amo

From Amazon: The City of San Francisco is locked in a grip of fear. A series of occult murders has led, Inspector Thomas James, to a crime scene similar to a murder committed 90 years ago in the once grand Aleris Hotel. A place where power barons of the early 20th Century engaged in witchcraft. And silent film stars indulged in the most wicked of sins.

A place where no one questions the black smoke that rises from the hotel's incinerators in the middle of the night. 
I was lucky enough to win this book from Goodreads. It was exciting as it was a step away from the type of books I usually read and the author, Thomas Amo, was very nice and even wrote a lovely 'Happy Birthday' message inside the book for me (it was infact my birthday, he doesnt just randomly wish people birthday messages.)

The book didnt disappoint, it was so packed full with horrific going-ons it was impossible to tell what was going to happen next, which was a good thing. It is definitely more of an adult book, some of the content probably not suitable for very young kids, but I would of enjoyed reading it as a teenager, I believe. 

One of the most enjoyable parts was the relationship between the protagonist, Thomas James and FBI agent Ashton Summers. I believe based on those two alone the book could be translated into a watchable television series.

It is part of a series so the book ends with a lovely little cliffhanger that will lead nicely into book 2. It has lots of horror themes and nasty historical figures etc. If you love a good, bloody, mystery then this one is for you.