Monday, 31 December 2012

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 308
Publisher:  Scholastic Press (My version as part of The Complete Alcatraz by Orion)
Released: 1st of October 2007

Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

What I  Have To Say

This was a great read. Really funny. The plot and world were really well thought out and the humour twined throughout it was just perfect. The narrator was really likable, despite his best attempts to point out that he wasn't. 

I think the thing I liked most about this book was the way he unashamedly mocked a lot of the most used writing techniques. Especially all the times that he pointed out the foreshadowing, or referred back to it when it came up. 

Seriously, if you want a laugh and like general silliness, this book is for you.

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 336
Publisher: Indigo
Released: 2nd of August 2012

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

What I Have to Say

I loved the world of this book so much. Well... Loved would be the wrong word. But grim as it was, it was so well constructed. Every detail seems to have been thought out and the three way divide between Religion, Science and Government is really well played.

There were some really interesting characters as well. Araby had a really good voice and was a really great perspective to have. But the two love interests were the most interesting. Elliot and Will. They were also not played up too much. The love triangle was there but I didn't feel it was forced down the reader's throat like so many books these days seem to do.

The plot was really good too. A little slow in places but with enough intrigue to keep me interested. There were so many elements and so much world building, but it wasn't overly explained. The timing was right.

I would recommend this book to anyone, seriously. So well written. I loved reading it.

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 379
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: 23rd of October 2012

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

What I Have to Say

 I'm going to try very, very hard not to fangirl too much this post, but I just love Julie Kagawa far too much. I love everything she writes and this was definitely no exception. She has such interesting ideas and yet again she's managed to expand the idea of faery and put her own take on it. 

The forgotten are just as interesting as the Iron fey and Kagawa has managed to show her creativity yet again with more creative ideas for new types of faery, whilst still including some of the more traditional ones to make a rich and complex world. 

I love Ethan and his tough attitudes. He's a really good contrast to Megan who was so much more naive when she first went to faery. Ethan is more of a warrior. Training himself to fight against the faeries who taunt him. 

I also loved Keirran. He's such a cool mix of the three courts. There's also a lot of faery to him but at the same time, he's softer. It's clear that he's spent him whole life not fitting in to any court because he's a member of all three. I think there's a lot more to be explore with his character. And with all the new characters actually. 

While I'm loving the new characters and understand completely why there isn't so much of the old characters in this book, I do miss them a lot. It's nice when they pop up and I hope that with the rest of the series they continue to appear every so often. 

Can't wait for the next book.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 408
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Released: 18th of September 2012

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

What I Have to Say 

 This book was really good, it had the beautiful writing, suspense and sudden twists that I enjoy reading from Maggie Stiefvater, but for some reason, it didn't really feel like her writing. I don't know if it was the third person narration or how long it took her to set everything up, but it ruined my enjoyment of the bok. 

That said, I really did enjoy it. I loved the relationship between the boys and Blue and her family. I also really loved Noah. I can't say what I liked about him without spoiling, but his character were so interesting. 

So I do recommend this book, but if you're a fan of Maggie Stiefvater, just go into it as if you've never read a book by her before.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 416
Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: 31st of July 2012

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

What I Have to Say

I heard so many good things about this book so I'm really glad it lived up to its reputation, so many books get a lot of hype and then are really disappointing. 

The story and characters were so well written and work really well to bring up strong emotions.  I found myself feeling not just sympathy for the characters but also hate towards some of the other characters, especially Echo's father and Luke. There were times I wished i could slap Ashley too for the selfishness she showed. Though I could see things from her point of view. 

The story just worked so well. The characters fitted perfectly creating a believable relationship and they changed each other so subtly that the character were still clearly the same people even though they were going through such drastic character development. People rarely change as drastically as they do in books, but in this one, it worked really well. 

This book was so beautiful and moving. It's occurred to me recently that I recommend an awful lot of sad books and this is another one, but it really is worth it.