Currently Reading

Currently reading: Vulture by Bex Hogan.

Saturday 30 April 2011

In My Postbox #33

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all links take you to Amazon UK.

I didn't see much point in making a post last week as I only got one book, albeit an amazing one! However this week I got loads of books! Decided to post this today (Saturday) as I've got work today so didn't know if I'd be able to do it in time to go live midnight on Sunday! So without further ado IN MY POSTBOX #33!


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
I absolutely loved this. Already read it. Amazing. Review can be found here. Honestly. Go out and get it as soon as it's out next month! Thanks to Walker for this!!!

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish.
I have loved Cliff's previous work so I am very excited to read this. It's sounding pretty damn good and scary! And that cover!!???!!! Drools! Thanks Nina at Orion for this! :D

Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I have already read this and loved it. Fans of The Hunger Games would love this! Dystopian setting, kind of similar to that of the series! So good! Got sent a proof copy a few months ago, and this is a beautiful, shiny finished copy! Check out my review in the next few weeks!


I absolutely freaking loved the first book in this series by Alex. It's a great adventure story that takes place all throughout history! Check out my review of TimeRiders here, and be sure to check these books out!!!

Skins: Summer Holiday by Jess Brittain
I really enjoyed the first Skins novel released last year (my first ever review posted on here actually!!), based on the hit E4 show. I kind of missed this years series thanks to work and other stuff but I have it on download so will be checking it out and reading this in due course! Check out the review of Skins: The Novel based on the 2nd generation here!

Casper Candlewacks in Death by Pigeon by Ivan Brett.
Currently reading this actually! Don't me mislead by the cover. It might look pretty young but I am loving it! Hilariously funny and appealing to the 8 year old boy still inside me! Review soon! Also might I add, that Ivan is pretty cool too!

And finally I got this... I classed it as a book as technically it is a book... 

It's the Premium Fan Edition of Britney Spears' latest album, Femme Fatale. A blooming brilliant album and this package is just... gah. It's a hardback book full of photos with the album and a picture disc. Very cool. Had it shipped all the way over from the U. S. of A! Very glad I did! Here is the stock image for it on her official site... A little different but still!

So there ya have it folks. That's what I got this week. What did you get? Have a great Sunday and for us Brits a Happy Bank Holiday Monday! 

Thursday 28 April 2011

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness [Review]

Written by: Patrick Ness.
Published by: Walker.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 5th May 2011.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults."

I really enjoyed Siobhan Dowd's work, in particular The London Eye Mystery (which I have a signed copy of somewhere in my bedroom!) and was saddened when she passed away shortly after its publication, so when I heard that The Monsters of Men author, Patrick Ness was going to be taking the helm of her final idea in the form of A Monster Calls I was somewhat excited and apprehensive in equal measure. Could her work be done justice? Would Patrick do the job as Siobhan could and do it justice? In short, I need'nt of worried one little bit!

A Monster Calls is perhaps the most hard-hitting, touching and beautiful books I have read ever, let alone this year. In essence it's the tale of Conor trying to come to terms with the fact his mother might not recover from her ongoing struggle with cancer, something he just doesn't want to face at the same time as suffering crippling nightmares. Having had several relatives die because of the disease I found myself back in the mindset I was in all those years ago when it was going on. I suppose that's one the reasons the book hit me so hard. Nearly everyone knows someone or is related to someone who has either fought cancer, or lost their lives to it. So many of us can relate to it.

A Monster Calls is also about truth. It is something of a monster. We all have hidden truths that haunt us. Be that the fact that a relative is dying, or something as mundane as the face that our previously white boxers where dyed pink when something red was put in the wash. Regardless of what it is, there are truths that we just don't want to, or refuse to acknowledge.

Written with such care and in such a beautiful manner, this book is one that I for one am going to treasure for years to come. I can't stress enough what a brilliant reading experience it was. Coupled with the stunning illustrations by Jim Kay, it's a treat on the eyes in a visual sense as well as in a reading sense. I love the way that certain parts are broken up by the artwork. A floor covered in pine needles. A graveyard. 

It left me with a weird sensation in my chest when I finished it. I can't quite put my finger on it. It felt like when you get a lump in your throat and you find it hard to breath, you know?! Like on the verge of crying but for different reasons all at the same time. Sadness, relief even.

The ending as well... well I can't say anything but that is all I need to say on that front. Enough said. 

I cannot recommend this book enough, praise and thank Patrick enough for creating something so brilliant, so beautiful, and for want of a better word... AMAZING! To Walker for actually making this available to the world, and for sending me a review copy! And of course to Siobhan for having the idea in the first place.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Changeling by Steve Feasey [Review]

Written by: Steve Feasey.
Published by: MacMillan
Format: Paperback.
Released: 2nd January 2009.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Trey thought he was an ordinary teenager. Then he meets a mysterious stranger, Lucien Charron – luminously pale, oddly powerful, with eyes that seem flecked with fire and skin that blisters in sunlight. Somehow Trey finds himself in a luxury London penthouse, like a Bond villain’s lair. It’s the heart of a sinister empire, built on the powers of the netherworld – werewolves, vampires, sorcerers, djinns. And Trey himself has a power that’s roaring to break free. Is he a boy or is he a beast?"

Again, another book that's been out for a sizable amount of time and I hadn't read until recently. And what a blooming mistake!!!! Seriously, if there was a time machine I would use it to go back to when this first came out so I could of experienced the awesome sooner!

Steve writes in such an engaging way that you really get caught up in Trey's story. You can almost feel his utter disbelieve, his anger even, at learning the truth about himself. I found myself really relating to Trey. You just start to get settled, just start getting used to something and then BAMN! Something else happens and you can never stop moving.

Vampires, Werewolves and Sorcerers are all pretty popular in YA fiction at the moment and it's hard to really find the stars out there in all that vast space. But Changling is more than a star. It shines bright and captured me unlike a lot of books I've read of late. There's just something about it, the essence of it. The premise. The entire story. The characters. It all just works. Every bit of it clicks and makes for such an amazing read. 

The writing is so seamless and fits together so brilliantly. It actually hurt me every time I had to put my Kindle down (got this for my Kindle... first brought I bought for it!) and do something else, or like the day I had to go into work with just three chapters left to go. Yes, that's right... 3 chapters left to go!!! Trust me, the pain hit hard and when it was a day I was actually working 9-7 it was even more agony! Never before have I entered the door and disappeared into my bedroom so quick to read. 

The characters are well fleshed out, and thought out. You can tell they're not just the result of a moments thought as Steve was writing. They all earn their place and you actually care about them, get to know them, and in the case of the bad guys, really, strongly, despise them. The main cast, Trey himself, Vampire mentor Lucien and his daughter Alexa, and their right hand man, Tom, are a great bunch. All so different, their personalities, their attitudes, but yet they work as a unit to fight the dark forces of the evil Vampire Caliban. 

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read that has left me itching to read the second book. I actually purchased the next two books in the series Changing: Dark Moon and Changing: Blood Wolf but haven't gotten around to them yet, which is annoying! There is also a fourth book currently out! Changeling: Demon Games and with the fifth and final book, Changling: Zombie Dawn due for release next month, there is no better time than now to start reading the series. Who can resist reading them back to back? Do not, do not live your life like the old Ryan, the pre-Changeling Ryan who hadn't read this beauty and didn't know what on earth he was missing! I don't want you to suffer the same way that I did!

My thanks to Steve for creating such a brilliant book, and to MacMillan for bringing it to the world!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Time Riders by Alex Scarrow [Review]

Written by: Alex Scarrow.
Published by: Puffin.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 4th February 2010.
Rating: 4.5/5.

Official synopsis: "Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912... Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029... Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand . . .’ But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose – to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world . . .

The first book in a series that revolves around time travel and an alternate history... what's not to love?!

I'd been meaning to read this book since it was released last February and only actually got to buying the book back in January. I started reading it pretty much straight away as the reading pile was quite small after a few days off work thanks to Christmas. And instantly I was transported away from the cold, snow of January and thrust deep into the heart of the story of the Time Riders. I actually kicked myself for not getting it any sooner.

Action packed, addictive, and with the perfect amount of humour, I just couldn't put it down. Alex has obviously put so much thought and effort into this book, and it really pays off!

The entire concept of this series, the premise, is pretty epic. People on the verge of death, recruited to try and save those that have a life to look forward to from whatever horrors a change in the course of history can cause. Some would wonder: could be be done with the justice and conviction it deserves? Well believe me when I say that it is done brilliant. Alex knows exactly what he is doing. 

Now, time travel is not a new thing to the world, be it fiction, television, whatever... it's a pretty popular subject. Who doesn't wish they could go back in time to re-live a certain moment? Or to change something - probably do something in a different way or not at all if it turned out not to be a good idea? But what I think the book really gets across is that time is a dangerous thing to mess around with. One little change can spell disaster hundreds of years in the future. The way the time travel is used in Time Riders is actually one of the best uses I've encountered. The way the villain travels back in time, because they're unhappy with their time, to try and make changes. I also have to say that I love the way the history changes. How there need to be 2 different teams - each in one timezone - because the changes made in the past cause an instant change in the future and that needs to be dealt with too.

It's quite thought provoking too. One question that struck me again and again whilst reading was, quite a simple one but obvious one, what would you do if you were about to die and someone came to you, the way they come to people in the book? And you know what, I still don't know the answer. The first response would be: ARRRRGGGGGGHHH I'M GUNNA DIE! MUMMY! But then there's this niggling, what would you do to survive? If you know it'd save you, would you go, regardless of what you faced? Alex has used this brilliantly  because although it's probably not meant to be that hard hitting, it gets me, and no doubt many others to read this book!

The characters are a nicely mixed bunch too! They all come from completely different times so all have different little quirks.

I'm finding it quite hard to summarise my feelings toward this book so I'll just finish by saying this: Alex has most definitely created a beauty right here and I am looking forward to getting around to number 2, Time Riders: Day of the Predator which is currently waiting to be dispatched from Amazon. Damn the Bank Holiday! This series looks set to be brilliant, up there with the likes of Anthony Horowitz' Alex Rider series. It certainly deserves to be as big, if not bigger. Young boys (I'd say 10-15 would eat this alive, and then the bigger boys (16+) will enjoy it just as much too. Bravo Alex! Bravo!

Sunday 24 April 2011

Exciting Releases Coming Soon

There are lots of cool books coming out in the next few months that I for one am very excited to read. Here are my top picks to come soon!

The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Ocean of Blood by Darren Shan.
"The epic tale of the vampire Larten Crepsley continues. The question is – how far can Larten go… alone?
Free from their mentor Seba Nile, Larten Crepsley and Wester Flack join the Cubs – wild young vampires with little respect for human life, and a taste for mindless enjoyment.
For the Cubs, everything is easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Larten, and soon fate throws his life into another spin. With dark paths to travel, Larten finds himself far from the Vampire Mountain and its rules. A long way from home, sick and alone, he must decide what kind of vampire he will be. Whether he will stand firm, be true to his master and his princples – or whether he will lose himself in blood…"

I really enjoyed the first book of the saga, Birth of a Killer which was released last October! Been waiting for this ever since. Thankfully there are only a few weeks left to go! Check out my review of Birth of a Killer here! And pre-order Ocean of Blood here!

A Small Free Kiss In The Dark by Glenda Millard.
"A haunting story of war that will profoundly affect readers Young teenage boys will engage with the central character and the subject matter *Skip's an outsider. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left behind, especially when he teams up with Billy, an old homeless man. Then come the bombs which bring little Max and Tia, the sad dancer with a tiny baby. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination, Skip's fragile new family tries to hold out as war grips the city, but too soon tragedy strikes when Tia dies. Max, Billy, Skip and the baby move on, to an old farm where they try to find new hope."

This sounds blooming brilliant and I am really looking forward to reading it. But just LOOK AT THAT COVER!!!! How amazing is that cover? The title placement and styling... I am in love with it! Pre-order this beaut right here!

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
"The book begins with a chase through the streets of Calcutta in May 1916. Lieutenant Peake pauses for breath outside the ruins of the Jheeter's Gate station knowing that he only has a few hours to live. Inside his overcoat he is sheltering two newborn babies - twins, a boy and a girl. Peake entrusts them Aryami Bose. Sixteen years later we meet the boy, Ben, and his friends. They have formed a secret club, The Chowbar Society, which meets each week at midnight in the old ruin they have christened The Midnight Palace. Then Aryami Bose turns up with Sheere, Ben's sister, and tells them the story of the parents they never knew. Their father was an engineer and writer who died in tragic circumstances at the inauguration of Jheeter's Gate station. But as the novel unfolds, there is more to their history than meets the eye and they are lured by a shadowy figure from the past into a final showdown in the ruins."

I loved Carlos' The Prince of Mist which was released over here last Summer and have been looking forward to reading more of his work! Thank the gods of publishing that this is on it's way! Loving the cover! Review of The Prince of Mist can be found here, and make sure you pre-order The Midnight Palace here!

Kidnap In The Caribbean by Lauren St John
"Laura cannot contain her excitement when she wins a trip to the Caribbean for herself and her uncle, Calvin Redfern, especially when her best friend, Tariq, and her three-legged husky, Skye, accidentally find themselves on board too. But when they dock at Antigua, they discover that Calvin Redfern has vanished, and Laura and Tariq are about to be kidnapped by the fearsome Straight A gang. Dramatic escapes, an erupting volcano and a race against time to stop the deadly undercover 'Marine Concern' make Laura's second adventure every bit as exciting as the first."

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Dead Man's Cove. I read it last Summer and it sure is an enjoyable read for guys and girls of any age. Very excited to read this one and loving the cover! Check out my review of Dead Man's Cove (which was even quoted on the paperback release!!! :D) right here, and pre-order the book here!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
"In SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they foughtto be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in"

I really enjoyed Maggie's first book of the trilogy, Shiver and liked the second book, Linger, just as much. So looking forward to this one! Review of Shiver here, and Linger here... and the obligatory pre-order here!

Be sure to check them out and look out for more exciting releases in the coming weeks as there are toones of brilliant new books coming out in time for people to devour on their Summer holidays! :D

Announcing 'Vampirate Week' - June 2011!

If you are a regular reader of the blog, or my tweets for that matter, or have even gone deep into the abyss of my reviews when I first started, you'll know I am a MASSIVE fan of Justin Somper and his Vampirates books. I think they are brilliant, and pretty much perfect in every way. And so therefore I am majorly, extremely, butterflies in my stomach, excited to read the sixth and final book, Immortal War which is published on 9th June (46 days according to Waterstones!!!!!!!!)!!!!!!!!!!!! And therefore, to show and really fulfill my excitement, I'd like to announce...

Yes that's right! :D VAMPIRATES WEEK is coming to EoB! There'll be lots of fun. Reviews of the past 5 books, all sorts. And of course a review of Immortal War! The fun all kicks off on 6th June so be there!

Friday 22 April 2011

Reminiscing Friday: Dawn of the Demontide

A new feature which I'm going to test out from time to time where I highlight reviews, and posts of old to see what I was reading this time last year! Not only just to see what I read reading  but also to show that while there are tonnes of amazing new books coming out, there are always some treasures just waiting to be discovered!

And today I start by highlighting my review of William Hussey's horrific beaut, Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide! Released last March I was lucky to recieve a review copy from the lovely folk at OUP!

Since then the second book in the series, Gallows at Twilight has been released and it to is a corker! With the third and final book, The Last Nightfall due for publication in September, 2011 looks set to be a good year for William! Make sure to check out the review HERE! and do not forget to check the books out! Cannot recommend them enough!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Book Screening

Yeah, I know what you're thinking... 2 posts in one day?! Wow! Ryan is on overtime! Ha... Anyway...

This is about a serious issue. Something that I myself have never experienced first hand but have just had a friend of mine tell me about. He's the same age as me and has a little brother who's 11. He's a very advanced reader for his age and loves reading in general. He's always asking his brother to ask me what he should be reading and on many occasions I've lent him ARC's to see what he thinks and never had much of a problem until recently. His mum found a copy of a book I lent him, The Hunger Games actually. He hadn't yet started reading it and his mum decided to have a ganders... What followed wasn't pretty.

She finished the book in a couple of hours and went storming in to him telling him that if he ever reads anything like that ever then it'll probably be the worst decision of his life. Not only would it mess him up but it'd also seriously affect his sleeping and his relationship with his parents as it portrays adults in a bad light. 

When my friend told me this I burst out lauging. "Are you serious?" I asked him and he was deadly serious. His mum was fuming and told him to give the book straight back to me. And as a result she is now screening everything he reads. He has to wait weeks to read some books and some are just completely out of the question. He owns the first 7 Alex Rider books and was eagerly anticipating the finale, Scorpia Rising and even ordered a copy with his own pocket money. His mum OPENED THE PACKAGE and read it and confiscated it straight away! Her excuse: Spies live dangerous lives and cause people to act stupidly,


His brother brought him Department 19 by Will Hill on my recommendation and gave it to his brother but his mum found it, confiscated the cover after declaring it looks horrific and full of violence. Then she proceeded to read it and said it was too much for an adult let alone teenagers.

It sounds completely unreal but I know it goes on. I've seen her. It's just... I can't begin to explain how sad it makes me feel. I've always been allowed total freedom as regards to what I read. When I didn't have my own money when I was in school my parents were more than happy to buy me a book. They didn't care what it was about so long as I got the enjoyment out of it that I sought. And I did. It hurts to know that there are people out there not allowed to enjoy such freedom just because of over protective children. I'm only 19 but I know that if kids want to do something they will in the end, regardless of what their parents say. They can't be protected forever, and the more they are restricted the more likely they are to take advantage at that first opportunity.

This sort of behaviour is terrible and as far as I'm concerned is totally unwarranted. Yes parents have a job to do, but there is a line and sometimes it's crossed by a margin too big to deny!

Rant over... Ha. 

In My Postbox #32

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all links take you to Amazon UK.

Hey girls and guys! It's that time of the week again! I meant to make a post last week but a sudden change in plans meant a day out in the sun with my family, and it's kind of a good thing I pushed it back to this week as even more beauts came through my postbox! :D


No Passangers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
This sounds VERY interesting. And I really like the cover! Thanks to Bloomsbury for this!

Euuugh! Eyeball Stew! by Alan MacDonald
Never read any of the Iggy books but this sounds like a great read and I'm looking forward to it! Again, thanks to Bloomsbury for this! 

The Devil's Triangle by Mark Robson
How brilliant does this look and sound? No need for answers. I know. Brilliant! Cannot wait to read this one at all! Thanks S&S! :D

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
I liked Hush, Hush a lot and have just never gotten around to getting this but now thanks to S&S I have a shiny new paperback copy! Looking forward to reading it.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
I've been waiting for this to come for months! That cover had me sold to begin with and then when I read the synopsis I just knew it was going to be a brilliant book and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Got this in from Puffin (thanks guys! :D!!!) and it jumped straight to the top of the reading pile. Started it and BAMN... Gone in a day. I loved it. Such an intense reading experience! Review will be coming soon!
(n.b, yeah, I realise I missed it on the photo. Oh well!)


I also brought some pretty cool books this week! 

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
I cannot describe just how excited I am about this book. The cover is amazing. You can't even begin to comprehend until you actually see it in the flesh. Next on my reading list actually! :D

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
At long last! :D I was so excited for this. I couldn't wait for my copy to come so I ordered the Kindle edition to come at midnight! Ha. Had to have it in my possession. Currently second on my reading list after Long Lankin so can't wait! Sure to be a good one, and the reviews have been brilliant!

Department 19 by Will Hill
I have already read this and think it is brilliant. Review to follow very soon! I just had to have a finished hardback copy in my possession! :D 

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer
This book is HUGE! It's the same size as the other books but so heavy! Major heavy! Pretty cool! So many pictures. Currently reading this in between reading other stuff and loving it!

And finally this week I got something pretty amazing on DVD!!!!

Already watched it at least 5 times and love it! Cannot wait till July to get to see Part 2! So sad it's nearly over!

So there you go guys, that's everything I got this week, and last, oh and a few from the week before! Ha! So what did you get?! Leave me a link in your comment and I'll check it out! Have a great week everyone! :)

Monday 11 April 2011

Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling [Review]

Written by: Curtis Jobling.
Published by: Puffin.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 6th January 2011.
Rating: 4.5/5

Official synopsis: "‘YOU’RE THE LAST OF THE WEREWOLVES SON. DON’T FIGHT IT . . . CONQUER IT.’ When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a vicious beast invades his home, his flesh tears, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms . . . Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan’s men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy. Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him – and master the animal within?"

This was the first book I read in 2011 so it had to make a massive impact. The first book of the year should always be a good one right? No pressure then!

 And Wereworld certainly didn't disappoint for a second! It ran along at a brilliant pace, twisting and turning in just the right places to keep you reading. I actually read it when it was a cold, rainy night and I was home alone (scary!) and this kind of added to the reading experience. The tense parts made me feel all gurgly in the pits of my stomach. I'm a bit of an intense reader at times, my mum calls me The Nutty Reader, because when I am well and truly taken in by a book I am quite literally insane. I shout, laugh, jump up, walk around in circles. And I'm not even joking! Ha. Sadly... Well Wereworld had me in a hither.

From start to finish it's gripping. I was taking in the claws of the wolf and wasn't released until I read that last page. Jobling has done an amazing job right here. It is the perfect beginning to what looks sure to be a brilliant trilogy for young boys, and girls of course, everywhere. I can see this actually making big waves. It would make a brilliant movie. When reading it, it kind of has this cinematic feel to it. You can imagine it so clearly, see the imagery, see the landscape, feel the breath of the wolf on your neck... in fact, I demand a film. In 3D please. Make it happen! ;)

Anyway, back to the book, I cannot praise Curtis enough on this one, and Puffin for publishing it. A brilliant way to start the year, in all honestly. If you do nothing else in 2010 make sure you read this one. Just look at that cover. It's worth owning it for the cover art alone let alone what is inside!

My thanks to Puffin for my copy!