Currently Reading

Currently reading: Vulture by Bex Hogan.

Sunday 28 April 2013

ACID by Emma Pass [Review]

Written by: Emma Pass.
Published by: Random House.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 25th April 2013.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember. The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago."

Sometimes a book really, really surprises you. You look forward to it for well over a year and then you get to hold it, finally, in your grubby little hands, knowing that you can devour every last page and no one can stop you. You fully expect to enjoy it, like it, love it even, but then sometimes, something magical happens. You don't love it. You adore it. You worship it even. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what happened to me when I read this book. ACID by Emma Pass.

Announced by publisher, Random House, way way WAY back in late 2011, excitement has been bubbling away and steadily increasing for ACID. A dystopian with an unmistakable British feel. Yes, it's set in the UK... or should I say the Independent Republic of Britain, rather? It makes a nice change to read something like this and it not be set in America. In a world of Hunger Games and Divergents which are obviously set in America/Panem, it's refreshing and really helps ACID to stand out in the crowd. That and the fact that it is freaking awesome!

ACID is a stunning and unmistakable British dystopian debut that stands out from the crowd and wows. Right from the start it's action packed. It's so cinematic - honestly it would be perfect for a Hollywood adaptation, or a mini-series on TV or something. It's just so beautiful and full of great imagery that really gets to you deep inside your head. You can imagine it so well - such is the quality of Pass' writing.

Firing on all cylinders  Jenna Strong is determined to get away from ACID, the over-baring, manipulating and brainwashing, horrific police force that rule the country in a grip stronger than iron - they control everything. Who you marry, when you can and children and even if it will be a boy or a girl! They control if you can have a job, and where. It's illegal to do so many things - freedom has well and truly been taken away from the people. And while ACID may want people to look like they're good, helping their country to regain some sense of prosperity, they are far darker and evil that can first be antipated. They have a slight liking of brainwashing, or as they call it, cognitive realignment with some devastating effects. 

Written in first person, you really get a grip on the world encased within that gorgeous, striking cover. There are twists and turns that will leave you reeling, gasping "NO! NO NO NO NO NO! THAT CANNOT HAPPEN... THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN... NOOOOO!" and still have you begging for more, continuing on until the very end before you even realise it. And the ending. Gah. Just such a good ending that brings with it some closure, is satisfying and yet still leaves you demanding a sequel... There's more... Please Emma... Tell me there's more!!!

At the start of the book, Jenna is in Mileway. An all male prison - she is the lone female in the prison but her crime was so bad that she deserves to be there in ACID's eyes... She killed her parents. With the help of a relative stranger, Jenna breaks out of prison and goes on the run, her life in more danger than it ever has been before and this takes her further than she is used to. From London she travels to Newcastle, with a little trip to Manchester along the way too but the less I say about that now, the more you'll be "OMG"-ing when you read it... 

Because you're going to read it. Right? You have to. It's not a suggestion! I honestly cannot stress enough just how much people need to get this book now and read it straight away. Now. It's so well written, so well thought out, and so well executed that it's instantly become a firm favourite of mine and I cannot wait to see what Emma does next. I've gushed like a right little fangirl all week to Emma on twitter and every chance I've had I've told people they just need to read this book - no matter what! The little taster for Fearless, Emma's next book, out next year, already has me salivating at the mouth just dying to read it!

Thanks to Random House for my review copy. You guys are awesome! And thanks Emma! You got me out of a little reading funk there and really shook things up! My Top 10 of 2013 is going to be a toughie this year... So many stunning reads already! ARGH!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

First look at Justin Somper's ALLIES AND ASSASSINS!

The last Vampirates book, Immortal War was published in 2011 - it's hard to believe that 2 years have passed so fast! And now Justin Somper is gearing up for the start of a new saga. Enemies of the Prince is the name of the new series, and it's being published by Little Brown. In hardback! Eep. I always wanted hardback editions of the Vampirates books but the UK publisher released them all exclusively in paperback so no such luck there, but I am so excited we get this new series in hardback.

Book One is called Allies and Assassins and it is out on 5th September. I cannot wait! I love the cover which was officially unveiled earlier today!! Kind of has a Brent Weeks sort of feel to it! Will definitely look eye-catching in hardback!

"A stunning new crossover fantasy from the bestselling author of Vampirates
They killed his brother. Now they're coming for him. . .
As the second prince of Archenfield, Jared never asked to be more than the spare. But behind the walls of the castle is a dark and dangerous court where murder and intrigue are never far below the surface.
Now his older brother is dead. The kingdom is his. And the target is on his back. Can he find the assassin before the assassin finds him?"

Sunday 21 April 2013

Department 19: Battle Lines by Will Hill [Review]

Written by: Will Hill.
Published by: HarperCollins.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 28th March 2013.
Rating: (Of course...) 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Secret government unit Department 19 is recovering from evil vampire Valeri Rusmanov's deadly attack on their base. The Department’s newest member, teenage operator Jamie Carpenter, is tasked with training up a new squad, as his friends and colleagues desperately search for ways to try to stop what is coming. The timing couldn't be worse for a coordinated, global attack on a number of maximum security prisons and hospitals—with the already-dangerous inmates now on the loose and turned into vampires. One of the escapees has a deep connection to one of the darkest moments in the history of Department 19 and embarks on a quest that threatens to expose the existence of vampires to the public. And with each day that passes, the regenerated Dracula gets stronger, bringing Zero Hour closer. In this third instalment of the epic Department 19 series, Will Hill delivers higher—and sharper—stakes than ever before."

Do you ever read a book and wonder just how, exactly, the author is going to top it with the next instalment? I did when I read The Rising, the second book in Will Hill's Department 19 series. I'd loved the first book, but the second book blew me away even more - it was my favourite book that I read last year! He can't top this, I thought... It's just too damn epic... Well guess what folks? He did. Will Hill topped it and done so in spectacular style.

Jamie and friends at the Loop are still recovering from the attack on their base in the concluding scenes of the previous book. With Department leader, General Henry Seward, gone, taken by Valeri during the attack, and with many killed during those bloody few hours, the department is struggling to get back on its feet. They're managing - recruiting and training every day.

But things are about to get worse. All over the world, high security prisons are being targeted by the legions of vampires that sense Dracula's return, that sense that Zero Hour is not far off, and an army is amassing. Prisoners soon turn up with a horrifying thirst for blood - but they seem different, stronger, more powerful, more dangerous.

It's down to the department to stop them as well as track down Dracula before it's too late - the clock is ticking.

And meanwhile, Larissa is in America, at the legendary Area 51 which turns out to be the US's version of the Department back in the UK!

Holy cow I cannot express just what Will Hill and his books do to me. It's like they're all that matter in the world for however long it takes you to read it's behemoth 700 or so pages. You might think that reading a book that long would be a chore some times but with Will, that is not the case - the book is so full of action, gore, blood and teen angst that the pages just fly by at breakneck speed, and when you reach the end you feel a hollow sensation in the pit of your stomach. A sadness even that you've come to the end and now a horrifying and torturous twelve month wait begins for the next instalment.

I'm not really going to say much more - if I do I'll spoil the book and I know how angry I'd be if it was spoiled for me. Just know that Will Hill is once again on top form and showing just why he deserves every success that comes his way. His writing, as ever is clear, fluid and engaging and drives you perfectly through the twists and turns of the story contained within.

Battle Lines just proves to me even more why this series is fast becoming one of my favourite. It's so well executed. The story itself, the monsters - they don't feel clich├ęd at all, they're exactly what they should be, blood thirsty, bone crunching, human eating monsters. The characters are all believable and well rounded, and they contrast together brilliantly. It is well on it's way to being my top read of 2013, like it's predecessor was for 2012!

I don't think anything I can say can truly explain or show just how much I love these books. I just wish I could hibernate from right now till next March when Book 4 comes out. God it's so far away. ARGH!!!

My thanks to HarperCollins for my review copy!

The Fall of Five US cover art...

So the UK cover for The Fall of Five, the fourth book in Pittacus Lore's Lorien Legacies was revealed last month and now we get a glimpse at what the American edition looks like. I for one love their cover and like that they're publisher hasn't changed the style at all. Our once seem to change every book so they don't really match that well, but oh well - they're still good!

It's out in August and I cannot wait!!

Thursday 18 April 2013

Divergent 3 finally gets a title...

Eep. I've been waiting for this day for ages. The day that the title for the third and final book in the Divergent series will finally FINALLY be announced!

I'll be honest, part of me had hoped for it to be called Convergent, just because I like that word. But Allegiant it is and Allegiant it shall be. I just cannot wait to read it. The cover is being unveiled next month and the book itself is out, as you can see above, on 22nd October! Can't wait!

What do you guys think of the title? Do you like it? Are you excited to read it, regardless of what it's called?

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Anthony Horowitz' The Power of Five gets new UK cover look

Walker UK have unveiled the new cover look for Anthony's The Power of Five series which concluded last year with the publication of the epic Oblivion. I for one am a big fan of the series, and adore the original artwork, so this new look may take some getting used to, but it is nice! Check it out below...

The new look Power of Five series will be available from 4th July in the UK!

Saturday 13 April 2013

Anthony Horowitz' RUSSIAN ROULETTE gets US artwork

So the long awaited Yassen book is finally coming out. Anthony has been talking about this book for years. The last time he'll tackle the world of Alex Rider and it's something of a prequel, surrounding a certain assain, Yassen! I for one am looking forward to it, and now we get our first glimpse into what Anthony has in store for us. The US artwork has appeared online, on Borders and Amazon so it's safe to say things are about to kick off. I can't wait to see what Walker have up their sleeves for the UK cover!

"Every story has a beginning. For teen secret-agent Alex Rider, that beginning occurred prior to his first case for MI6, known to all as Stormbreaker. By the time that mission came to be, Alex's father, a secret-agent in his own right, has been murdered. And when Alex's uncle was murdered by the assassin Yassen Gregoravich, Alex was essentially left orphaned. Yet at the conclusion of the novel, when Yassen has the chance to kill a vengeful-minded Alex, he chooses not to. This story tells us why.
Much in the way that Alex's uncle mentored Alex, preparing him for a life in espionage, Alex's father once mentored Yassen. Yassen was the original Alex Rider—a teenager meant to work for MI6. Instead, he turned rogue assassin.
This web of emotion and deceit forms the basis of the last of the Alex Rider novels, a spy thriller in the vein of classic James Bond for teens.
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of STORMBREAKER, ARK ANGEL, CROCODILE TEARS, SCORPIA RISING, and the rest of the acclaimed Alex Rider novels comes the spy thriller readers have been waiting for."

Russian Roulette is out in October.

Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket [Review]

Written by: Lemony Snicket.
Published by: Egmont.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 23rd October 2012.
Rating: 3/5.

Official synopsis: "In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume."

Several years ago now, I was a massive fan of the A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket. There was an air of mystery about them. This sense of fun and I couldn't wait to read the next instalment. Although, for myself, the series ended somewhat disappointingly, the news that there was a new series coming from Snicket excited me all these years later.

I'd been quite excited to be honest, but when I actually got the book and read it it was kind of a mixed experience. It was nice to be thrown into complete mystery again but now aged 21, I found it a tad off... Almost boring. The fact that so little happens in the book and the actual way it is written actually annoyed me slightly. I'm finding it hard to say what I actually want to - I don't know how to say it.

I shall read the second book. I can't not. Who know's... maybe it'll be the turning point in the series for me and I'll love it. I didn't dislike this book - I just didn't love it. One thing is for sure though, the Snicket quirkiness is still there so it felt familiar and was just what I needed at the time of reading.

More Than This cover revealed!

I'll admit I haven't read the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. It's a fact I know many bloggers would probably have stern words with me about, but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. I have all 3 on my Kindle so one day I will. But I have read A Monster Calls and I have a copy of The Crane Wife sitting high and pretty on my reading pile, so it's fair to say I do like me a bit of Patrick Ness! And I am hell-a excited for his next book. We know pretty much nothing really, but it sounds awesome from what we do know and the cover is AMAZING! Feast your eyes upon it's beauty! And roll on September so we can read it!

"A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . ."

Monday 1 April 2013

Taken by Erin Bowman [Review]

Written by: Erin Bowman.
Published by: HarperCollins.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 16th April 2013.
Rating: /5.

Official synopsis: "There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?"

If ever there is a book that is just screaming out to be made into an action-packed, Hollywood blockbuster, then here it is. Taken is a heart-pounding, nerve-racking, mind blowing roller-coaster of emotions, action, battles and a kiss or two.

At present, this book does not have a UK publisher (something that needs to change right this instant) and I was lucky enough to get an eARC for my Kindle thanks to the awesome Harper US team on Edelweiss and I was so so so excited to read it. I did hold off a little but but the temptation finally got the better of me and I just had to start it. 

And boy did I fall head over heels for this book. The writing is so clear, so crisp and so engaging that I was right there in Claysoot with Gray, Blaine and co as they prepared for Blaine's heist. Blaine is Gray's older brother, and we meet them on Blaine's eighteenth birthday. Everyone knows that all the boys are heisted when they turn eighteen. Nothing can stop it. No one knows where they go. No one knows what happens to them or if they live beyond the heist itself. It is just one of life's mysteries. But soon after Blaine is gone, questions start to spring up in Gray's mind, a year younger than his brother, he is tired of waiting. He wants answers. And Gray doesn't have the patience to sit around and wait for the answers to come to him - he's impulsive and goes to the answers himself. But that means climbing the Wall. Everyone that has ever done it before has died. But when Gray finds out that all is not as it seems and that he has missed his own heist, can he survive beyond the confines of the wall as well?

I'm going to say it. I love Gray. He is just... GAH! Amazing. He's impulsive, rash, dark and brooding. He's just a brilliant, brilliant main character, main protagonist. His voice is so right and guides you smoothly through the world in which the characters live in. I don't want to give much away but this book is so twisty and tightly wound that anything I could say could give things away...

Everything about Taken is so vivid. From the stunning cover you can see above, to the imagery and the contrast between Claysoot and Taem (wait till you get to Taem...) and the two completely different worlds in which they live was fascinating. I'd find myself querying my own mind. Wait... a minute ago they were all using bows and arrows and didn't have electricity... and now there are light bulbs .. huge screens... guns... Oh... yeah! Duh, did you not just read that last bit... As you were. It's just so cool and something that made this a fun read as well.

Something that has struck me is that there are few books that fall under the dystopian genre that are narrated by a guy... And this was refreshing. In a world of Katniss, Triss and co, we needed a Gray in there to shake things up, throw something new into the mix, and thankfully Taken has answered our prayers.

The other characters besides the swoon-worthy Gray are well balanced too. Emma - Gray feels for her but doesn't want to get too close, a result of the way life is back in Claysoot, he doesn't want to have to leave. Blaine - the big brother who is always looking out for his kid brother, making sure he is okay over himself. And Bree - the rebel who Gray is drawn to.

Full of sacrifice, heartache, questions that demand answers - I just cannot explain just how much I love this book. Like I am already having withdrawal symptoms and I didn't finish the book even an hour ago! I need Book Two now. Like right now. I need to see what happens next. I just need it for my sanity. 2014 is a very, very long way away. I might just go into hibernation... That sounds like a very good plan to me!

Just get this book, at any and all costs - you will not be disappointed!