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Currently reading: Vulture by Bex Hogan.

Friday 3 January 2014

Zom-B Gladiator by Darren Shan [Review]

Written by: Darren Shan.
Published by: Simon and Schuster.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 2nd January 2014.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Can you kidnap a zombie? Can money buy your life? Or can you only fight for it? B Smith has met her darkest challenge yet ..."


Oh, boy. Here we go again. Another year and another rollercoaster expected for fans of a certain horror author. Yes, that's right, Mr. Darren Shan is set to publish four main volumes in the Zom-B series, bringing us to nine volumes by the end of the year, and we also get an even smaller addition in the form of Zom-B Circus, a short novella written with the intention of being released as a £1 book for World Book Day before the event organisers deemed it would be too violent for them... Well... if Gladiator, the sixth entry in Shan's planned saga of twelve, is anything to go by I can understand why.

As the series is progressing it is getting steadily bloodier and gorier and I for one am loving it. With some of Darren's goriest scenes yet encapsulated in its 160 pages, Gladiator is also my favourite of the series so far. It delivers both in the deeper content and gore as it does in action and we meet one of Shan's most disgusting and frankly vulgar villains yet. I want to speak about this character so much but the fact that you don't really see him coming is needed for the story, so hopefully we can talk about him a bit more when Zom-B Mission comes out in March. If you've read Gladiator then you know full well who I am on about. Total shmuck, right?! So creepy...

We meet a few other bad guys in this book as well, after B is captured and forced to perform for the entertainment of some of the living that have taken up residence in London. Seriously, these guys are weird and not to be missed.

I also like that we do see B developing. She does a lot of internal thinking, things that she doesn't say to her fellow Angels and things that she needs to sort out in her own head - it makes her feel more, well, human, despite the fact she is actually just a walking, talking corpse now.

Anyway, back on topic... I'll keep my review short because there is only so much gushing one guy can do, and we are half way through the series now so if you haven't yet read the previous books (seriously, where have you been living, under a rock?) I don't want to spoil anything. All readers need to know about this book is that it's fun, just as pacey and well written as we have come to expect from Darren. Some would fear that four books a year, as well as an adult novel he has coming out this Summer as well would be too much and that with all that quantity, the quality would suffer. Well worry not, because the quality of these books is on the up and Darren shows no signs of stopping yet and rightly so. 

I cannot wait to see what Zom-B Mission has in store for us when it is published in March!

Thursday 2 January 2014

Anticipated Titles for 2014

I had meant to finish this post so it could go live yesterday, but family butted in on plans so it had to be put on hold... Anyway, there are loads of titles I'm excited about that are due to be released this year. There are sequels, stand alones, debuts, all sorts, so lets have a ganders, shall we?

Kicking off things this year is Mr. Darren Shan. The sixth book in his Zom-B series hits shelves, and e-readers, today in the UK, and later on in the month for US readers. It'll be followed in March by book seven, Zom-B Mission, and books 8 and 9 later in the year. But not only that, there is another Zom-B edition set to hit the shelves in March! It's called Zom-B Circus and Darren wrote it with the intention of it being released as part of the £1 book scheme surrounding World Book Day, but the event organisers said it would be too gory so decided not to go with it, but Darren being the awesome man that he is is going to release it anyway. Full details are to follow but it's coming! GREAT! Lots of zombie action for us this year, looking forward to it!

We also get a new book from the wonderful Keren David in January! Something I am very excited about. If you've read my blog over the last few years you'll of no doubt seen me mention When I Was Joe, Almost True and Another Life. Well, those books are phenomenal and it sounds like her new book, Salvage is going to be just as good. Keren's writing is always amazing and she isn't afraid to shy away from gritty subjects. The books surrounding Ty/Joe dealt with knife crime and witness protection and Salvage is about adoption. Very excited to read it, and luckily it's high up in my to read pile at the moment so it won't be long!

Then in February something very exciting that looks and sounds right up my street. One of our very own is making her debut this year, oh yes! Book blogger turned authoress, Liz de Jager is about to publish the first novel in a trilogy surrounding faries, battles, and I've been told hot boys? Who doesn't want that, huh? I do. And the cover is a beaut as well. It's going to look so good on the shelves and in peoples hands whilst they read it. I for one cannot wait. It's called Banished and it is the first in The Blackhart Legacy trilogy! We're all rooting for you Liz! 

In March of course, a sequel comes that I have been dying to read ever since I read the last book in the series. Zero Hour is the fourth book in Will Hill's utterly incredibly Department 19 series. It hardly feels real, I remember getting the proof of the first book when there was all this secrecy around it, and now we're sat here waiting for the penultimate book in the series. I dread to think what sort of state I'm going to be in this time next year waiting to see what Will has in store for the finale. Bring it on, Will, bring it on!

May see's the return of James Dawson. After his debut in 2012 with Hollow Pike and last years Cruel Summer being so damn good, the fanbase for Mr. Dawson is growing daily. And this year he is set to take on a tale most horrifying - that of Bloody Mary. I for one am a little nervous about reading this book because I don't do all that well with phycological thrillers and scary things, just because I am generally a bit of a woos. It sounds amazing though and I love the cover. Cannot wait! 

June see's the release of another debut. I have already read this one actually, thanks to the wonders of Edelweiss and the awesome Harper Collins Teen US team who gave me access to a copy for my Kindle. It's creepy, it's dark, it's exciting and it is one that shouldn't be missed at any costs. I am of course talking about The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. Again, blogger turned author, only Lindsay is from across the pond in America! I'm not aware of a UK publisher picking this book up yet but it's brilliant so it shouldn't be long. Fear not, though, good old Book Depository is on the case! You can pre-order it there for free worldwide shipping and it is so worth it! Trust me! Argh! So good. Before that though there will be a prequel novella, The Fear Trials on sale in May which you can pre-order for your Kindle right now, even in the UK! Buzz!

The summer will also see some annual publications that I always look forward to. The fifth book in Pittacus Lore's Lorien Legacies is due to be published in August, as is the third book in Michelle Pavers' awesome Gods and Warriors series. Neither of these books have names yet, but they're sure to be favourites for me upon their publication.

Other books that deserve an honorary mention that are due out this year are...

Stolen is a prequel novella set before the start of the first book in Erin Bowman's Taken trilogy which debuted last year with Taken. Stolen is due out on 4th February and is available to pre-order right now for your Kindle at the low low price of 99p. BAGAIN! It is followed in April by the second book in the trilogy, Frozen, which I personally cannot wait for. I'm so excited to see it in the flesh as well because the design of the covers of this trilogy is truly stunning!

This year also see's the end to a trilogy I am truly in love with. It's so good, so epic, so well written. I am of course talking about Elizabeth Richards Black City trilogy. The second book, Phoenix blew me away last year and was one of my favourite books too, so I have high hopes and excitement for this finale due in June. Wings also has my favourite cover of the trilogy. It's so cool. It looks like it should be framed and hung up for all to see, right? So excited!

Also, we get new Cat Clarke this year! YAYAYAYAYA! A Kiss in the Dark is Cat's fourth novel and one I am so excited to read. I read her last book, Undone right at the tail end of 2012 so it's been an awfully long time coming for me. Honestly, if you haven't read anything by Cat yet, just do it. Do it do it do it do it. Her writing is so addictive, so gritty, so good. Just do it.
And we get a sequel of sorts to Malorie Blackman's Boys Don't Cry which was one of my absolute favourites when it was published a few years back. Heart Break Girl tells the other side of the story, it shows why Mel dumped her baby with its father in the first book. It sounds great, I love the cover and I cannot wait to read more about these characters.
Now, I could go on and on and on and on. But then we'd be here all week and we've got places to go, people to see, books to read, right?! RIGHT! So I'm going to leave it there. There are so many more which just goes to show how exciting it looks like 2014 is going to be for us readers. It's already sounding like this years end of year lists are going to be even harder to judge than last years! Bring it on! Haha!
Have I missed off anything you're excited about? Maybe I haven't heard about it, just leave a comment below letting me know what you're excited for in 2014.

Happy reading.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

New Years, New Resolutions

Hey guys. First off... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

So, I've been pretty quiet lately. There's been a lot going on in my life personally that I'm not going to go in to but 2014 looks like it is going to be one freaking awesomesauce year and I cannot wait to get it started. There also look to be a lot of amazing books coming out soon too... In fact, there's a post going up later about my most anticipated releases of the year so be sure to check that out to see if we're excited about the same titles or if there's something there you are yet to discover!

So, yeah, resolutions. I only have one. To be a better blogger. I know. Kind of predictable right? But it's true. I want to post more. Review more. You guys have been awesome, I've just checked the stats page and it's ridiculous how many views the blog still gets even when I'm not posting, so thanks for sticking with me.

Thanks to all the awesome publishers who send me proofs and stuff to review. I'm off work at the moment till next week and I am reading as much as I can and already have a few reviews to be writing up. So lets get to it guys. 2014, bring it on!