Review: Forbidden (The Demon Trappers) by Jana Oliver

Forbidden (The Demon Trappers, #2)Riley's beginning to think being a demon trapper isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her dad's been stolen by a necromancer, her boyfriend's gone all weird and she's getting warm and fuzzy feelings for someone who's seriously bad news. It's tempting to give it all up and try to be normal, but that's not an option. Because the demons have plans for Riley. And they're not the only ones.


Firstly, I have to say that Forsaken, the first book in this series, was one of those books that despite the flaws, I loved completely, so when I receive Forbidden in the post, I think I may have squeed. A lot. Then I worried a little, wondering whether this book would be one that I would be adding to my 'Sequels that suck' pile.


Nope, I'm so adding this to my 'Sequels That Totally Improve The Whole Series' pile. Forbidden had the same action and mystery that Forsaken did, a love story, some twists and turns and a fantastic final page, my verdict? Amazing. This book grabbed me the same way that Forsaken did and didn't release me until I reached that very last page, in fact, it got me so absorbed that I was reading it at work...


One of the flaws that I found in the first book was the love triangle, this is cleared up by the end of this book, leaving only one likely candidate for Riley, (which makes me very happy, especially considering who it was). In Forsaken, I was so Team Simon, my allegiance shifted to Beck throughout this one, which meant that there were numerous times when I wanted to slap him across the face and call him a total idiot, Simon... oh my! He just turned totally psycho and Ori... well I never did trust him. I do like the way the relationships changed throughout Forbidden it made me like it a lot more.


Riley, as always, is the perfect protagonist. Feisty and strong-willed, she makes some pretty stupid decisions but I understood them, at times I felt that she got a little angsty and whiney, but this isn't often. I didn't support a lot of her actions but when they backfired I really felt sympathy for her.


My biggest issue with Forbidden is that, because the book is similar to other books in the same genre (I'm going to mention Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda in particularaly), I expected some of the twists and turns, so the climactic, enlightening part near the end wasn't a big surprise to me, and this meant that it wasn't as exciting as it should have been for me.   


Overall, Forbidden was a great addition to the series, with all the action, romance and mystery as Forsaken plus some. I am so excited to read the next book in the series and commend Oliver on her amazing storytelling and ability to absorb me in such a fantastic story.



Overall rating: A

Stand alone/series: Second in the series. Preceded by Forsaken (review here)
UK Release: August 5th 2011
Publisher: Panmacmillan
Book obtained via: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review  

Guest Post - Rhett Metz (Co-author of Gypsy Knights)

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Rhett Metz to the blog, Rhett is one half of Two Brothers Metz, the sibling duo that penned the fantastic Gypsy Knights (Find my review here). I'll let Rhett introduce himself from here! Enjoy and please comment and show your respect to Rhett for taking time out of his busy schedule for me!

Buy the way - my advice? BUY THE BOOK!

Onto Rhett:

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First off, thanks so much to Jade for letting us share her blog for the day–we’re really excited to be here!

Lafe and I usually write our guest posts in a back-and-forth about an experience we had while writing Gypsy Knights. But – Lafe is in Idaho camping right now… so that leaves the guest post in my hands!

I thought it might be cool to do a top 3 list. Here are my top 3 favorite moments from Gypsy Knights, and a bit of background on them.


3. Casey rescues Duri.
The Scene: The story opens with our main character – Durriken Brishen “Duri” (14) – and his parents racing toward a hospital (Duri’s parents have been poisoned). A car crash ensues, and Duri’s parents drowned in the Weber River in Utah. Casey is the first female freight train engineer in the US (the story is set in the 1960’s). She is big and tough and an absolute teddy bear at heart. She stops her train when she sees the crash and rescues a nearly hypothermic Duri and his 6-toed cat, Nightshade. Casey ends up unofficially adopting Duri.

Background: When in doubt about naming a character, we always turn to baseball. The sport has a long history of amazing names. Casey Musial is named for Mighty Casey and Stan Musial. Her other character traits blossomed naturally.
Nightshade was inspired by a trip to the Hemmingway house in Key West. Those six-toed cats are totally awesome!
Trains – we love them. There’s something so romantic, so American, and so Romani (which is the correct term for the culture many insensitively refer to as “Gypsy”) about trains. How can you not love them?


2. The Mississippi Mud
The Scene: I don’t want to give away too much here. There are two main characters. They’re 14. Dilia, the girl, is Guatemalan/American and Duri, the boy, is Romani/American. Their relationship is…contentious. They are hopping box cars, criss-crossing America, searching for Duri’s lost Grandfather. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by a madman. There is quite a bit of tension. It builds to a rather romantic moment that takes place on the shores of the Mississippi River. 

Background: There are a number of fun things going on in this scene that only the close readers will pick up on. We have an earring theme, a chess theme, a travel theme, and a coming-of-age theme that are all at the forefront. Of course, as hopelessly pathetic as Lafe and I were at 14, Duri has some of our shortcomings but – unlike us at his age – he has some success too!


1. Lucile the Boiler
The Scene: Duri is piloting a train across the American Great Plains. He and Dilia have recently had a series of skirmishes with each other. When Duri jilts Dilia and embarrasses her in front of the freight train’s crew, she responds in shocking fashion. 

Background: Okay, yes, I wrote this scene. Perhaps I’m partial J When I finally came up with the action Dilia would take that was essentially the nuclear option, I was giddy to put it down on paper! You’ll have to check out the book to see what she does! 

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About the Authors: Two Brothers Metz (Rhett and Lafe) live in Pittsburgh. Gypsy Knights, Book One of the Gypsy Knights Saga, is their debut novel. We would love to hear from you, feel free to write to us at twobrothersmetz@gmail.com

Amazon Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Knights-Saga-ebook/dp/B0051VRLRS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311821709&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gypsy-knights-two-brothers-metz/1031249018

GoodReads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11558161-gypsy-knights

Twitter:
@twobrothersmetz

Review: Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Quest (Tiger's Curse Series #2)Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest-this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.


I hate sequels. I especially hate sequels to books that I totally loved. I hate how they never live up to my expectations and despite being very nervous I was really hoping that Tiger's Quest would prove me wrong.


I'm afraid to say that it didn't. While Tiger's Quest was a nice read, it didn't hold me the same way that Curse did and there were so many times that i wanted to just slam this book down in frustration and put it down as a Did Not Finish. I'm glad that I didn't though because while I didn't love Tiger's Quest, I still enjoyed it, some parts more than others. The story is still captivating, with mysteries and puzzles and a good dosing of romance but I didn't find it as interesting as I did the first, or as intense. It just seemed quite slow to me.


I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this book. While I feel that the start was slow, towards the end of the book the pace really picks up. There are also a few romantic moments and a lot of comedic moments, and lots of Kishan! I really liked how Kishan, who is the 'other guy' in the love triangle actually had a personality and background. While I tend to dislike love triangles, Kishan was a nice enough guy and I really grew to like him in this book.


I think that what really annoyed me in this book was Kelsey. She annoyed me majorly in this book and while in Curse I liked her, in Quest I couldn't even bring myself to support her cause. Firstly, she was very whiny in this book and I hate the whiny heroines, at the beginning of this book Kelsey is trying to get over Ren, who she left in the first book so I couldn't give her any sympathy... how does she try to get over him? Date three guys at once! I just couldn't support her in that, I was like 'make your mind up girl!' then Ren comes along, her true love, the guy she was pining for and she's suddenly all over him as well... while dating two other guys. Then she gets with Ren, then she has to leave Ren behind and go on an adventure with Ren's smouldering brother Kishan then she starts to fall in love with him. I could not stand her whiny indecisiveness.


I also didn't enjoy the writing as much as I did the first book as well, the book was 500 pages long but I felt that Houck put a lot of pointless sentences in there, reading like that really annoying person you know's Facebook statuses 'I went to the toilet then I had an apple, after eating half of the apple, I threw it in the bin.', these lines made the story very monotonous and had me bored. Most of the time, Houck's writing style held all of the magnificence of the first book, which is what kept me reading, but at some times I felt that the standard dropped to mediocre and I had to really force myself to push through.


All in all, Tiger's Quest may not be as good as Tiger's Curse and lovers of the first book should not set their expectations too high, however the story is great, the writing is generally magnificent and Kishan is in it lots, making this book full of sexy hot tigers! While I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped, I would still recommend it to paranormal fans.


Overall rating: B-
Stand alone/series: Second in the series (after Tiger's Curse)
UK Release: June 9th 2011
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Book obtained via: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

In My Mailbox (29th July 2011)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

I've done a vlog this week - hopefully you can hear, but if now, just check out the list underneath the video for the books that I received!




Books mentioned:
My So Called Afterlife - Tamsyn Murray (sent by Piccadilly Press)
Fifty, Fifty - S.L Powell (sent by Piccadilly Press)
The Legacy - Gemma Malley (sent by Bloomsbury)
The Princess Plot - Kirsten Boie (sent by Chicken House)
Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye - Alison Goodman (sent by Random House)
Eona: Return of the Dragoneye -Alison Goodman (sent by Random House)
Lottie Biggs is not Tragic - Hayley Long (sent by Panmacmillan)
Overprotected - Jennifer Laurens (sent by the author)


Review: Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner by Dalya Moon

Charlie Woodchuck is the most minor of niners. She’s the youngest girl at Snowy Cove High School, and so clueless, she wore leg warmers and acid-wash jeans on her first day. Big mistake! Almost as big a mistake as signing up for a boys-only shop class. 

Just when she thinks the first week of high school can't get any weirder, Charlie discovers she may be adopted. According to the genetics section in her Science textbook, her eyes should be blue, not brown. 

Before she graduates from the ninth grade, the girl with the boy's name and the wrong eye color will have to use her detective skills to discover her true identity. She'll use power tools to build fantastical wood creations, and before the year ends, she'll have to face down the biggest bullies of all: the all-powerful members of Snowy Cove’s School Board.

Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner is a really quick read, but totally entertaining nonetheless. 

While this is a middle grade slice-of-life book, the tone is completely different. This book is set in the 1980s and so there is no reference to internet and phones, something that you see a lot of in modern day contemporary books. For me, as a noughties teen through and through, this was a bit of a culture shock, but it just made it totally fresh and original and the story itself is modern even if the setting isn't.

What I totally loved about Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner was Charlie. I think that she is one of the most relateable protahonists I have read in a long time because I totally remember being just like her when I was fourteen years old, nerdy, rebellious and totally socially awkward so I totally got Charlie's reactions and behaviour, which made this book all the better for me. I can also relate to her feelings because she goes through a lot of the things most kids go through at that age - new school, bullying, meeting new friends and losing old friends as well as her own personal problems, which make this book deep but also very entertaining.

This book runs just like any other middle grade book, with the ordinary everyday events mixed in with crazy moments which have you laughing, a particular favorite was Charlie's ride in the doghouse to the board meeting (hah, got you interested now, haven't I?) and that had me laughing like crazy. I also loved the puppy love budding between Charlie and class clown Ross, they were adorable!

While there were some tiny issues, for example I found that the scenes switched too fast and it was all a bit rapid to me, I found this book to be a short, sweet and totally entertaining read. I would recommend it to the kids of the 70/80s and their kids as well!

Overall rating: B+

Book obtained via: Received from the author



Author Interview - Anne Tibbets, Author of The Beast Call

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming the fantastic Anne Tibbets to my blog. Anne is the author of the  fantastic fantasy The Beast Call and co-author of The Amulet Chronicles.


Find my review of The Beast Call here


Onto the interview!

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Hi Anne, thanks for stopping by today!
It's a pleasure, thanks for having me!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a former script writer for children's television, who rediscovered my love for novels after I quit the biz to have kids.  I'm a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fan Geek and I love a good super hero flick.  I read just about everything, be it adult or YA. I'm not picky.
And no, I'm not a natural red head, but I should have been.  It's one of the many injustices in the universe.

Can you tell us a little about The Beast Call?
'The Beast Call' is about a simple farm girl who runs away from a crummy family and through her magical ability to communicate with animals, and her natural talent for sword play, ends up saving her world.

Now try and describe The Beast Call in three words...
Action. Magic. Destiny.

Where did the inspiration for The Beast Call come from?
There was a time when I played World of Warcraft.  Don't judge, it can be pretty fun! I don't have time to play anymore, but when I did, I was a Night Elf Druid.  Druids can turn into animals, and I LOVED that about them, being an animal lover myself.  But I didn't want to copy it exactly, and I wanted the heroine to be as relatable as possible, so I made her human. So I made her a human with telepathic abilities with animals, then created a world where that could be more of a curse than a blessing.

I know what you mean... The Beast Call had me wanting to play Runescape again! Did you plan for it to be young adult from the start or did it just happen as you wrote it?
It was planned as YA. I love, love, love, love (did I mention I love this?) 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and I wanted so much to create a strong, teenage, reluctant heroine, similar to Buffy.

The heroine, Dray, is pretty kick-ass and independent, who are your top three literary heroines and why?
Eowyn from 'Return of the King' - Lord of the Rings #3 (Her, 'I am no man!' scene sends me into fits of happy giggles)
Elizabeth Bennet from 'Pride and Prejudice' - (A simple, smart girl with an embarrassing family)
Lisel from 'The Book Thief' - (that girl can endure!)

The description of the world, Madis, in The Beast Call is just gorgeous, but what are your top three fantasy worlds and why?
Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings) - the majesty, the medieval similarities between that world and this, the grand scope of it.
Icewind Dale (Forgotten Realms) - the harshness of the land, yet the gruff loyalty of the people (Drizzt, especially)
Hogwarts (Harry Potter) - what person did not read that book and immediately wish for a letter of acceptance? It's fun, exciting, magical and rich with texture.

If you could meet any three author in the world, who would it be? 
R.A. Salvatore
J.K. Rowling
Lois Lowry
I didn't even have to think about it...

Do you have any upcoming works you'd like to shamelessly advertise here? 
Come September, I will continue to work on 'The Beast Reign' - the sequel to 'The Beast Call.' I hope to have it ready by early 2012, if not sooner. I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out!

Finally, is there something you would like to say to my readers?
Thank you so much for the wonderful support! It means the world to me, truly.

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Please show your support for Anne and buy the book, it is available at the following links:

Apple iBook ($0.99)
B&N Nook ($0.99)
Smashwords ($0.99)

Review: The Beast Call by Anne Tibbets

The Beast Call (The Beast Girl Series)Seventeen year old Dray is no ordinary human. But possessing a magical capability to talk to animals in a land where magic is feared, is dangerous. When Dray's adventure hungry brother leaves the family farm to join a rebel militia, Dray follows him, but as Dray discovers her natural warrior capabilities, and word of her magical talents are discovered by the rebel General, Dray becomes an intricate part of the revolution, and the evil King Nuro would like nothing more than to see her destroyed.


Okay, so I received this book around a month ago from the author and finally got around to the review today... bad Jade! Life just seems to get in the way doesn't it.


What really captured me in this book was the gorgeous writing, it's been a very long time since I've read a fantasy book with such beautiful description. I was drawn in by the wording from page one and throughout the book it just improved. I could totally envision this world which really made this fantasy read very authentic.


As any reader of my blog will probably already know, I am a gigantic lover of fantasy and the story in The Beast Call really hit the spot for me. With similar concepts to many fantasy novels it may not be the most unique story out there, but it does have some originality and any lack of is made up for by the fantastic storytelling, gorgeous story and absolutely amazing characters. Readers of my blog will also know that I like a good dosing of romance served with my story. There isn't a lot of romance in the story, but strangely, this didn't bother me at all, and that is saying something!


The characters in this book are great, for a short book there is a good amount of character development - we see Dray go from slop queen, the family slave, to a kick-ass heroine who definitely makes it onto my 'most awesome book ladies' list and it was a fantastic process to observe. We also see her gain new friends, allies and skills. The other characters are also amazing to read, I especially loved Dray's brother who also goes through his own development.


All in all, The Beast Call is a fantastic fantasy with magic, romance and adventure and one of the most kick-ass heroines I've read in a very long time! It's also a very quick read 
which will totally fill your fantasy quota! Totally recommended!



Overall rating: A-


Book obtained via: Received from the author