Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.

I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.

My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

Oh Julie Kagawa, why did it take so long for you to write a book as awesome as this. Why couldn't you just write from Ash's point of view from the start, you would have had me from book one!

What I loved about this book was that it cleared up what had happened to Ariella and we also got an insight into the relationship between Puck and Ash (I love their kind of bromance!), Ash was a much better narrator than Meghan and I was into him and his quest way more than I ever cared about Meghan.

We meet some other characters that I really liked and some that I hated being there, which I won't name but you'll know if you read it. these were strong and pretty well developed characters and we also see deeper into Puck and Ash. I loved the rivalry between the Big Bad Wolf and Grimalkin. 

There was a little more action and adventure in this one, which I loved, I loved the trials that ash had to go through to become human and the indecision he faced after each one, but I also loved the happy ending. I never thought I'd ever be that glad to see Meghan but yes, I was. 

Overall, the Iron Knight was a fantastic finish to a series and I kind of want more Ash books!

Overall Rating: B+

Book published October 25th 2011 by Harlequin in the US. The UK release will be in January 2012 by Mira.
Book received as an eGalley from Netgalley.

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I TellJasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

I am not the biggest fan of hard-hitting contemporary books, I like them as long as they aren't too whiny, as long as the ring true to me and as long as the voice is just right. In my opinion, contemporary books have to deal with real life issues, but in a way that makes me feel. This book was one of those rare contemporary books that made me ache inside and this book has driven me to put Gurtler beside Sarah Dessen on my favorite YA contemporary author list.

If I Tell deals with a lot of issues, from betrayal to prejudice, Jaz has a lot to deal with in her life. Being the only mixed race teen in her town, she is judged and shunned meaning that she can't really talk to anybody about her problems, she saw her best friend making out with her Mum's boyfriend so she can't talk to her. I was amazed with how well Gurtler wrote the feelings of alienation that Jaz felt and how delicately but also well based she dealt with the issues.

This book is really a tale of personal growth, How we see Jaz grow from this girl who is embarrased by her skin colour and pretty alone in the world to how she becomes a brave and strong girl who can speak out about her problems. I think the other characters could have been developed a lot better, especially Jackson who was one of my favorite characters but could have been written a little deeper than the cliche good boy with a bad boy past.

I honestly think what was fantastic about the book was the way it made me feel - I loved how I honestly felt bad for Jaz, how I hated Simon until Jaz forgave him, how I felt elateion when she stood up for herself. I was with Jaz from start to finish and that was amazing.

Overall, a great contemporary with fantastic writing. The issues were dealt with so well and I was so into the book - the characters could have been developed a little more but I really did enjoy it!

Overall rating: A-

Released October 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks 
Received as an E-Galley for review through NetGalley

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in lo

The concept of this book was amazing and really the best part of this book, and that's saying something because this book is AMAZING! By the time you're thirty, you're bound to have had a bad relationship, one where you cried and shouted a lot, or did stupid things, it's that that this book capitalises on. That feeling when you're in love where you're high and nothing can bring you down. This makes this book wholly relatable to emotional teenage girls every where.

Lauren Oliver's writing is beautiful, as always. The feeling that she puts into her words is amazing, I was enchanted by it in Before I Fall and loved it even more in Delirium. The writing is almost poetic without sounding fake and it was a pleasure to read. I totally got the feelings that she was writing - Lena's euphoric happiness, the desperation for freedom, her ultimate sadness at the sad parts, which made this book a rollercoaster to read.

Usually I don't like overly emotional reads, but when it's as well thought out as this one I loved it. For me, Delirium was one of those rare books that had me from start to finish without letting me go for one second, (ask my boyfriend, I read it whilst eating, whilst he was trying to sleep, on the toilet) and whilst reading it I laughed, I gasped, I sighed and I bawled my eyes out then at the very end I threw it on the floor, banged my fists on the bed and started cursing about how much I hate Lauren Oliver and how I'mma fly to her house and demand a manuscript of book two. (if Lauren's reading this review, I don't really hate you, I'm just totally jealous of your immense writing skills and angry at that ending, kay.)

This review may end up very long if I go into the characters, I just want to quickly say how well the romance is written. Lena is the brainwashed girl who knows that something is wrong, Alex is the rebel guy, totally gorgeous, who shows her what is right. Typical set up in dystopians, but the romance is so... ahhh... can't put it into words. It's bittersweet, like that feeling you get when you're totally, blissfully happy but know it won't last. all the way through reading this book I was waiting for the big obstacle, but when it came it came big.

I've gushed enough, I really can't find any flaws with this book... it was totally and utterly breathtaking and beautiful. So far, Oliver continues to impress me...

Overall rating: A+

This book was original published February 1st 2011. The edition that I read was released in August 2011 by Hodder and Stoughton.
Book received for review from the publisher.

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly DepartedAlmost two hundred years in the future, Nora Dearly lives in a world of bustled gowns, fake manners, watery tea, and uppity lords and ladies.

Thank God the zombies came to rescue her.

Dragged into the night by the living dead, Nora soon finds herself fighting for the father she thought long gone, the friend she was forced to leave behind – and the love of a handsome, noble young army captain.

Who just happens to be a walking corpse.

First, a note on thee cover. The copy that I read was an E-Galley using the US cover, however since I'm a UK reviewer and prefer the UK cover, it's that cover that I'm using.

Okay, now for the book. What was I expecting with Dearly, Departed? I was expecting to be overwhelmed with the world, I was so curious about how Habel was going to pull off the steampunk/zombie/romance genre that I heard that this book was. I needn't have been worried, the world was written so well and it was amazing to read this world with manners and tea and corsets and parasols as well as cell phones and holograms. It took a while to get my head around the setting because it was so new, but I still really enjoyed it.

I knew there was a romance aspect, I knew it was between a human and a zombie and to be honest I was not expecting to enjoy it - the whole undead guy and human girl thing creeps me out a little. good thing Bram is the most amazing book zombie ever. I totally loved him, and I loved that we read through his point of view and also Nora's, so the romance seems well developed. I also really liked Nora, she was a Victorian girl that didn't fit in with the Victorian ideal, the was strong and witty but vulnerable at the right times.

What really detracted from the novel was the narration - the writing was fantastic. Habel ties in modern day wit with the Victorian way of speaking. The issue was that there are about five narrators and some of them sounded the same, the narrator switched so often that i often got lost with whose story I was following. At times it was written well and built up tension, but most of the time it was just so distracting and pretty annoying.

As well as this, the zombies were a little inconsistant. At first, Habel is describing some of them as revolting, with bits hanging off all over but later she seems to forget this and pretty soon all of the zombies are cool and barely scary and I'd have liked the zombies to be a bit more... zombie-esque.

Overall, a well balanced but with amazing setting, plot and characters. The issues were with the narrative mainly, but this is something you may get used to. As well as this, pacing is slow at times.

Overall Rating: B

This book was originally released in the UK by Doubleday on September 26th 2011, and was released in the US on October 18th.
this book was received for review through NetGalley.

Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

I started this book expecting something fantastic as I've been hearing all about it all over the blogosphere. The cover is also so gorgeous that I couldn't help but want to read it.

This book started so well, Fallon has some great skills with writing and creates a great Irish setting. The book has great description and has this really natural feel. As well as that, Fallon's setting is so vivid that you feel really as if you're there. i love the idea of the Irish setting and Megan's Americanisms being out of place.

After the great start, the book started to follow a familiar plotline... I hate using this book as a comparison but it started to seem a bit, errr, Twilight-esque! Okay, sorry, I hate doing comparisons but the plot was very similar even down to the family set-up and romance aspect. It seemed very cliche and unoriginal but the fantastic writing made it interesting to read. As well as this, the characters were wooden at times and the insta-love story didn't seem well developed, I liked the character of Rhian most because he was better developed.

However, the thing that saved this book for me was the mythology - the story of the powers that Megan and the DeRis's had was well developed and explained, I liked the mythological aspect of it and while at times I got lost with how things were and what made Megan special, as soon as I got my head around it I really enjoyed it.

Overall, whilst it isn't original in the plot line and development, the special powers were well developed and the writing was absolutely amazing and vivid. I would recommend this to fans of books like Twilight and Die for Me.

Overall rating: C+

Published in the UK by HarperCollins children's books on October 27th.
Book received for review from the publisher.

Guest Post and Book Trailer frm Matt Xell (Author of The Tower of Parlen Min)

Tower of Parlen Min (The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin, #1) A couple of months ago I had the chance to read and review The Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell, a MG/YA fantasy thriller that I totally think that everyone should check out. My overall conclusion was that;
Overall, Tower of Parlen Min was an action p
acked fantasy which had a few narrative and character issues that bring the rating down. I really enjoyed the story itself and Xell really brings his great world to life!
Overall rating B
 The full review can be found here

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Matt Xell to the blog, who has written up a guest post for you guys. It's amazing and gives some fantastic insight into one of the characters of the books! Enjoy!

Matt Xell

About Jerod Smeth

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for reading this here guestpost thing. Speacial thanks to Jade for having me on her blog. And today I'd like to talk about Jerod; one of the five characters on the cover of my book.

In Tower of Parlen Min, Jerod Smeth is one of the 20 children invited to the Tower by Jacobius Trent, the world of Everlon's wealthiest and most famous inventor, to compete in the Sword Challenge. Jerod is described as a mostly quiet and reserved Black-Atlantian 13 year-old boy who is uniquely distinguished by a seeminglyly stylish beanie he wears that covers his right eye.

Jerod was born on march 19th 1993, the son of Akim and Rose Smeth, in the Eastern Atlantian state of Jordan. Jerod, an only child, and his parents lived in an uptown city apartment until the devastating UAS stock market crash of '97. Jerod's father lost his job in the massive lay-offs and their family was forced to move to the slums of Jordan.

At age 9, when he and several of his friends barely survived a fatal neighbourhood shooting between rival gangsters, Jerod's mother Rose, fearing for his life growing up in the slums, had him moved to the country side state of Wichita to live with his High-spirited grand mother,  Yolandra, a wealthy but very ecsentric old woman who was famous in the town for being a medium and a spiritual healer. Her one conditon for letting Jerod live in her home is that he become her apprentice, to which Jerod's father reluctantly conscented.

Upon arrival, Yolandra told Jerod that their house was haunted and infact belonged to the 14 spirits that dwelled in it. Yolandra had Jerod make peace with the spirits through an ancient ritual afterwhich she told him that he need to sacrifice a part of his body to the spirits so that they could grant him their power. Jerod who  at first thought Yolandra was crazy and delusional and did not believe in spirits  surrendered his right eye to the spirits.

To Jerod's shock, he started losing sight with that one eye, but in a bizzare trade off he started seeing the spirits with his left eye as well as other supernatural phenomenon. Jerod became more and more interested in his grand mother, the house, the 14 spirits, and his family history over the next months; spending hours in the house's library, reading ancient texts on Wicca and Hoodoo (though he could never perform any spells because he was not high-spirited), conversing with the spirits, practicing Yolandra's versions of palm reading, soul gazing, shamanistic chants, divination, ghost chasing and exorcism ... all  of which he was extremely terrible at for he was not High-Spirited like his grand mother

By age 13 Jerod, though he didn't regret it, had lost complete use of his right eye and started wearing his signiture beanie to cover it when he went out into the sunlight, fearing as the spirits had warned him that he'd eyesight would return and he would stop seeing into the world of the supernatural.

In January of 2006, Yolandra passed away and became the 15th house spirit, Jerod becoming the heir of the estate. In september of that very year Jerod recieved and invitation to the Tower of Parlen Min.

When he arrived at the Tower, Jerod tried to behave as normal as he could to fit in with the other children, keeping his vast knowledge of the spirit world to himself after he saw how much attention Tammi Eriks, a High-Spirited Child of Wicca from the continent of Etric, recieved from the other children ... until he begun to notice Ves Asirin and, over the next few weeks, watched with his left eye as he became something more stranger and amazing than a High-Spirited being.

cheers and thanks again for readin'


Book Trailer for The Tower of Parlen Min

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron QueenMy name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Julie Kagawa, you have managed to change my mind about this series. The Iron King and The Iron Daughter were mediocre reads for me, books that I had to force myself through. The Iron Queen stepped it up a notch for me.

Okay, so I'll get this out of the way first - this book still took me some time to get into. The first fifty or so pages were such a push to me but as soon as we got back into Meghan's journey I was gripped again. This book is a little more action packed than the others, there were moments when I felt a bit bored but the good outweigh the bad.

It's very hard for me to admit this because I'm a stubborn person and hate to admit that I'm wrong, but I was wrong. I have been claiming all along that these books lack originality along side all of the other faery worlds out there, but in this book we see a whole new side of Kagawa's fae world, we see this corrupted poisonous iron realm in a new light which gave off an almost steampunk vibe that I liked.

As always, I loved Grimalkin, he is still my favorite character. Puck is less funny this time, and I missed his witicisms, Ash is still broody and dark but we also see his super romantic side, which has made me release that at some point I moved from Team Puck to Team Ash. Meghan is helpless as ever, though she has a few moments of strength I still don't like the whiny little girl.

And what can I say about Kagawa's writing, I've liked it before but I loved it here. You totally get into the characters heads, feel how they feel and see what they see, I am so impressed with how gorgeous and descriptive the narrative is. She's such a great writer that she really hit me with that ending - heart broken and saddened, I can't wait to read The Iron Knight

Overall, The Iron Queen is a step up from its predecessors and impressed me with the action and romance that was written so beautifully. It would be a secure B if I liked Meghan that little bit more.

Overall Rating: B-

Review for: The Iron King / The Iron Daughter
Released: January 25th 2011/ Mira Ink
Book bought by myself

Review: The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

The Juliet SpellI wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.

I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?

Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.

Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Waypast. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.

Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

This book, to me, reads like a fluffy, light on substance contemporary that I enjoyed reading but in the end was ultimately forgettable. That's not to say that I didn't like it, this book has got the funny and the angst, all the romance and misinterpretations, a school play as a center plot and a handsome historical hero.

The main issue with this book for me, was that Rees is writing from a teenage girl's perspective and whilst most of the time this runs pretty smoothly, at the really romantic points or parts where Miranda is complaining about emotional issues it doesn't read that realistically for me. I liked the way that Edmund was written and I think the book should have been from his perspective because I think that Rees captured that Edwardian teenager in his dialogue.

I also found some parts very unbelievable - the plot develops pretty well for the first half but right near the end random things start happening that don't really affect the plot and I didn't see the point of them even being in the book. As well as this Miranda's mother's reaction to being told that Edmund is really Shakespeare's brother from the past? "Ok, he can live here then." Did not ring true to me.

I loved the romance, whilst at points it was written a little awkwardly there is all the romantic angst that I could ask for, I liked the way it developed and the way it ended really worked as well, despite the fact that it was a bit sad. I also loved Edmund as a character - he was so adorable and I loved his reactions to twenty first century technology, he was also chivalrous but all around pretty clueless. I didn't like Miranda as much, but she wasn't a bad character.

Overall, the Juliet Spell is a predictable book lacking substance and with a couple of plot holes, but with some cute romance and a fantastic concept. A fun read but don't expect too much.

Overall Rating: C+

Release: September 27 2011 / Harlequin Teen
Received as an eGalley for review through NetGalley

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

I was very unsure about starting this book - whilst I love disaster books about volcanoes I also feel a bit nervous starting them because I hate it when authors don't get the science right. Whilst Mullin takes a few liberties with the science in this book every now and again, it's pretty much 95% right and that is pretty terrifying. This could happen and that is the draw for this book, in my opinion.

To start with, the pacing was pretty slow, we're thrown into Alex's life as he gives us a run-down on what's happening in his life, then a chapter or so in the action starts, but it's still slow going. It takes a while to get into it, but after a few chapters of creating an atmosphere I was pulled into this ashen, murky world that was so vivid. I think that the fact that this book focuses on Alex's survival, rather than the romance (which comes in much later in the book and is pretty toned down) makes this book so fantastic. 

What I love about disaster books is that they capture the essence of humanity. How even the best of people can do horrible things in dire situations, in Ashfall Alex is faced with situations where he has to go against his morals too protect the people he cares about, but he also sees a lot of crime happen, things that he probably would never have had to see if the volcano hadn't erupted.

The characters and interactions felt so real. Alex was made more real because as well as him going through this wide-spread change, with the world becoming so new to him, he's also going through personal changes such as his romance with Darla and the... ermm... sexual awakening. Darla is relatable, but I felt that she lacked some of the realism that Alex had, she was too brave and kick-ass and I don't think I rang that true to me. I loved the relationship though, how Darla was the man and Alex was being protected by her, I also loved the development.

Overall, Ashfall was an amazing rollercoaster of a read which threw me into the vivid, desperate world and left me begging for more. The pacing was a bit out and at times the book was a little monotonous, but I absolutely loved this read!

Overall Rating: A

Stand Alone/Series: First in a series
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release Date: October 11th 2011
Book received as an eGalley from NetGalley

In My Mailbox (15/10/11)

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!

Good week this week, I bought one, swapped one, got three for review and won four, which is great :) And that isn't counting eBooks,


Bought:  The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa: I haven't loved this series so far, but have The Iron King for review on my kindle, so thought I'd better read Iron Queen :)

Received from swap: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (ARC): Whilst I didn't love 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the concept for this seemed way too good to turn down


The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: Yes, I have read this series before, but i love it and lost my copy of book one, so I have it now! The spare copies of Catching Fire and Mockingjay are going to Raimy at readaraptor!

SIGNED: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, I haven't started this series yet, but have heard great things about it!


from Templar Publishing:

ARC Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs (April 1st 2012) - I loved Forgive My Fins, so I am soooo excited about this!

ARC India Dark by Kirsty Murray (Febuary 2012)- Historical fiction? I love it!

ARC Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer (March 1st 2012) - Sounds romantic and interesting, I'm excited!

All from NetGalley:

Fractured Light  Dearly, Departed  Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)  Two Moon Princess  Geek Girl

Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight (Firelight, #1)Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

I like dragons. I really like dragons. I like books about dragons - or descendants of dragons so I was so excited for this. Romance, supernatural, decendants of dragons... I had to read it.

The first thing that struck me was how great a writer Jordan is, she throws us into the action almost straight away, but also introduces us so well to the characters and the cultish world that Jacinda lives in at the beginning, i loved how well she described things and was gripped from the start. The voice was similar to every other young adult supernatural girl, a bit snarky at times but pretty relatable. Despite the fact that she is a draki going to live in the human world, Jacinda's resentment towards her family for making her go is relatable to anybody who has ever been forced to moved house and leave everything behind.

I really loved the characters, Jacinda felt multidimensional and I never thought that she acted stupidly, sometimes she thought too much about Will but I understand that. Will was another character that I loved, he is totally one of my favorite YA book boys that i have read lately. Tamra, Jacinda's sister, really intrigued me and she could become a goody or a baddy in the next book. I didn't like Cassian and hope that the love triangle angst isn't too high in the next book.

I liked the romance, but it was too too instant for me and too familiar, nothing really original in YA. I could, however, see the chemistry and I find it believable, I would have liked it to be a little bit more steady rather than being so rushed.

Final point is that whilst the pacing was good, I could have done with a little more action.

Overall, Firelight was a romantic book that was written well with good characters. There was a little insta-love and a little more action was needed.

Overall Rating: B+
Stand alone/Series: First in a series
UK Release: March 3rd 2011
UK Publisher: OUP Oxford
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Pain Merchants by Janice Hardy

The Healing Wars (1) - The Pain Merchants: Book OneNya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

I was drawn into this book from page one, whilst magical healing is something that you see a lot in fantasy, this book dealt with it originally. I don't see how it was really dystopian though, there were references to what had happened in the past, a war and Geveg being taken over, but I think the book worked perfectly well as just a high fantasy. nevertheless, I enjoyed it.

I struggled a little to keep up with who was who and what was going on, the politics confused me, as did the magic side of things. I enjoyed the storyline though, I liked watching Nya grow from a girl trying to fit in to somebody proud of her own abilities and I liked the group of friends that she surrounded herself with,  their interactions were very realistic.

The worldbuilding is very rich and beautiful, and the characters were reasonably well developed. I particularly liked Danello, a night guard and possible love interest to Nya and I look forward to reading more of him.

Overall, this book was a great fantasy with a fantastic concept. Unfortunately the politically intrigue could have been toned down a little.

Overall Rating: B

Stand Alone/Series: First in a series
UK Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens Books
Uk Release: 6th January 2011
Book received from Read It, Swap It

In My Mailbox (08/10/11)

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!

For review:

The Summer of Shambles (Ondine, #1)The Autumn Palace (Ondine, #2)


My Lunatic Life (Lunatic Life, #1)  Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)  Touch of Power  Candlewax

Ondine: Summer of Shambles and Ondine: The Autumn Palace  by Ebony McKenna (Egmont) - I'm excited for these, they sound really fun!

Ebooks - Netgalley:
My Lunatic Life by Sharon Sala (August, Bell bridge Books)
Ashfall by Mike Mullin - (11th October, Tanglewood Press)
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder - (20th December, Mira Books) - I love Maria Snyder, so I am so excited for this!
Above World by Jenn Reese (14th February 2012, Candlewick Press)
Candlewax by C Bailey Sims (3rd April 2012, Terabyte Press)

Now if you're wondering why I stocked up on eGalleys, it's because today, I got my lovely kindle from my amazing boyfriend, it's an anniversary present and I'm so excited!

And with it I got some awesome books;
Feed by Mira Grant
My Name is Memory by Ann Brasheres
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

Just to name a few on there that i can't wait to read, trust me, there are more!

Link up your mailboxes, i'll call by if I'm not too distracted by my pretty Kindle.

Review: Eve by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve, #1)The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

With the recent abundance of dystopian books lately, I've been getting a bit bored, which is so bad because it is my favorite genre, but whilst there used to be so many wildly unique dystopians coming out, nowadays it's the same old same old.

So imagine my total disappointment when four chapters into Eve I was back into the typical, unoriginal dystopian. It had started out so well, from page one I was absorbed into Eve's life as your typical popular girl in a bleak future world, I was creeped out when we found out what was going to happen to her after she graduated, I was ecstatic when Eve escaped out into the wild. Unfortunately, that's when my enjoyment level dipped because, exciting as the rest of the book, it just wasn't anything new.

I also like dystopians because they paint a picture of what may happen to the Earth in the future. I'm a geologist/geographer, I like all this "Earth may die/humanity may fall" stuff, but for me eve wasn't realistic enough. I didn't believe how Eve had been brought up to fear boys yet interacts fine with them after a day or two, the guys didn't act as savagely as a group of guys hiding in a dystopian world with no female contact would.

Which leads me onto my other point. Eve, as a main character was just whiny and stupid, she doesn't think and for someone who is apparently the most intelligent in her class, she is very naive and stupid. I liked her, I supported her, but I didn't think she was strong or clever enough. The romance was cute though, I liked how it developed and Caleb is such a cutey!

One thing i loved was the ending, it set up so well for the next book which i will be reading. it hit you hard and I was thinking about it all night. The ending of this book had me gagging for the next one despite the fact that this one was simply okay for me.

Overall, I didn't dislike this book, but I can't say i loved it. For lovers of dystopian it's worth picking up if you are bored, but you're bound to find similarities to a lot of recent books. to people trying out dystopian, you make enjoy it, but there are better in the genre. It was a well paced storyline but the characters were weak and the story was a little unoriginal for me.

Overall rating: C

Stand Alone/Series: First in a series
Release: October 4th 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book received as an eGalley from netGalley

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio RacesIt happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.
Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I have no idea how to start this review. My opinion of this book is so mixed. On one part, the setting and the story was enchanting, the characters and relationship were great. My problem was that it took so long to get into, the first third or so of this book dragged for me, but the majority of it was amazing. I think that maybe my issue was that i expected a book called "The Scorpio Races" would mostly be about the Scorpio races but a lot of the time was spent world building.

The world that Stiefvater builds is beautiful. It reads like a sort of historical, celtic Scotland, or something similar, with the cold winter sea and this setting became so vivid to me that I felt that I was in that place, I liked the way that the on;y supernatural aspect of this book is the water horses, it helps this book sound like a legend and boy, did this world blow me away.

I found that Stiefvater suffered from the problem of telling not showing which made a lot of the first hundred or so pages of the book just chunks of description with very little dialogue to keep it interesting. Don't let this put you off, we see a lot of character interaction and development later in the book, and a lot more action as well.

One thing that i will point out is that I had trouble distinguishing between the cahracetr voices. Stiefvater has written in dual narrative well before, but seemed to struggle making the voices easy to recognise in this one.

Overall, The Scorpio Races was a mythical and enchanting read but it took a lot to get into. If I was to rate it on the last three quarters of the books this would be a B at least, but unfortunately because of the start, I have to rate it down.

Overall rating: C+

Stand Alone/Series: Stand alone 
UK release: October 6th 2011
UK Publisher: Scholastic
Book received as an ARC from the publisher

Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?
Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

From the blurb of this book I was expecting something similar to the fantastic Across the Universe by Beth Revis which I read earlier this year, with a little more romantic angst and a lot of love triangle. I didn't get this, no, Glow is thought provoking, dramatic, well paced and less romancey.

This book is told in two points of view, the part at the beginning was pretty boring, but when the main characters get split up and Waverly and the girls is taken aboard New Horizon,the story really picks up. The boys that are left on Empyrean have to survive, and there is mutiny and conflict that totally reminded me of Lord of the Flies, Waverly suffers through a horrific storyline akin to say, The Handmaid's Tale though slightly tamer. The stories were fantastic, with plenty of twists and turns to grip any reader. 

Unfortunately, I just did not connect with the book. The story has some religious themes that suggest that all religious people are evil, in the end Waverly pretty much tells her boyfriend to get lost because in his ordeal he's found God. Now I am not a religious person, but I don't like to see any group of people portrayed as evil, unless they are evil... like murderers... and personally I liked Kieran.

I also wasn't the fan of the characters, Waverly wasn't whiney, which was good, but I think she just didn't come off as a strong character, it was like Ryan had attempted to write her as strong but it didn't work. I liked Kieran, but he WAS whiney, then again, he went through some crap so I'll forgive. Seth, who I think is going to be another romantic interest for Waverly in the coming books was just psychopathic, I do psychology, I know the signs and wow, he was just a creepy, sadistic psychopath. 

Overall, this book has a fantastic plot and set up for a great series, but some of the themes and characters totally brought this book down for me, I hope that i connect more with the next in the series. This is a great read but I would not go as far as to market it as 'The new hunger games'

Overall Rating: B-

Stand alone/ Series: first in a series
UK Release Date: October 7th 2011
UK Publisher: Macmillan Childrens Books
Book received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

Fairy Bad DayWhile most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

Okay, first thing is first. I love this cover, it suggests that the book is going to be cute and modern with a kick-ass heroine and it grabbed me straight away.

Does the book deliver these things? Partly. This book is very cute at times, it was an almost girly version of say, Percy Jackson, except without the gods and goddesses. As well as this though, we see a bit of that darker side present in so many paranormal YA books, which I liked. This books is very modern though, the fairies are annoying little creatures that hang out in the mall and read gossip magazines which was funny to read about.

As for the characters, we have Emma, our heroine who is pretty kick-ass, but at the same time she is marginally whiny and very stupid at times. I liked her as a character though, she was funny, witty and in the end, extremely likable. I totally relate to her in that she wants to be the best and resents Curtis from taking her spot from her.

I wasn't a massive fan of the romance, it happened too fast and while it was cute, i never saw enough of it to actually form a connection or see any chemistry. I did like some parts though, specifically the little bits of romantic angst (I'm a horrible person), still Curtis was cute. I did think there were too many descriptions of Curtis though.

The pacing was perfect, from page one I was gripped, gasping and laughing along with the slightly outrageous parts of the book (one thing is for sure: I'm keeping a packet of Sour Skittles with me at all times).

Overall, despite a few character and romance problems, this book was amazing. i am totally hooked - I would recommend this to almost anyone!

Overall Rating: B+

Release: 9th July 2011
Publisher: Speak
Book bought by myself

In My Mailbox (01/10/11)

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 have had so much to do this week it's crazy, which explains the lack of reviews (I'll get back to normal soon!). I've also behaved myself, instead of buying Sweetly and Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce for £10 for both, I bought my mum an expensive birthday pressie! 

That does mean that I have a small mailbox this week though (waaaah!)

Received for review:

Carrier of the Mark   Far From the War

The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (27th October, HarperCollins) - YES! So excited I can't explain it, definitely starting that soon-ish! :)

Far from The War by Jeffrey David Payne (September 17th 2011) - Shipped all the way from the US for me! :)
From Swaps:

Vixen (Flappers, #1)The Healing Wars (1) - The Pain Merchants: Book One
Vixen by Jillian Larkin - This series sounds great and I can't wait to read it! (ARC)
The Pain Merchants by Janice Hardy - the cover grabbed me, but it sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it!

From Liz at Planet Print

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)
Divergent by Veronica Roth - Which I have already read and loved, I gave my copy away and wanted a pretty copy for my bookshelf!

Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout - the cover is so pretty, I'm so excited!