Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Shadow Reader - Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis #1)The Shadow Reader - Sandy Williams
Grade: Adult - UF
Rating: 5/5 stars

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose. 

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war. (Description from Goodreads)

~ * ~ * ~

My first thought after finishing ‘The Shadow Reader’ was “Wow!” I loved this book! A friend had told me about it months ago and we both got pretty excited after reading the first chapter online. I’m so happy the entire book was as exciting as that first chapter.

I’ve read a lot of fae books this year and though most of them have had similar definitions of fae, especially with iron being deadly and fae being unable to lie, I really enjoy a good faerie book. But when Sandy Williams’s fae story turned out to have a completely different spin on the effects of human influences on fae and how their world is structured, I couldn’t help falling in love instantly! That’s not to say the fae in ‘The Shadow Reader’ have no weaknesses. The main issue involves being around human technology, I guess iron would be included in that but it’s not as deadly as other faerie books make it out to be. Technology weakens fae magic; not in a way that kills them, but a fae without magic will go insane. It’s was so strange to think that a watch, phone, or fridge could cause a loss of magic.

There is a war going on between those apparently in charge of the fae realm, the Court; and those who are against their regime, the Rebels. The Rebels have issues with the way the fae world is being run; increased taxes, the collapse of fae Provinces and restrictions on the use of Gates (specially constructed areas in both worlds, the only place where humans can travel between worlds, provided they have fae assistance). Like all wars, there’s a lot of hate and destruction; and when negotiation doesn’t seem to work, sneak attacks and fighting breaks out. Add in humans with the Sight, people who can see past fae illusions, like McKenzie Lewis and you wind up having a whole heap of problems.

McKenzie is a Shadow Reader, when the fae fissure (aka. Rip a hole between worlds and use it to travel to a new destination) they leave a light and shadow impression of where they arrive or leave from; McKenzie has the ability to draw the place within that impression via the shadows. A handy skill when you’re not sure where you are but can see the fae shadows. I adored McKenzie. She was so tough, despite getting herself injured quite a few times throughout the course of the book, her stubborn personality made her determined to never give in. She didn’t let herself get walked over (at least not intentionally) and she stood up for what she believed in. Give her a few lessons in sword fighting and she’ll never need someone to protect her again. Although, I can’t complain about her protectors, they’re pretty awesome too.

It’s another one of these fabulous books that tortures you with a love triangle: Aren and Kyol. Both fae men from opposing sides: the Rebels and the Court respectively. Kyol, the skilled Court fae who McKenzie has known and been attracted to for years, but has been forbidden from pursuing a fae-human relationship with; and Aren, the rebel, who can’t seem to stop healing McKenzie. McKenzie definitely feels torn between the two guys, who both ignite a warm response from her, but there can only be one winner. I worry about love triangles in the first book of a series (especially when I’m not sure how many books are planned for the series). I’m never sure if the guy who gets picked at the start will last the distance; I hope he will.

Can’t wait to see what trouble McKenzie gets into next.
5/5 stars

Originally posted on Goodreads

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Between - Cyndi Tefft.

Between - Cyndi Tefft.
Grade: YA
Rating: 4/5 stars

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.
 After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.
 Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries (Description from Goodreads)

~ * ~ * ~

Cyndi Tefft has created a sweet, romantic story about a young woman finding love in the place between earth and heaven; between life and death.

At the start I was a little confused about the connection between Aiden and Lindsey. The story jumps straight into their attraction to each other; their desire to be together, I thought I was missing something. There’s no doubt that there is chemistry between the two of them, especially as the book continues, it just seemed a little rushed at first. But I can’t blame Lindsey for falling for Aiden so fast; who could resist a guy who comforts you in death, wants to show you everything, and has a sexy Scottish accent?

I love how we keep going into Aiden’s past. In the Between world, Aiden and Lindsey have the ability to create a new reality, mostly by walking through memories. Aiden comes from a different time, a past unknown to Lindsey except in history books. He gives her the chance to experience his like and recreate the memories with him. It’s interesting to jump from Scotland to Versailles to Paris all just by thinking. And similarly, Lindsey is able to show Aiden our modern world. I can’t imagine how strange it would be for him seeing the world in a way you never thought possible before.

I was curious to know what direction the story was headed; could Aiden and Lindsey be lucky enough to stay in love and be happy in this in-between realm? And then we’re hit with a MASSIVE twist. I was expecting something big to happen, but I never imagined it’d be what it was. Just when you think that’s all the shock you can handle, Ms. Tefft throws another one at you. So be prepared for massive game changers in this book.

Looking forward to seeing what happens in book 2.

4/5 stars

Originally posted on Goodreads

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Summer of Supernatural: Rebecca Lim

Harper Collins Australia has another fantastic author chat happening today on their Summer of Supernatural Facebook page.

Come chat with author of the Mercy series, Rebecca Lim at 4pm AEDT.
All you have to do is 'like' Summer of Supernatural, post a question and join in the fun!

About Mercy (Book 1 in the Mercy series): 

Mercy ′wakes′ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else′s business -- or thinks they do. But they will never guess the secret Mercy is hiding ....
As an angel exiled from heaven and doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, Mercy is never sure whose life and body she will share each time. And her mind is filled with the desperate pleas of her beloved, Luc, who can only approach her in her dreams.
In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is now presumed dead. When another girl disappears, Mercy and Ryan know they must act before time runs out. But a host of angels are out for Mercy′s blood and they won′t rest until they find her and punish her -- for a crime she doesn′t remember committing ...
An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, MERCY is the first book in a major new series. (Description from Harper Collins Australia)

Kerrie & Kim

Sunday, 20 November 2011

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

A tiny IIM for me this week. I was trying to be good and not buy too many books, but couldn't resist a new ebook, even though I have no idea when I'll get the chance to read it. I can't pass up using Kobo's discount codes when they're sent to me. 

The Shadow Reader - Sandy Williams

I love a good Faerie story (or Fae/Fey...too many options for the one topic). When a friend showed me the first chapter of The Shadow Reader a few months ago I was really interested, there was action from the first few pages. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of it. 


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Lover Unbound - J.R. Ward

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5)
Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood #5) - J.R. Ward
Grade: Adult (PNR)
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will...

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her... (Description from Goodreads)

~ * ~ * ~

Another sexy addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I enjoyed it heaps. You can't help loving the Brothers and wanting to see what happens in their lives. I'm really glad this is a series where you can spot patterns; you know there'll be one guy and one girl, and they'll end up happy at the end, but it's how they get there and how they interact with each other that makes each new story interesting.

Jane and Vishous are prefect for each other. Vishous tends to be tough on himself and tough on the women he is with; while Jane likes to be in control and doesn't let Vishous determine her actions. It makes their relationship really fun to watch unfold because Jane talks back and defies orders and loves completely.

I loved the flashbacks into V's life as a pretrans learning to read, discovering his new powers, getting tattooed. He's had a hard life, but it was interesting to see what occurred to get him to where he is today. I like that there were actual flashbacks and not just a recount from the Brother of his past like previous books. There's something special about seeing it as it happened, not just seeing it in passing comments.

I was shocked by the point of view changes in this book: No Lessers! I think I jumped with joy went I worked out I wouldn't have to read about the undead evil people fighting the brothers. Sure they were still in the story, but only for a few pages and never in great detail. My favourite kind of lesser

My only issue with the book was the relationship between Phury and Bella. I know they're supposed to be friends, especially since they were close when Bella and Zsadist were getting together and I understand that Phury's obsession with Bella had to be highlighted a bit to show his reasons for moving on in his own book (at least I hope he's moving on in his book next); but Bella continuously pushing herself into his life sort of annoyed me. I kept thinking, "You know he loves you and is trying to move on, give him some space woman!"

4.5/5 stars

Originally posted on Goodreads

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Hunger Games Movie

I'm often wary of Books being made into Movies. I hate the idea that my favourite scenes are going to be destroyed and I really don't want to be disappointed actors. Despite this I still get pretty excited about the films, especially if they're made from books I love: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (yeah, I loved Twilight...but not the movies).

And now, the latest victim: The Hunger Games.

If you haven't read The Hunger Games series, you really should. It's dark, edgy and emotional; 24 Children thrown into an arena and forced to kill each other so there is only one survivor, all in the name of power and entertainment for the rulers of the land. It is what started my love of dystopian novels.

I watched the VMAs for the first time this year, all the way through, just so I could catch the first teaser trailer.

And now, after wait so long, the final (full) trailer has been released:

Thoughts? I LOVED it. It's perfect. I get shivers thinking about how awesome it was. The Reaping, pretty spot on. The Training Centre is darker than I imagined it, which makes it better, it just fit. Katniss and Peeta having secret moments on the roof of their building, so sweet, exactly how I pictured it in the book. And travelling up the tubes into the Arena, racing to the Cornucopia for supplies...I cannot imagine it any other way.

I'm dying for the movie. What are your thoughts on the trailer?


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi
Grade: YA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. (Description from Goodreads)

~ * ~ * ~

Wow. Once again I am blown away by such a fantastic novel. Tahereh Mafi has captured my attention from start to finish. It was very hard to put 'Shatter Me' down, if I hadn't been so tired I would have read it through the night.

Juliette has been cut off from the world for many years. While she's only been locked up for 264 days, her life has never been smooth and she hasn't had a chance to interact with other people for such a long time. All because of her touch; a curse, a gift...a power. Juliette must learn to understand the reasons behind her power and to discover if she can live beyond the limitations it places on her.

It's a bit strange, but I love the settings of dystopias; the destructive nature of them all and how worlds are so different (and yet not so different) from our own. It's not so hard to believe in a structure were the military rules all and fear dictates the actions of civilians. Juliette's world is just like this; being ruled over by the Reestablishment, who use the fear of contaminated lands and dying animals to control the population, and all in a way that makes them appear to be helping 'reestablish' a liveable environment. Like any good dystopia, there's the hint of rebellion which I hope we'll see more of in the next book, because I love resistance in the ranks!

There's a very strong romance in 'Shatter Me' which I adore. You can't help but smile when it pops up in the story, and there's always room for romance in a good book. I was worried there was going to be a difficult love triangle at first, because two guys show their interest in Juliette early in the novel. I'm not sure we can relax yet on the love triangle issue, but I will say I was Team I'm-Not-Sure at the start, but I'm Team Adam now.

My only issue with the book was in the way it was written. There are a lot of literary techniques used to show Juliette's feeling and thoughts that I haven't come across much in the past, the two most obvious ones being strike-through text and repetitive words and lines (often without commas between them). I understand why both techniques are used; the strike-through text helps us to see what Juliette is thinking or wants to say but can't make herself actually voice and I found that technique really interesting; sort of like reading the narrator's thoughts written in italics, only these ones are hidden or forbidden. The repetitive words I didn't like as much. They were a good way of expressing Juliette's feelings but I felt they slowed down the flow of the book. I kept rushing over them, especially if they were used in the middle of a dramatic action scene, and sometimes forgot to read the triple words and had to go back to make sure I was reading it the way it was intended. Not a huge issue, but I felt it wasn't always necessary and it did interrupt a few scenes.

Techniques aside, 'Shatter Me' is a fabulous and addictive book and I can't wait to see what happens next!
4.5/5 stars

Originally posted on Goodreads

Friday, 11 November 2011

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

A big IMM post for this week. I haven't been doing weekly posts (as I'm sure you have all noticed), so I've decided to include most of the books I've bought and received since then.

I was going to take photos off all my copies, but since they're still in a giant pile in my sister's room it is a little tricky to get to them all, so I've found book covers online instead.

Bought Books

If I Die - Rachel Vincent

The 5th Soul Screamers book. I was dying to read this book for weeks before it came out, even though I'd only been aware of the series for a few months. I can only imagine how other fans felt waiting for so long for the next instalment.

You can read my review here!

Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick

The 3rd book in the Hush, Hush series. I was excited to read it, especially because of Patch (although probably not as excited as Kerrie was).

Last Breath - Rachel Caine

The newest Morganville book and my favourite in the series so far. It's fun to be back in the vampire town. If you love Claire and the gang, you'll love this book. And if you haven't read the Morganville series, get started! (Book 1 is 'Glass Houses')


The final book in the Strange Angels series. After following the series for 2 years I was desperate to find out how everything ended. Would Sergej finally be defeated? Would Chris or Graves win Dru's heart? The ending was a little unexpected, but full of action, so it sort of balanced itself out.

The Iron Queen

I held off buying The Iron Queen for quite a while and finally caved last week so I could finally be up-to-date for the release of 'The Iron Knight'. So glad I did, it was such a good book.

The Iron Knight

Just finished 'The Iron Knight' yesterday and was so happy with the way the series ended. I adore Ash and it was nice to be inside his head for an entire book.

Shatter Me

I've been hearing fantastic things about this book from friends who got a chance to read the first 25 chapters online a few weeks ago. It seems like Australia got the book a week or two early so I thought I better buy it and give it a go. 90 pages in and I'm loving it. I think I have a soft spot for dystopias, I can't seem to pass them up.


Between - Cyndi Tefft

I follow Cyndi Tefft on Twitter and haven't read her book yet. I can't resist the idea of a sexy Scottish grim reaper, especially when I was sent the deleted sexy shower scene. I haven't read the deleted scene yet, I want to read them book first. Look for a review very soon.

The Girl In The Steel Corset - Kady Cross

I love the cover for this book and can't wait to read it. I haven't read much steampunk, but I've been told this is a fantastic book, so I'm hoping it'll get me addicted to more steampunk books. I managed to recommend it to my sister already, which says something about it's appeal because she doesn't follow my recommendations much (I still can't get her to read The Hunger Games!). I'm hoping to dive into this one next week.

Borrowed from Kerrie

Books 5-8 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I've just started #5 (Lover Unbound) and so far I'm really enjoying it. the Brothers are really interesting and I've been told Vishous (the star of book #5) is very sexy.

Books I won.

Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick.
Thanks to Michelle @ Novels On The Run. I'm hoping to get this one signed by Becca in December when she's in Sydney. Got my ticket to the Black Hand Ball already, and I'm pretty excited about meeting Becca.

Wish: Dreams Beginning - Deby Adair
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. The cover is really pretty and I Deby does all the artwork herself. I've never really read much about unicorns, so I'm looking forward to giving Deby's series a go. And what makes it better is that the book is signed! Thanks so much Deby.

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
Thanks Harlequin Australia! And it came with an Inside Out/Outside In bookmark signed by Maria V. Snyder!

And that's it for my mailbox for the last few weeks. I'm going to try and do a regular post next week so I don't have quite so big a build-up of books.


Friday, 4 November 2011


I have spent the last 2 days emptying my 3 strangely shaped bookcases (in fact, I should be trying to clear the random trinkets I have stored on top of 2 of them still, but instead I'm blogging). There was no space for any new books and after months of discussing the possibility of getting rid of the bookcases altogether and switching to shelves my Dad finally said we'd do it this weekend...if I could get all the books and stuff off.

It's now Friday, 3pm, and I'm doing alright. Still a bit to go, but at least all the books are gone now.

Thank goodness my sister isn't at home any more so her room is empty and free to have my books piled up for however long it takes to get the new shelves, I certainly have no space in my room for them. Downside is my room feels really empty and it took forever to carry all the books upstairs.

But all this cleaning got me thinking; what do you do when you run out of room on your shelves? Do you buy a new bookcase or find a spot on your desk/floor and stack them on top of each other? Do you even have shelves? I know Kerrie stores her books in her wardrobe (who needs space for clothes, right?). If I had room in my own wardrobe I'd be putting books there too.

I guess what I want to know is: how do you store your books?