Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review: The Eternity Cure

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
Title: The Eternity Cure
Series: Blood of Eden, #2
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: Mira Ink; 2013
434 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from the library
 Description (from Goodreads):
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

My Thoughts:
The Eternity Cure was a lot more than I expected. More kickass, more action-packed, more emotional and the characters were just so damn beautiful. I fell in love with them and they managed to take me on the most emotional rollercoaster that I have taken so far this year, and for a quite awhile before that too.

While I enjoyed
The Immortal Rules, I wasn't really that impressed with it. It was kind of what I expected. I liked Allie. I loved Kanin. I didn't like Zeke. But I enjoyed the mystery and though the plot was a little too slow-paced for my liking, I was kept engaged and was eager to begin The Eternity Cure.

What a bloody amazing book this turned out to be.

While some people don't like to be heartbroken or thrown through the metaphorical blender when it comes to reading books, I, personally, love it. There is something beautiful about being moved so much by a book that it can make you cry and laugh and scream and make you want to through the book into a wall.
The Eternity Cure didn't fail to do this to me. I was eagerly gripping the pages, turning them as quickly as I could, wanting more and more.

I loved all the characters so much my heard was bursting each time something even remotely action-packed happened and I was worried she would hurt one of the characters.

There isn't much more that I can say without spoiling anything. I will say that I fell in love with one particular character that I shan't name but lets say that they make an unexpected reappearance which is the best thing that happened in the entire book. It took me on a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. I cried, I laughed, I screamed, and then cried and laughed and screamed some more. Definitely a great read. If you were iffy towards
The Immortal Rules then cast aside your worries and dive heads first into The Eternity Cure. I promise it won't disappoint. Now I am simply dying to read The Forever Song.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Review: Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.

They assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think.

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the heady backdrop of the rich, young, and powerful in the heart of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans

My Thoughts:

 The premise of Blue Bloods had me intrigued and I even went out and bought myself a copy - something that I rarely do - but my excitement was soon extinguished. This was not the story I was expecting to be. It was great that we didn't have quite the girl-obsessed-with-a-vampire-boy story that we readers all dread, but it wasn't anything to excite over either.

The terribly disjointed writing style was what put me off the most. It was descriptive but lacked fluidity, jumping between perceptive and dividing dialogues with numerous descriptive passages that went on so long that by the time the other character answered  a question, you would have to flip back a few pages to see what it was that they asked in the first place. Also I understand that
Melissa de la Cruz obviously wanted to write in a way that came across and "posh" and more "upper class" but it seriously sounded like she put her manuscript through a thesaurus and hoped for the best. Every adjective was an unnecessarily long and complicated word. I had to check my dictionary on several occasions and the word usually just meant beautiful or pretty.

We were also subjected to long, lengthy passages describing the clothing of characters, and this took up almost the entire course of the book. It wouldn't have bothered me as much if the clothing had been described in colours, textures and appearances but no, it was described with brand names. Millions of brand names and nothing else. Gosh, it just went on and on and on! Three quarters of the brands held no meaning to me whatsoever and it simply drove m insane reading brand name after brand name after brand name.

The characters weren't much better. Every single one of them was flat, one-dimensional, boring and just plain old dull. I couldn't give a toss about any of them. The main character was just quirky and weird in that way that you can tell the author is just trying to make them "unique". The supposed "romantic interest" of the book was a complete jerk. The handful of other characters were just, well, terrible. There really isn't any more descriptive way of putting it.

Oh, and another quibble of mine? I have to say that I am sick of author's using weird names for characters. I get that they want to give their characters unique names so that we remember them and I can understand one or two uniquely named characters. But Schuyler? Bliss? Perfection? How many do you want to use and seriously, Perfection? Perfection!? I will never get over that so I guess you did you job right
Melissa de la Cruz. Unforgettable character names alright!

Also, this is one of those books that the blurb gives away everything. The word "vampire" isn't even used until nearly 60% into the book and so us readers are stuck waiting for the plot to really "start". It took forever to get to the actual point of admitting that everyone was a vampire (which anyone who has read the blurb already knows) and move the book into a more interesting storyline... which really never happened. It did have a lot of potential to be good but it just didn't use that potential.

Overall, it was great for about five chapters and then faded back into a dull monotone. Pretty disappointing overly. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, vampire lovers or not.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Darker Still

Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber

 I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book but while I did like it, I certainly didn't love it. Overall, I was pretty confused for the duration of the book.

The characters were a little off. Natalie was okay. A nice heroine but not one that stood out or was either particularly strong or courageous and I found Mrs Northe to be awfully peculiar and a tad suspicious.

The obvious relationship between Natalie and Lord Denbury was sweet though its origins quite baffling. If I were to fall inside a painting, I think I would be too damn distraught to think about the man inside the painting with me and I would certainly not fall in love with him! But then again if Denbury is as handsome as they say... ;)

The mystery of Denbury and how to save him from his rather strange predicament was suspenseful and overly both well-written and resolved. I did enjoy the
part with the prostitutes named after saints. The end "battle" was okay. Decent and engaging, but neither intense or captivating. Also, I found it annoying that at times, instead of involving herself in the action, Natalie kept sit and write about in her journal.

I still don't know how I feel about the ending. I was kind of torn about it. It wasn't quite what I hoped for but there wasn't anything dramatically wrong with it. I just hope it turns out well in next book,
The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.

Overall, the book's plotline, characterization and detail was satisfactory and I am eager to read the next book in this series

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan
Title: The Red Pyramid
Series: The Kane Chronicles, #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: Penguin Group (Australia); 2011
317 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from the library
 Description (from Goodreads):

 I guess it started the night our Dad blew up the British Museum...

Carter and Sadie Kane's dad is brilliant Egyptologist with a secret plan that goes horribly wrong. An explosion shatters the ancient Rosetta Stone and unleashes Set, the evil god of chaos...

Set imprisons Dr Kane is a golden coffin, and Carter and Sadie are forced to run for their lives. To save their dad, they must embark on a terrifying quest from Cairo and Paris to the American South-west and discover the truth about their family's connection to the House of Life: an Egyptian temple of magic that has existed for thousands of years.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt are far from dead and buried. And so, unfortunately, are their god...

My Thoughts:

Everyone loves a book that can make them laugh. Even the saddest books need a humorous outlet to equalizes the seriousness; and besides, nothing makes a male character hotter than when they come out with funny, witty, sarcastic one-liners. What I find that I love most about the middle grade genre is that it seems to always nail the witty banter and make me laugh out loud 'til my belly is aching. Take Skulduggery Pleasant for instance, this is an amazing science fiction fantasy with great characters, a great plot, lots of action scenes and magic using but the best part about it? Hands down the fact that it had me laughing and laughing and laughing. I just couldn't stop!
The Red Pyramid was like another Skulduggery Pleasant. It had be laughing so hard I thought I might be on the verge of breaking out in a six-pack (Oh, if only it was that easy!). I loved every one of the characters. I loved the plot. I loved the mythology and how ingrained it was into every part of the novel; simply bringing alive the heat and sun and sand and beauty and majesty of the Egyptian world. Everything that I had doubts of from my previous readings of Rick Riordan's work, namely The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters, was dispelled. He did an amazing job with this and I am so glad to have read it. Hands down better than Percy Jackson.

What else can I say really? The plotline just wowed me. Really it did. It had me crying and laughing and screaming. It was an epic page turner. I couldn't believe the amount of effort taken to researching the Egyptian world and mythology. Everything (as far I knew. I only did a major on Egyptian mythology once but I am hardly an expert!) was accurate and felt accurate, if you know what I mean. Everything rang true and... I am just too speechless to say much. Reading this definitely brighten my day.

I loved Sadie and Carter and Bast and Zia and Khufu and Philip and... this was just brilliant! I would hastily recommended it. If you were iffy on the
The Lightning Thief and were hesitant on touching anything else of Rick Riordan's, like I was, try this one. I didn't have any of the problems I had with the Percy Jackson series with this. At all. This was just bloody brilliant and I don't know what else to say...


Friday, 17 January 2014

Review: End of Dreams

End of Dreams (The Immortal Destiny #1) by Kim Faulks*
Title: End of Dreams
Series: The Immortal Destiny, #1
Author: Kim Faulks
Published: unknown; 2013
265 pages, kindle edition
Source: Received an ARR from author
 Description (from Goodreads):

A vicious killer hunts a young pregnant woman. He wants more than her blood--he wants her baby too.

Young Eve dreams of being a good mother to her unborn son, that dream is shattered when child killer, Edric Hasting finds her in the middle of the night. Haunted by the images of black wings on her baby’s ultrasound and the killers last words Eve knows her only hope of survival is to run.  She soon finds hard-bitten detective Adley Scott who dreams of justice for a string of murdered children which hit too close to home.

A group of Immortals are drawn into Eve’s battle for survival as events are played out across the globe by two opposing factions of immortal beings. The fragile, divine balance of all things is at stake, and the world is the ultimate prize.

Against a background of universe-changing events and an ensemble of vivid, unforgettable characters, Eve and Adley will have to fight to survive as they begin to learn the truth of The Immortal Destiny.

My Thoughts:
DNF 14%
I am sorry but I cannot finish this. I don't like saying that I disliked a book when the author or publisher has been so kind to have given me a free review copy but part of the deal is a "honest review" and that is what I am going to give; I'll admit that I just cannot make myself read anymore of End of Dreams. I, honestly, have no idea what was happening. Nothing made sense to me. I didn't understand who was who and I felt like I have started the second book of a series for there were references to all these previous events that I had no knowledge of.

My version didn't even have speech marks or apostrophes in it so I was unable to differentiate dialogue from the actual writing which made it very hard to read and was awfully confusing.

Also, while I don't find swearing in novels to usually be a problem, the overuse of cussing is already getting on my nerves. It seems the author doesn't know any adjectives other than vulgar curses. I am not fond of this sort of swearing as it retracts from the story and makes the writing feel sloppy.

Overall, I am sorry that I couldn't read further. The premise sounded intriguing and the cover is beautifully haunting but I cannot bring myself to read another page.

*Note: a copy was provided by Kim Faulks though the Making Connections group in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review: The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan
Title: The Sea of Monsters
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: Thorndike Press; 2006
361 pages, hardback (large print edition)
Source: Borrowed from the library
 Description (from Goodreads):

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding seventh grade unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new best friend Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere. But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers that there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders that protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by monsters.

My Thoughts:
My hands are still in the air with The Sea of Monsters. I have started this review about five times and every time I fail to say what I need to say so that you can understand why I gave it a low rating when I quite enjoyed it. Let me start at the very beginning (a very good place to start, ahaha!)...

The Sea of Monsters, Camp Half-Blood is no more a safe place. Thalia's tree has been mysteriously poisoned and the borders that keep the monsters out aren't functioning. To save the camp - and Percy's best friend, Grover, who has run into trouble on his quest to find the god, Pan - Annabeth, Percy and their new friend, Tyson, have to brave the Sea of Monsters and recover a long-lost magical item whose magical restoring powers are the only way to turn everything right. But it isn't that easy... old enemies return, new monsters set out to kill them and with ever turn they face a greater danger. Will Percy save the camp... or will they play right into enemy hands?
Rick Riordan is great at writing mysteries filled with great twists and intrigue but is simply terrible when it comes to plotting action scenes. The action scenes written in The Sea of Monsters are rushed and well clumsy, for lack of a better word. They lack detailed descriptions and the character rely on last minutes saves from the friends, or even strangers, to get them out of all their problems. I find that this really retracts from the plotline. Not only because the action is an essential part of the general storyline but because it simply annoys me. Not only are the scenes doggedly written but they seem to be all written from the same formula: go to location. Bad guy or monster there. Get trapped, captured, close to dying in fight. Friend comes to rescue at the last second. Are saved. Go to location. Bad guy or monster there. Get trapped, captured, close to dying in fight. Friend comes to rescue at the last second. Are saved. Rinse and repeat. Two books into the series and its already bugging me.

The writing for the rest of the book is rather simplistic. Not dull by any means, just nothing too wowing. Yet, while this may seem to be a negative thing, I found it perfect. Percy's voice isn't one that needs to be written with excessive attention to detail nor with beautiful prose and imagery, they casual but simply descriptive tone the novel takes is exactly the tone I would imagine Percy narrating with. It works wonders.

While I am talking about Percy I have to say how much I appreciated his growth since
The Lightning Thief. Percy had always seemed immature and a little "young" in my eyes but within this book he grew. He gained some maturity and I had to appreciate that. I also enjoyed the developing friendship between Percy and Annabeth - not in the romantic sense, of course - but now they seem to appreciate each other, and we are almost over the childish squabbling that constantly annoys me. Tyson was hands down a greatly written character. I loved how he bought out different sides in almost every character. Good sides, bad sides. It was fascinating to see how everyone reacted to... well, I leave it for you to find out why and how!

I will admit how much of a disappointment Luke is for me. I just cannot take him serious. I mean look at his face:

He's so cute! I love him and his actor. I cannot see him destroying the world. I laugh every time he acts all serious. I mean just look at him. Ahh! I just have troubles believing his evil intentions and all.

I have to praise the detailed level of research Rick Riordan has obvious taken to include within The Sea of Monsters. I won't say too much about what is included for future readers but I have to say how impressed I am with how much detail is included. I loved getting to meet some of the gods themselves and, my God, how I loved those snakes! I want a Martha and George phone!

Overall, I found
The Sea of Monsters to be somewhat flat in plotline but engaging and delightful in general. I will eagerly proceed to read The Titan's Curse now. I mean that cliff-hanger!


Review: Article 5

Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers.

There are no more fines for bad behaviour — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

My Thoughts:
 We all know how clichéd and overdone the genre of dystopia is becoming, if it isn't already, so going into Article 5 I was desperately hoping that Kristen Simmons would bring something fresh and original to the metaphorical dystopian table. To my disappointment she did what many authors have been doing: writing a romance story set in a post-apocalyptic world in the naïve belief that it would enhance the novel.

She was wrong.

Ember Miller still remembers the way it was before the War, before the President's new Moral Statutes and before the Federal Bureau of Reformation enforced the new laws with intimidation, fear and violence. One afternoon, Ember's single mother is caught breaching Article 5 - children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife - of the new Moral Statutes and FBR soldiers come barging through their door to take both her mother for a trial and Ember in for "rehabilitation", but no-one has ever come back from their trials before and Ember is terrified.

And if it wasn't enough that she is being taken away from her family, her friends and her home, to a mysterious location where she isn't sure what is going to happen to her, Chase Jennings - the only boy Ember has ever loved - is one of the arresting soldiers.

You can see where this is going to go, right? Cue the teen angst.

The rest of the book follows Ember and Chase's romantic complications as they are faced with various dangers while simultaneously hating one another one minute and almost-kissing the next.

When you read a dystopian book its because of the world it is set in, well, it is for me at least. You want to know what happen to make the world be the way it has become - was it a giant tsunami or volcanic eruption under the Earth's surface? A alien invasion or zombie apocalypse? Did global warming really destroy the world? A good dystopian book has you a little scared - this could actually happen one day - and without this answer we are left wondering, clueless and, well, bored.

That was the problem with
Article 5. What happen to make the Moral Statue was the War. What War you ask? What a very good question! What War indeed? For the entire length of the book we are kept in the dark. We aren't let on to know what really happened to make the President make those laws and we don't even find out about how the FBR came about. This obviously retracts from the book. It isn't much good reading about two teens in such a situation if we don't even know why they have to be running.

What ruins
Article 5 further is the combination of bland writing and terrible charters. Kristen Simmons has not seemed to have grasped the concept that even if a book's characters and plotline are terrible a good writing style can save the day and win part of the reader's heart. Like in Rose by Any Other Name which has both terribly irritating and bitchy characters and a sleep-inducing plotline, but also amazing prose which kept me reading, no matter how irritated I became with it. Kristen Simmons doesn't bother with that. Her writing is witless, dull and with no emotion, no character, nothing. Completely flat.

I think we, readers, are all sick of the pathetic Bella Swan's ruining our books. What is so appealing about dim-witted, dependant and shallow female protagonists I will never, ever, be able to understand. And unfortunately, Ember fits right into the category. One minute she's thinking how much Chase has changed since they were kids and Oh gosh, he's a soldier now and I don't like him anymore so she runs away or puts them in danger by doing something utterly stupid and irrational, but Chase comes and save her so she's all He's so strong and now I feel safe with him.

What we need, in a dystopian society stressing the fact that women are second-class citizens, is a strong, rebellious female protagonist who can kick some misogynist's butts and defend her nation like Katniss Everdeen or Valkyrie Cain. Anyone but Ember Miller. She even tries to blackmail the first two nice people who want to help her. Why? I don't even know. She could have just helped them.

Also there are parts this book that just don't make sense. I have no idea why she seem to think that if Chase hadn't become a soldier none of this would happened. She was still born violating Article 5, so how did Chase's occupation change that fact baffles me.

Overall, this book was just another cookie-cutter dystopian novel that I don't understand how it managed to get published. I wouldn't recommended it.

Review: Fire

Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore

My Thoughts:

Fantasy is a genre that I particularly enjoy but there is a certain beauty to high or epic fantasy that I find much more compelling. Whether its the realms with their kings and queens and political intrigue or the historical eras with the long horse-ridden journeys or even the magical qualities that the land, creatures and people are blessed with.
Kristin Cashore has mastered the rare skill of perfecting a incredible world coupled with beautiful characters in one of the best high fantasy I had read this year - topped only by the previous book in the series, Graceling.

Fire is a monster. Intoxicatingly and perfectly beautiful, ordinary people are struck dumb on their first appearance, rendered speechless, incapable, and more often than not, unwillingly in love with her. Most people – mainly jealous women and embarrassed men – despise her for this unnatural beauty, including Fire herself. For coupled with her mind-reading and mind-control powers Fire is a freak of nature and at war with herself in regards to the usage of these powers. In
Fire, we see her struggle with her “gifts” and debate their appropriate use – is using her powers for seemingly “good” reasons, okay? Or is it still wrong?

I read this with a bunch of my fellow GR friends and most of them found
Fire to be tediously slow paced and a tad uneventful. Unfortunately, even though I quite enjoyed this book, I must agree with the latter.

What I loved most about the second instalment in the Graceling Realm series, was the characters. Katsa and Po in
Graceling were the most beautiful characters. I admired their strength, bravery, courage, and though I can see how some readers may be iffy towards Katsa’s attitude towards marriage and feminism, I manage to disregard that. Fire is not Katsa by any shape or form so if that is the only reason you plan on reading Fire
, I would not bother. Katsa was kickass, strong and a fighter. Fire is more relatable, she’s real, strong in a different way but she cries, breaks down and complains about the unjustness of her life. This doesn’t make her unbearable though, in fact it made her more of a relatable, beautiful, real character and I loved her for it.

The rest of the characters all had an important part to contribute to the plot and were really just lovely and beautiful and I cannot seem to find the words to describe them. Archer. Brigan. Nash. Hanna. Roen. Clara. Garan. Brocker. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect!

X-men, Michael Fassbender... I couldn't help

Overall, while Fire lacks an eventful and captivating plotline in general, this book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster so intense that you will never forget it. I know I won’t. It was beautiful. I can see the problems for my buddy reading friends but I must say I disagree.


I just want to note that this book is a prequel to Graceling. It is based in the same realm and contains a few cross-over characters, but is mostly a separate novel. It may be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading Graceling first. It will give this some extra information that will be beneficial when reading.

Review: Unreap My Heart

Unreap My Heart (Reapers #2) 
by Kate Evangelista

Only a villian can save the day. 

During his thousand year banishment in the Nethers, Balthazar thought of nothing but taking over the Crossroads from Death. 

One the day he puts his plans into action, Balthazar finds the Crossroads on lockdown. Death has been stabbed by Brianne's Bitterness, a blade that slowly leeches him of his powers. In order to challenge Death for his seat and prevent utter chaos, Balthazar is forced into a mission to find the Redeemer, the onyyl being capable of pulling out the blade from Death's chest. The only person who can identify the Redeemer is a human girl in the Crossroads whose soul is still attached to her body. 

Meeting Arianne Wilson pushes Balthazar's patience to the limit. In a deal he makes with Death, he must protect Arianne during their journey through the Underverse using all the resources available to him. He soon realises the one he needs to protect is himself. For as much harm as it inflicts on Balthazar's body, trekking through the Underverse with Arianne is proving dangerous for his heart and soul. 

Goodreads | Amazon

A copy was provided by Kate Evangelista in exchange for an honest review.


Wow. I have just sat here for a while now staring at the blank screen, willing something to magically appear and be able to perfectly describe what I have almost dubbed the indescribable feelings I have towards this marvellous book. You know how people say that bad reviews are the hardest to write? I completely disagree: the amazingly good books are definitely harder to review. How am I supposed to find the words to describe all these feels? The emotions? The simultaneous pain and pleasure? That tug of your heart when you have just finished an amazing book and your heart is going through the blender? I think all of that really just cannot be put into words, at least ones that can justify it.

I want to thank
Kate Evangelista from the very bottom of my heart for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was expecting a good, enjoyable read since I liked Reaping Me Softly but, honestly, this was not what I was expecting in the slightest!

At the end of
Reaping Me Softly Arianne was confronted with a rather bleak option by Death in exchange for Niko’s humanity – she was to give up her eyesight and all memories of him. 

In Unreap My Heart, we pick up a little after this with both Carrie and Ben dead, Arianne separated from her body as a soul at Crossroads which is in a state of chaos after an attack on Death which left him slowly “dying”. Ironic right? His only chance of survival, and to save the Underverse from falling into a state of utter confusion, is to find the only one who can pull out the knife, the Redeemer. The only one that can see the Redeemer is Arrianne but she needs a guide and who better than the bad-boy Balthazar who has just escaped from the special brand of hell known as the Nethers?

Only problem is that Balthazar isn’t one for helping, especially his nemesis Death but with some bargaining and deal-making, Arrianne and Balthazar find themselves on an extremely dangerous journey across the Underverse. With witches, fairies, ghouls, demon kings and other powerful beings striving to stand in their way, they’re going to be in for the ride of their lives. Only problem? Bad boy, almost-devils and teenage girls don’t mix too well, so with motives of their own they must live through the next few days to save Death and maybe themselves along the way.

The character, the plotline, the mysteries and subplots, the writing, the mythology, the settings: nailed. This is one of those intense books where just as you begin to think you know where the book is heading, BAM! With enough twists and turns to make you the slightest bit dizzy, everything you thought you knew is thrown out the window and blown to bits – leaving you aching and sad and happy and filled with a sense of giddy elated-ness. You can take nothing for granted, so much can change in milliseconds and it keeps you on your toes.

The characters were simply stunning. Developed gradually, we get to see every layer slowly peeled off them and examined. It’s wonderful to not just to know the characters but to see them grow and shape and become better people because of it.

Arrianne really grew up in this book. A problem I had with
Reaping Me Softly was Arrianne's immaturity, and while there were a few rather gullible scenes with her, this was dramatically redeemed. She has become this strong (with a “bit of backbone”, as Balthazar likes to say), witty protagonist that I adore.

Balthazar was exactly what this book needed. He is charming, funny, raw, real and dangerous. He makes me laugh, scream and want to rip out my hair – all in a good way, of course. I loved him. He’s a jerk and a douche and maybe a few more things that I shouldn’t say but we saw him through his own eyes. He's a little messed up, a little crazy, but by God, I am in love and I don’t tend to fall for the “bad boys” types, maybe excluding Colt from
Eliza Jane’s In Too Deep.

Added to the impeccable character development, the dramatic, intriguing, positively delightful, twisting and turning plotline this book was incredible. It took my breath away and I couldn’t stand being away from it for too long. I would have easily read it in a single sitting if it wasn’t for things like eating and sleeping which kept getting in the way.

Overall, apart from an extremely confusing first few chapters, this book was marvellous. I loved it. I would definitely recommend it to all YA paranormal fans and thanks again
Kate Evangelista.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer



Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Thoughts:

I am a bit of a sucker for fairy tale retellings - I love them! As soon as I heard the rumours of a "cyborg Cinderella" retelling, I was hooked. Cinder didn't end up like I thought it would, but boy was it good. It took the very basic foundation of the Cinderella tale - orphaned girl, evil stepmother and sisters, shoe falling off at a ball, a prince; I think you get the picture - and threw them into the blender with a dystopian Beijing, a cyborg, a mysterious plague and a bunch of moon people called Lunars, in a creative spin-off that rivalled the great Jackson Pearce.

I will say that the plot of this book kept me eagerly page-turning though I was disappointed by the predictability of many of the novel's supposed "twists". Too many clues were dropped numerous times before the "big revelation" and so I was never surprised by them. The overall plot was well-paced, I was able to easy fly through it without too much bother but I wasn't impressed by the final scene which I felt was rushed and sloppy. Marissa Meyer is obviously a little inexperienced writing action scenes which was quite the let down and very anticlimactic.

The characters were borderline great but mainly stuck in the "good" category. I liked many aspects of Cinder's strong-willed personality but her submission to her stepmother and lack of confidence with her identity was just a tad disheartening. I felt she had a lot more potential but was too scared to show it off. Many of the other characters just didn't work for me, Prince Kai and Peony, mainly. I just didn't understand them as well as I would of hoped, I wanted to know more about them and their history. I felt they were almost glazed over a little with too much attention on Cinder herself.

The retelling was very well done, in my belief. I really do love fairy tale retellings - though I usually stick to Red Riding Hood ones - and I liked the futuristic and rather original approach
Marissa Meyer took in Cinder.

Also the setting was amazing. I have never read a book set in China, let alone a dystopian China. I liked how it was kept traditional and modern at the same time and I can almost believe that one day maybe Beijing will turn out to be like that. Hovercrafts all the way!

Cinder was a pleasant surprise. I do understand people's lack of enthusiasm for it, barely any of my friends rated this book above three stars and, truthfully, I can see why. There were many little things that I could pick on, that didn't work for me, and that was summarised well in Brandi's review. I wasn't in the mood for nick-picking though when I read this, I wanted something engaging and fun and I got that. I will most definitely be picking up Scarlet and I would recommend this for people who want an enjoyable and original dystopian novel or fairy tale retelling.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Today's Successes

Well, guys that its for today. Not much of a start but I can promise that a lot has been going on backstage.. or backblog?? Anyway, I have anxiously been tweaking my themes, layouts and working on posting some old reviews, getting some cool widgets and much, much more. I want to thank Rachmi and Sarah for all their help! I wouldn't have had the guts to do this without them. Please check out their own blogs. They're awesome!

Sarah's blog: http://sarahelizabethsbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Rachmi's blog: http://notalostwanderer.wordpress.com/

I am thrilled to say that I have a whopping 39 views on my blog today alone and its only been up a few hours! It may not seem like much but its a start for me. I hoping to start a daily posting. What I am currently reading or what books I bought or a meme... oh, the possibilities! I have to say I am awfully excited. I hope this blog can turn out to be a big part of my reading life.

So today I didn't get much read (I have been a little busy!). I just started The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan today. Its pretty good so far. I am enjoying the Egyptian mythology references, mainly because I  actually studied that subject for a major assignment in school a few years back.

I cannot wait to see where it goes but I am turning in for the night. Happy reading! :)


Hey, my fellow readers. This is going to be my first official blog post. Pretty exciting, right!? But honestly? I have no idea what I am doing. I don't even know where to start on all this. Should I post some reviews? Change my theme? Post something? I really don't know so I thought I should probably say some stuff about myself and this new blog. So here it goes...

My name is Rachel. I love to read. Obviously. I started this blog to get a chance to show people why I love reading, to meet some friends and talk to like-minded people.

What do I like reading then? Well, isn't that a loaded question? I am not too fussy about what I read. Some people stick to genres or age levels, I go without sounds good. I do prefer young adult, though I frequent middle grade and have been dabbling a little into new adult and adult books recently. I'll read paranormal, fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi, contemporary, romance, mystery... anything that tickles my fancy.

I am also a total fangirl when it comes to TV shows. I love Bones most. Its been a huge weakness of mine for about five years and I have see every episode about a hundred time over. I can pretty much recite them of by heart. (My the way, I have dibs on Hodgins and Mr. Nigel-Murray!) I also love NCIS: Los Angeles (Deeks! <3), Castle, Ghost Whisperer, Grimm, Friends, NCIS (original), Elementary and Big Bang Theory.

Other faves of mine include:

Movies - Harry Potter (all of them), The Host, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mary Poppins, Spirit, The Sound of Music, Hunger Games, Catching Fire

Food - Fruchocs (totally addicted!), salt & pepper calamari, vanilla icecream, dark chocolate, Granny's home-made fettuccini (Yummm!)

Sport - soccer, and dance (if you think that that counts).

Other activities - drinking coffee, singing (though I can't hold a tune to save myself!), hanging with my mates, movie marathons, writing

And that's all I can think of at the moment... so hopefully this blog is going to be up and working as soon as I can figure everything out.

For the time being don't hesitate to follow me on Goodreads or email me: rachelsreadingcorner@gmail.com if you have any questions or some advice for me on running this blog.

Ciao, for now and I'll be back soon.