Sunday, 31 March 2013

What's been happening and Happy Easter!

Happy Easter/four day holiday!!
I had fun in Belgium. I read most of the books I took. We had wifi. And the wargraves tour was really... I have no words for it. It's not really fun, because going to sites where thousands of young men died is not fun. But it was interesting, and sad, and an experience that you cannot miss.

Anyway.
I have new books!
Lynsey sent me a proof copy of The Hit, because I was badly unorganised and forgot to tell her that I had one. Once again, apologies, Lynsey. Anyway, it's a proof copy so my library won't accept it. So from April 3rd (when it comes out), you can have it if you want. Email me the normal way.
Also, nice people at MiraInk sent me copies of The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa and Ink by Amanda Sun. I can't wait to get started on both of these!
Also, nice people at Headline sent me a copy of Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne. I have so much awesomeness on my shelf!

I also got a CD in the post! It's Joe Black's new one called Satan In a Sunday Hat. It's stupidly amusing and I'll do a review some day.  Maybe not here. We'll see.

There's not long now to enter the giveaways! Please spread the word out of this-winners will be announced tomorrow.

Doctor Who was pretty epic last night, wasn't it? Damn, all the little things that Moffat slipped in. Can I please have someone to  fangirl along with me? And celebrate the fact that nobody got thrown off from a height this week?
And David Tennant and Billie Piper are coming back for the 50th anniversary!!!

Clockwork Princess came out not long ago and all I've been thinking of when going round bookstores is "why don't I have it?"

I am disappointed with myself in that I haven't had the time to catch up on Neverwhere yet. Episode 4 ended at where it gets really really interesting...

I'm still uncertain as to the fate of Google Friend Connect. Please use the networkedblogs, RSS readers and blogloving to follow Death Books and Tea!

CampNaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I might do a slightly more relaxed version. We'll see. I kind of reached that part of writing where I looked at what I was doing and thought "the heck am I writing? Why did I think that was a good idea?" and hit a block. I should start again...

Two weeks of holidays! Which will mainly be filled with revision, reading, sleeping, eating, reviewing, and messing about on the internet. 

I leave you with this awesomeness and the sadness that I would not be able to pull this off myself.




Saturday, 30 March 2013

Book Review-The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke


Title: The Assassin’s Curse
 Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series:  The Assassin’s Curse #1
Published:  2 October 2012 by Strange Chemistry
Length: 320 pages
Source: netgalley
Other info: The sequel, The Pirate’s Wish, should be out this year. There’s a novella called The Witch’s Betrayal. Cassandra also wrote The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.
Summary :  Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.
And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

Review:  Ananna’s parents have arranged a marriage to Tarrin. She’s not very happy about this. And so she steals a camel and runs away. Tarrin’s family aren’t very happy about this. They send an assassin about her. then she accidentally saves his life, binding them together. They go on a quest to sort this out.
From the first few pages, I’d decided I liked Ananna. Throughout, she’s very strong, stands up for herself, and is generally awesome and independent. Naji is really very adorable. He’s also mysterious, and there’s lots of things to learn about.
Together, they work excellently together. Their first encounter is not quiet and calm, but there’s a lot of them getting used to eachother, and also a lot of action. I like the fact that the romance is very slow-Ananna doesn’t realise she’s in love for ages.
Ananna has a really distinctive voice/dialect/way of speaking. It didn’t take me long to get used to it, and that’s part of what made me love her- I could imagine her, sitting next to me, talking at me. It’s not very often that I can literally hear a character/narration. But it happened here.
I love the mix of pirates, assassins and magic. Also, the physical/cultural setting-the mix of middle eastern culture plus the desert is a really magical place to be in. I really really loved this world.
I like where it ended. And I didn’t. It ends at a natural place, which is a good set up for The Pirate’s Wish. But at the same time, it’s sudden, it hasn’t wound down to a stopping point for one  book, and if you hadn’t decided you were going to read The Pirate’s Wish, you may be a bit let down by the ending. You’re expecting more things to happen but it just cuts off. I think Strange Chemistry should release an omnibus edition to improve the flow some day.
I’m sorry this review is so short. Actually, it's not too bad, but I feel there's more I should be able to say about this book.. You know there's just that quality to some books where it’s just “I love this because reasons which I cannot articulate?” this book has it in spades.
Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a magical adventure with excellent characters.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Book Review- Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon


Title: Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite
 Author: Lianne Simon
Series:   N/A
Published:  28 September 2012 by MuseItUp
Length: 232 pages
Source: blog tour, Heroines with Heart
Summary : From the heart of an intersex teen, one who must ultimately choose male or female—family or true love—comes the story of a deeply emotional and perilous journey home. This is a young adult novel unlike any other—an authentic portrayal of the issues faced by a child growing up with a sexually ambiguous body.
Jameson can be like other boys after minor surgery and a few years on testosterone Well, at least that’s what his parents always say. But Jamie sees an elfin princess in the mirror, and male hormones would only ruin her pretty face. For him to become the man his parents expect, Jameson must leave behind the hopes and dreams of a little girl. But what is so wrong with Jamie’s dreams that they can’t be her life?

Review: Jamie “Jameson” was born intersex, and raised male and told that it would be very easy, with a little surgery and testosterone, to become male. Despite the fact that she identifies more female than male, and, age sixteen, is told that she should have been raised female. Her parents want a boy. She’s not sure what she wants. This is her adventure through love and life.
Of all the LGBT fiction I have read, not that much details intersex/being outside the male/female gender binary. It’s a really nice change to read one that does.
Being intersex and not knowing where you fit in is dealt with really well. You see a lot of peoples’ views on this, from all perspectives. Mainly conservative, plus Jamie’s questioning.
You really felt for Jamie and everything she was going to. Her dad’s pressuring her to be a boy, giving her a list of things to do as a boy, and her mother doesn’t really do much to support her. Her love life doesn’t go amazingly,  she’s subjected to homophobic slurs when dating a boy while she’s being made to act as a boy, and various other things happen. She does have good friends in the form of people like Tyler, Kaylah, Alice, Lisa and such, and does get happy things happening towards the end.
The religion side in books, I don’t normally enjoy, but it worked here. You could see Jamie and how her faith was deeply tied into her view on things, but was still open minded, looking for acceptance from God. She also has an alter-ego, to go with her feminine side, of the Elfin Princess.
You get really close to Jamie. Maybe not so much to everyone else, but the amount of emotion you feel for Jamie makes up for that. She keeps following her parents, even though that would lead her to do the exact opposite of what she wants, which I find sad for her. You really do want her to come out nicely of this novel.
One thing I had a big problem with was the age side of things. It’s stated explicitly that she’s sixteen, and I’m fine for that. But sometimes, things happen that make you question that. At times, she seems so much younger than she is, other times, older. Throw in things about adopting two kids and marriage and you just get...wait, what age are we looking at here? Ages are something I need to know about characters. Messing about with them messes up my understanding of a whole novel.
It’s very good educationally. The medical stuff is interesting, but may be a bit hard to digest at times. I skipped a bit of the medical stuff because it slowed it down at parts. It’s also educational in terms of attitudes and educational for those of you who haven’t come across the intersex community.

Overall:  Strength 3.5 up to 4 tea to a good book covering multiple issues in a sensitive and emotional way.

Excerpt from Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon

So, later, I'm reviewing Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon. For now, here, have an excerpt from chapter two.



I collapsed on the bed in the guest room. Long ago I’d realized that someone would eventually find out Jameson wasn’t a regular boy between his legs. But I’d never expected anybody to discover he wasn’t much of a boy between his ears either.

Sharon wanted to be my friend, and yet she was too much like a doctor. They’d already done something evil to her brain. Why had I admitted anything to her? Packing and returning to the dorm seemed the safest thing to do, but she had me trapped in her specimen jar. What choice did I have? If she wasn’t my friend, she might tell Mom I really did have gender issues. Then I’d be history.

Jameson existed as a thousand boys-don’t and boys-do rules. Deep inside, I brushed the dust off the end of one. Was shutting off a part of him even possible? I pulled, gently at first, and then more firmly. With a quiet popping sound, the rule slid out. I waited, probing for any adverse reaction, ready to replace it. A slight easing of inhibition was all I noticed. Down the corridor each way, as far as the eye could see, stretched more of Jameson. This would take time.

One of his rules stood off alone, like a shepherd watching over the others, guarding and caring for them. When I brushed my fingers over it, an electric thrill ran through my vision. Images flashed rapid-fire, jumbled sounds crashing softly in my ears. Kids at a party. I didn’t remember anything from my early birthdays. Was this a memory block? Why forget about a stupid party? Ignoring the sights and sounds flooding me, I yanked on the end—and got swept into the past.

* * * *

I didn’t have any clothes fit for an elfin princess, so my cousin Kaylah let me borrow some hand-me-downs one of the Fair Folk had given her. She shook her head as she held a white velvet skirt up in front of me. “I don’t care if that old book says the Kirkpatricks are faie. Your face is bean shìdh, but the rest of you is brùnaidh.”

At five I was only a little taller than my two-year-old sister Alicia, so the clothes were way too big for me. “Please, Kaylah. The brownies are elves too. They’re just not as tall.”

“All right, then.” Kaylah safety-pinned the white velvet skirt to my slip, so the waist stayed up under my arms and the hem brushed the floor. The satin sleeves of the woodland green blouse hung down past my fingertips. She wrapped a silver lace belt around my waist twice and made a bow in the back. A spider-silk flower went on my shoulder. I sat down so she could tie the ribbons of starlight ballet slippers around my ankles. “There you are!” She clapped her hands together. “Princess Grace herself doesn’t dress any finer than that.”

Fancy clothes weren’t all an elfin princess needed to be dressed for a party, so I sat facing my reflection and waited for my maidservant to finish. She stood behind me in the wall mirror, intense concentration twisting her face. I grinned as she pulled the soft foam rollers out of my locks and fluffed, brushed, teased, and sprayed until my hair was perfect. It wasn’t very long, but the color was pretty, somewhere between ripe pumpkin and the gold of the earrings she clipped on my ears.

Face full of wonder, Kaylah held a glass vial before my eyes. “There’s a river so high in the Mountains of the Moon that the water turns silvery-blue.” She pulled the stopper out of the shiny bottle and dipped a small brush into it. “I’m going to paint your nails with moonlight. Sit still until it dries.”

In the mirror sat a beautiful elfin princess—golden hair aglow, large emerald eyes, small red mouth, and rosy cheeks sprinkled with freckles. She was the happiest elf-maiden of the realm. I stood, grabbed a handful of white velvet on each side, curtseyed to the lady in the mirror, and spun around so my skirt would fly.

“Pretty!” shouted Alicia, one finger in her mouth.

“Both my girls are beautiful.” Kaylah bent down and kissed my little sister on the cheek.

“Are you ready, birthday girl?” She grabbed my hand and held it high. “Your court awaits you, my lady.” I spun around on tiptoes, a lovely ballerina, my shoes sparkling like stardust in the night sky.

Jimmy the Pirate swaggered into the kitchen, wooden saber at his side and a black patch over one eye. Alicia danced in her little pink tutu and a pair of angel wings made from coat hanger wire and crinoline. Gladys was dressed like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, red shoes and all. She had even brought Toto, a stuffed toy animal that might once have resembled a dog. Kaylah wore a tattered pair of bib overalls, a gingham blouse, and an old straw hat.

They had all chipped in and bought me a present. Kaylah must have wrapped the package because the edges and folds were all straight. I pulled the tape off, careful not to rip the paper. Inside was a new Raggedy Ann. A squeal of delight burst from my lips, and I hugged the doll to my breast. “Sofie! I’ll name her Princess Sofie!” I scooted over on my throne, set her on the seat beside me, and straightened her dress.

Kaylah winked at me, set my birthday cake on the kitchen table, and lit the candles. I blew out all five with one breath and grinned at Jimmy. They say you shouldn’t tell anybody your wish, but he already knew I wanted to be his wife.

The pirate grinned at me, eyes flashing, and waved a saber over his head. “Yar! Cut the cake!”

Kaylah was the one who baked my birthday cake. I think she got the recipe off a Hershey’s Cocoa tin. Anyway, she made the yummiest chocolate cakes. I cut Jimmy a ragged chunk and passed him his plate.

“Princess, you’re making a mess.” My cousin, gentle as always, cleaned the frosting off my sleeve and cut slices for the rest of us.

I was halfway through eating mine when I heard the front door open. Ooh! Dad was home early. Seeing the little princess would make him sad. My fork hit my lap, chocolate cake and all, and bounced to the floor. Arms trembling, I sprang up, thinking to run away.

“No, Jamie. It’s okay. Today’s your birthday.” Kaylah grabbed my arm and gently pushed me back down into my seat. “He should see how pretty you look.”

Kaylah was only twelve, but she’d pretended to be my mom ever since she was seven. My real mom home schooled Kaylah, and me, and my brother Scott every morning. In the afternoon, while our moms worked, my cousin, and Alicia, and I played together. Scott didn’t hang around with girls, so he went to his pal Joey’s or played kick-the-can outside the old schoolhouse on Polk Street.

I didn’t have a magic ring to make me invisible, so Dad found me as soon as he strode into the kitchen. His eyes—those deep wells of disappointment—locked on the elfin princess and sucked the life out of her. “What’s going on?”

Kaylah stepped between me and Dad, saving me from certain doom. “It’s Jamie’s birthday, remember? The kids are all wearing costumes for his party. We were reading Old Scottish Fairy Tales and he wanted to dress like an elfin princess.”

I peeked around Kaylah’s waist, hiding Sofie behind my back. The air around my father seemed to crackle with lightning, but he only nodded and smiled at me. “I got you a new softball. After your party, let’s play catch. Okay, sport?”

So my dad played catch with the elfin princess, tossing her the ball underhand from a few feet away. I missed the first one; it went right between my outstretched arms. The second rolled off my fingertips. The third bounced off my hands and hit me in the face. Boys seemed to learn right away, but I didn’t think I’d ever be able to catch a ball. I shut my eyes to hide my frustration, but the tears were too many.

“I’m sorry, Jameson. Are you okay?” Dad knelt down and hugged his little princess tight, but the disappointment in his eyes hurt her worse than the ball had. Scott said I threw like a girl, but all the ones I knew played catch better than me. I got hurt when I played boy games. Every time. That’s one reason I preferred playing with Kaylah and Alicia.

Dad led me back inside. While he searched for the ice pack, I sympathized with the princess in the mirror. Her face resembled a raccoon’s now, with a dark half-moon under one eye. Poor girl. Another black eye. Won’t you ever learn?


Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite can be bought on amazon.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Book Review- Giant Thief by David Tallerman


Title: Giant Thief
 Author: David Tallerman
Series:  Tales of Easie Damasco #1
Published:  21 January 2012 by Angry Robot
Length: 400 pages
Source: publisher
Other info: The second tale of Easie Damasco is Crown Thief, out now. David has written other things.  
Summary : Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer. Even the wicked can't rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he's going to need help.  Big time.
Review: Easie Damasco is about to be hanged. He is saved when the warlord Moardrid  comes along and orders him freed, even if it is just to be put in the army. But anyway. There he meets Saltlick, a giant who is twice the size of a man, and ends up becoming Saltlick’s carer, handler, friend on the journey to get Saltlick back to his home. But it’s not all that easy/ Maoradrid’s men are after a stone, the owner of which has the power to control the giants. And he thinks that Easie might have it.
I don’t remember when I requested this, but upon starting to read, I could see why. Giants and a quest aren’t totally original, but I loved it here. Good adventures are always great stories to get lost in-and multiple times more interesting than a rugby match.
Easie is instantly likeable-rogue, young, witty. Saltlick is a little strange to start with, but it’s not long until you fall in love with him. He’s like an intelligent pet, but much more than that. Estrada, the mayor of small town Muena Palaiya, is a strong woman who keeps going through pretty much everything. It is annoying that she’s the only recurring woman though (what is it with fantasy having almost single sex cast sometimes?)
There’s a lot of supporting characters who turn up and disappear for various reasons. They aren’t always nice, but they’re realistic and do well in the story. You really get to know them as they go through everything, and you get to care for them.
I loved the giant civilisation so much. It’s built up well with hints throughout, but when you get there, it really does feel like we’re in a new foreign country. The rest of the world setting is really good too.
As I said, it’s not totally original, but there’s so much fun and adventure that it really doesn’t matter.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a fantasy adventure with a wellbuilt cast and characters/

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Guest post by Jenny E Miller- YA Novels-What's Not to Write?


Hello! I had a fairly good time in Belgium, but I'll ramble more some other day. Anyway, today, we JENNY E MILLER talking about what's suitable and what's not in YA novels. This is something that has come up a bit in my family, more on the what can I read than what can I write, but this is a really interesting topic. So, yes. Read this great post.



While writing my young adult novel ASYLUM, I was constantly asking myself what I could and could not write about. Without giving too much away, the book deals with murder (though not gruesomely), teen pregnancy, blossoming relationships and unstable families. Was I pushing the envelope with a sixteen year-old pregnant character? Could I say the f-word? Could a young girl commit murder?

The long and the short of it is, yes, I could. It was and is my book, and I can write about whatever I want. But the subjects I’ve chosen aren’t usually discussed in young adult writing, unless they’re taking place in an alternate universe (and therefore not exactly taboo). Take the TWILIGHT saga, for example. Sex? Yep. Pregnancy? Yep. Teen marriage? Uh huh. But it’s all with a vampire, and not realistic to our world, so it doesn’t exactly push the envelope. The HUNGER GAMES series contains murder by the main character, but it’s in self-defense, and part of a game in a dystopian world. 

My book delves into the paranormal, but it’s a touch more realistic than TWILIGHT and the HUNGER GAMES. But still, the question is, what subjects do authors use and which do they shy away from in teen books?

I think (and I’m generalizing here—I’m sure there are exceptions) that young adult novels that are set in this world, in present time, tend to shy away from sex, violence, drugs, and language. But once they move to an alternate world, everything is fair game. A dystopian or fantasy world lets you break all the rules and create your own.

So what topics should young adult writers cover and which should they steer away from? In all honesty, my answers are everything, and nothing.

I believe that kids today are much smarter and more self-aware than we give them credit for. Bella Swan didn’t spawn a thousand teen marriages, and Katniss Everdeen didn’t cause a band of young girls to pick up bows and arrows and start shooting. I truly think that we can write about whatever we want (as long as it’s intriguing, smart and well-told) and there are very few subjects that should be taboo.  It’s all about how you handle it. As long as you’re not blatantly encouraging murder, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, etc., go for it. Chances are kids have been exposed to these subjects long before they read it in your book.

That being said, parents should always, always pre-screen the books their kids are reading to make sure the content is appropriate for their age and personality. Just because they can read beyond their grade level does not mean they should. Books at higher reading levels are more mature in grammar and in content. And unless you’re prepared to answer questions and discuss the subject matter with them, don’t let them read the book.


Jenny E. Miller is the author of the upcoming novel ASYLUM, debuting on Amazon March 25th. You can find more of her at JennyEMiller.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
You can buy Asylum in paperback and on kindle
Thank you for the excellent post! 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Shedload of News!

So, they announced the death of Google Reader. 1 July, it'll be gone. This is both sad, because I've used it since forever, and irritating, because I've used it since forever and have at least 500 feeds in it. Thank you, life, for letting me import all my subscriptions automatically!
I'm trialling blogloving, oldreader and Feedly. What's everyone else doing with their subscriptions?

Also, because I have no idea what'll be happening with GFC, which has already been taken off non-blogger sites, I've registered with Blogloving and Networked Blogs. Links down the side-it would be much appreciated if you followed by some of these methods!
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I've chosen a tagline! One of my family came up with it.

Life's Too Short to Miss Out on Good Books.

I like it because it's pretty similar to what I came up with, it's short, and it doesn't resort to words which some people might not like.

Regarding the £5 voucher, I'm still going to offer it. Every tagline that got submitted will be an entry, and I'll use random.org to pick a winner.
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We had an author visit from Lauren Oliver today! Two friends and I got to interview her, and we talked about quite a few things. If I can get my phone to play nice and cough up the second half of the interview, I'll transcribe it and post it. If. Not looking likely :(
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RIP James Herbert. I've seen your books around, and they look pretty good.
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I think we should all be ashamed of the culture that has led to many people's reactions to the Steubenville rape trial. People blaming the girl, people complaining about how these boys' lives will be ruined without taking into account the fact that they brought it on themselves, and such. These attitudes are disgusting and we should all be pushing for the harshest prison sentences possible. So much rage in my head when I read sh*t like that. *tries to keep this blog lighthearted and rages to air instead*
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They announced the title to Sherlock Season 3 episode 1! It's going to be The Empty Hearse which is clever because obviously, the ACD bringing Sherlock back story was The Empty House, and any hearse that John would have had for "Sherlock" would be empty and yeah. And they've started production. We might not die before season 3 comes!
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We have a Hazel! It's Shailene Woodley, the girl who's also going to be Tris. To be honest, she isn't anything like my mental Hazel or Tris. But here's hoping that she does both really well!
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I'm pretty much in love with Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I read it at the weekend, and the radio play is so so good! Look, it's Anthony Head being an assassin! Benedict Cumberbatch being an angel! Sophie Okonedo being a badass! Neil Gaiman being an excellent story teller....and... many things!

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I'm not going to be around for a few days. Maybe. Possibly. Because I'm going to Belgium tomorrow on the history battlefields trip! Got to be at school for half five in the morning!!! And then four hours of travelling. And then on Friday, six hours of travelling. And then on Sunday, four hours of travelling. Yes, I'm taking lots of books. Six physical and a kindle. Yeah. Overkill? Maybe. But it beats hours on coaches and boredom. Because even with all the stuff that we're doing together, we'll end up bored somewhere along the line.

Anyway, about the maybe being around. There's going to be free wifi at the hotel! Maryspam might take her laptop. My kindle has wifi built in. But I don't know how busy I'll be. I might be around a bit, but assume this is the last you'll see of me till Monday.
Until then...bye.


Oh, and here's a nice picture of one of the best advertising schemes ever.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Book Review- Equus by Peter Shaffer


 
Title: Equus 
 Author: Peter Shaffer
Series:  N/A
Published:  2 October 1984
Length: 112 pages
Warnings: semi-graphic sex and masturbation, violence,  person is pretty much  sexually attracted to horses. NOT FOR LITTLE PEOPLE. 

Source: library
Other info: This has been staged many times, and has had a film version made.
Summary : lan Strang is a disturbed youth whose dangerous obsession with horses leads him to commit an unspeakable act of violence. As psychiatrist Martin Dysart struggles to understand the motivation for Alan's brutality, he is increasingly drawn into Alan's web and eventually forced to question his own sanity. Equus is a timeless classic and a cornerstone of contemporary drama that delves into the darkest recesses of human existence.
Review: Alan Strang is a seventeen year old who has blinded six horses with a metal spike. After the magistrate pulled a few strings, he ends up in a psychiatric hospital, being treated by Doctor Martin Drysart.  As well as learning the details about the events leading up to the incident, Drysart will also learn more and more about himself.
This book, is very very f***ed up. It’s a good book, but very messed up. It most certainly is not for: kids, those  offended by those who don’t  worship a conventional god, the squeamish, horselovers and a whole host of other people.
From a psychology point of view, it is one of the best things you can read. You really get into the heads of both the patient, as Alan and various other people recount past event, and the psychiatrist, as he questions himself in asides and thoughts spoken aloud.
Alan’s upbringing has caused him to get sex, religion and horses a little bit mixed up. Seeing his thoughts develop through the years, seeing what happened to get him where he is now, is really interesting. Drysart, too, with his moments of questioning how he got where he is, with his dreams of being an Aztec priest and his marriage to a disinterested woman and losing his own interest in life, and realising that he becomes much more lively when talking to Alan.
The relationships of the play are really deep. Alan is really an example of what different types of people do to shape you, from parents with conflicting views on religion, to the girl who shows him that things he’d held as important spiritually are actually normal.
The religion aspect of this is really interesting. you can see how Alan was drawn to create Equus as his deity, and how strong his belief is and what it drives him to do.
 I’d love to see this played live. The stage directions and the intimacy of what we get told is so intense. The humming  noise  of the god Equus is  well used in the script to indicate the importance of the following scenes. The climax of act 1, -that- scene that you all know about, gets you really into Alan’s head, but you also see the scene as a spectator in wonder at what Alan is doing an how he could be doing it. From the descriptions of how Shaffer  wants the horses, you can tell that this was meant to be a work of art.
Finally,  a certain staging and casting of a couple of years back solidifies its awesomeness. Because why wouldn’t you want Harry Potter stripping? (Even though that seriously is not the only reason to read/see this. It might influence your decision. but there is a lot lot more to this play than that).

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a book that is both f***ed up and fascinating.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads |

Final bonus- lots of love from Better Book Titles

Monday, 18 March 2013

Top 10 Heroines- Blog Tour- Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell

Top Ten Heroines in YA Today, as chosen by Mia Hoddell




I prefer books with strong female leads so here is a list of some of my favourite heroines. I like most of these because they are either strong willed, quick witted, take no prisoners or humourous characters.

1. Valkyrie Cain (aka Stephanie) from Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek
2. Darcie Lock from Ringmaster, Empty Quarter and Deadlock – Julia Golding
3. Liv Warren from Blood Bound (Unbound #1) – Rachel Vincent
4. Faythe from Stray (Shifters #1) – Rachel Vincent
5. Cassie Palmer –Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1) – Karen Chance
6. Cat Royal from Cat Royal Series – Julia Golding
7. Lauren from Girl Missing (#1) – Sophie Mckenzie
8. Willow from Angel – L. A. Weatherly
9. Wanda/Melanie Stryder from The Host – Stephenie Meyer
10. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Thanks to Nina for hosting me on her great blog, and remember to check out the other tour stops here:




Title: Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1
Author: Mia Hoddell
There is a love that is so dangerous, so powerful, so intoxicating that it embraces your heart and smothers your mind until it leaves you defenceless.
Serena knew that but still, it didn't stop her. His name was Kai. He was the most beautiful, irresistible man she had ever encountered. Their attraction was too compelling to fight and she knew she would go to the end of the world beside him. That is love.
However behind the allure was hidden a deadly secret – a secret that threatened her fragile life... But secrets best left unsaid never remain hidden forever. When Kai reveals his true identity, she is exposed to a frightening world she had no idea existed. Controlled by powerful Elemental forces her life is placed in mortal danger.
Unbeknown to them, their lives have been entwined from the beginning and it leads her to discover an even greater secret about who she really is. As the pieces begin to unravel and death becomes a reality, Serena is forced to decide what is more important...her love or life.

Buy Links: 
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Paperback (Lulu) and will be available on Amazon soon

About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and her preferred genre is Young Adult, Paranormal Romance. Before 2009, Mia wouldn't even pick up a book and was more interested in sports. However she finally found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of both reading and writing. Mia began with poems and after getting two published in separate anthologies she moved on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series The Wanderer Trilogy and from there other ideas have emerged which she hopes to turn into novels as well. Elemental Killers is her second series and book two will be out soon.

Author Links


Also, giveaway!
• 1 ebook copy of Deadly to Love through amazon kindle (INT)
• Deadly to Love Swag (UK ONLY)

Ebook giveaway code
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Swag giveaway code
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Book Review-The Things We Did For Love


Title: The Things We Did For Love
 Author:  Natasha Farrant
Series:  N/A
Published:  1 March 2012 by Faber
Length:240 pages
Source: Publisher
Summary : France: February, 1944.  As war rages in Europe, teenagers Luc and Arianne fall passionately in love. But German forces are closing in and Luc, desperate to atone for his family's past, is drawn into the dangerous world of the Resistance. Arianne will do almost anything to keep him safe, but someone else is secretly in love with her - someone who will stop at nothing to get rid of his rival...

Review: France 1944. France is occupied by the Germans. Luc, Arianne and Romy are three teenagers in a lovetriangle. Rory has the chance to see Luc off, but at a high price. As the Germans enter the area, the three of them do many things for love.
I really enjoy good historical, especially when they deal with parts of history that I’m not that familiar with. And we hardly ever get taught about World War 2 except from a British pov, which I find a shame. Anyway. France.
Part one, I had to read twice. Neither time I really understood it and its use. There were bits of things starting to build up, but it was quite disjointed with random things happening, some of which I didn’t get  how were furthering the plot in ways other than knowing the characters.
Part two is very short, but by then there’s the big sense of tensions rising  both between Luc and Arianne and between the people of the town and... er, normal, safey life. And then there’s something that sets off the climax.
Part three. Right in the feels. So much happens to these characters that you quite like. And then... yeah. Read it. Be prepared to be upset.
The atmosphere of a wartorn community comes through so well. The community, the betrayal, the dependence on someone else. You really feel like you know these people.
The characters are fleshed out well. My favourite was Solenge, because she ws fun, at least at the start. I also really liked Father Julien and Alois, the soldier.
The reason this doesn’t get a higher rating is because it was a bit slow and I’d have liked to see our main characters do a bit more. I’d also like to know Luc and Arianne a bit more too.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a short sweet romance.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Book Review-Undone by Cat Clarke


Advance warning- the review is 700 words, 250 of which are ranting. 

Title: Undone
 Author:  Cat Clarke
Series:  N/A
Published:  31 January 2013 by Quercus
Length: 502 pages
Warnings: rape, suicide, homophobia, violence.
Source: library
Other info: Cat has also written Entangled and Torn, which I reviewed here and here.
Summary : Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.
Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.
Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down. 

Review: Jem loves Kai. Kai doesn’t love her back, because he’s gay. She’s ok with this. Fastforward a few years, when he gets outed via internet video, and he receives a lot of hate mail. And he kills himself. A month later, Jem is ready to do the same, when she receives an envelope. It’s a year’s wotrth of letters from Kai, challenging her to do things and live life to the full. While following them, Jem decides to also find out who drove Kai to his death, and to get her revenge.
I’m going to start by saying that I didn’t cry at this *ducks from people calling me heartless* I got pretty damn close when reading Kai’s letters, which were by far the best thing about Undone. They were so raw and emotional and real and you really get a sense of Kai, even though he’s dead for the majority of the book. you can just imagine him sitting there, and what he’s going through, and how hard it is. The fact that they were handwritten, inconsistent and smudged, makes it all the more intimate and real.
The supporting characters in Undone were all seen in a really negative light to start with, but you started to like them more and more as you got to know them and form opinions of your own of them. They also developed quite nicely. Bugs, I didn’t have good or  bad feelings for, and I think he got off relatively lightly in Jem’s revenge plan.  Lucas wasn’t too bad either. Stu wasn’t that nice, but he is really badly affected by Jem. Sasha was my favourite living character, as she did seem genuinely nice and undeserving of what happened to her. Though to be honest, all the teens in Undone deserve a good slap at some point.
The characters were all well written and real. The social dynamics seemed quite real and full. I can’t say I approve of these people’s views on sex. The girls feel they’re there for the boys, and throw sex at everyone. But hey, it’s their views. Not mine. But it does say something about gender power among teens.
I love Cat. She’s a really nice person, from the one time I met her and her happenings on the interweb. And her style is beautiful, as always. So, realistic characters, beautiful but horrible set up, huge issues tackled and amazing writing. Why doesn’t this get five stars or more?

It’s Jem. To start with, I felt bad for her, what with her terrible month since her best friend killed himself and her being ready to do the same. She was trying to change herself and get on with life, and I respected her for that. She takes the plan to get revenge on whovever did what they did, showing she’s proactive and disabled. And then she changed so much. She wasn’t being true to herself, and she knew it.
I can just about deal with that. What I can’t deal with what she does around the 200 page mark. The three little words. And the spreading rumours, not little ones like with  Bugs, but big ones. And they seriously affect the person they’re about. And the subject matter. These two actions made me lose all empathy,  care and respect for Jem. And shout at her. “YOU DO NOT F**KING JOKE SLASH LIE ABOUT STUFF LIKE THAT. THAT IS DISREPECTFUL AND SERIOUS and if you can throw that around I cannot care for you.” *I'll save my thoughts on rape in culture and YA fiction for another day* 
I do love characters that develop. Jem most certainly did. I like characters that go up and down the morality scale-it did no harm for my love of Dorian Gray. But Jem did not so much slip, she was slightly wobbling and then she  fell at terminal velocity. And she changed beyond recognition. And I just cannot fully enjoy a book with a character that I hate so much. Even with an ending like that.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a beautiful emotional book, that I just couldn’t fully love due to its main character.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Ink and Carnegie!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we show off books that we want to read but have not been published yet. 

Title:  Ink
Author: Amanda Sun
Release Date: 25 June 2013 by Mira
Link to / Summary from Goodreads: On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Why I want it:  Japanese mythology is awesome. This looks really cool. It has a gorgeous cover that fits perfectly with the title.


We have a winner for the Witchlove giveaway! It was Fiery Na! I've emailed Emma, and she should get back to you. Thanks for entering.

We still have two big giveaways running! The international one and the UK one.

Also... The shortlist for Carnegie! 

THE WEIGHT OF WATER by SARAH CROSSAN
A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL by RODDY DOYLE
MAGGOT MOON by SALLY GARDNER
IN DARKNESS by NICK LAKE
WONDER by R.J. PALACIO
MIDWINTERBLOOD by MARCUS SEDGEWICK
A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT by DAVE SHELTON
CODE NAME VERITY by ELIZABETH WEIN

Three out of eight! These all look really good. I've had Code Name Verity and Wonder on my TBR for ages, but I'm looking forwards to reading all of these!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Carnegie Shortlist Announcement Game

I've followed the Carnegie for a few years. We have a competition in our book club-who can guess the shortlist correctly?

Here's my picks...


1. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. PERFECT.
2.  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Because. I don't know why. It just seems like it'd work.
3. Wonder by R J Palacio. I've heard so much about this, and how lovely it is, and think it should be there.
4. Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers. This is very much the kind of thing that would get onto the list.
5. To Be a Cat by Matt Haig. Because this seems like the kind of thing that would get on the list.
6. The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond. Here is some David Almond. Judges LOVE David Almond.

Also, if we're going for a seven or eight shortlist, here's my extra picks (ignore in score if we get a six long list)

7. All Fall Down by Sally Nichols. Ways to Live Forever was beautiful. This might be just as poweverful.
8. A Waste of Good Paper by Sean Taylor. It's full of the kind of stuff that seems like it'd work on the shortlist.

Yeah. I've read one of my six/eight picks. Lovingly basing this on my predictability of author choice and themes. Good luck to all authors longlisted!

What are your picks for the shortlist? Go to the longlist here and choose 6-8 books. Whoever's the most accurate gets...hugs? Intenet love? A sense of accomplishment. It's just a bit of fun. But a lot of fun.

Book Review- Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve


Title: Fever Crumb
 Author: Philip Reeve
Series:  Fever Crumb #1
Published:  5 May 2009
Length: 326 pages
Source: Sarah!
Other info:  This got shortlisted for the Carnegie!
Summary : Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.
Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb - nearly the only person she's ever known - to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven.
The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.
All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret 
that lies at the heart of London?
Review: Scriven are speckled, pale, speckled creatures, who ruled London for years. A baby girl is left on a doorstep, with a label explaining that “her name is Fever”. She grows up as an engineer, the first female one, until she is asked to go and help someone. Kit Solent, archaeologist, wants Fever to help him with the treasure trove he’s found. Why? Because he thinks that she’s the one who can be used to unlock the secrets of Scriven Auric Godshawk.  Also, there are people who believe that Fever is a Scrivien herself, and are willing to kill her for it.
This is the first I’ve read of anything to do with Fever Crumb or the Traction Cities series. I like the idea of the walking cities, but we weren't quite there yet. Instead we get a world that isn’t typically steampunk due to its lack of technology, but is definitely distinctive. There’s lots of clever references to today’s world, with Fever’s world being built on the remains of outs in terms of language and culture.
The scriven are a subspecies who, after believing themselves to be superior, took over London and ruled it until the humans revolted. The plot with  Charley and Creech attempting to kill fever was a good plot  What was more interesting was the history of the Scirven and their interactions with the humans, especially the backstory with Doctor Crumb and Wavey, the Scriven princess.
Fever was a bit annoying at the start. Because her upbringing made her aloof and uncaring for art and fun. I did warm up to her with time though. I really liked the fact that she was clever and inquisitive, and I liked seeing her discover her own secrets.I also  really liked Kit for some reason. I would have liked to get into the characters heads more.
Plotwise, it changes tack quite a bit. I think that the climax of Londoners vs Movement was good, but not amazing. Other plot points were really fascinating.
I have no knowledge of the Hungry Cities main series. I can’t comment  on Fever Crumb’s effectiveness as a prequel. As a prelude to another time set of this world, with a lot more things developed, I’ll definitely read Mortal Engines one day.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to an original steampunkworld I'd love to see more of.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Book Review-Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Title: Geek Girl

 Author: Holly Smale
Series:  N/A
Published:  28 February 2013 by Harper Collins
Length: 378 pages
Warnings:  None
Source: netgalley
Summary : Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Review: Harriet Manners is a geek, and proud of it. One day, she’s on a school trip, and she gets spotted by a modelling agency. Whisked away for a photoshoot and a makeover, Harriet finds her life changing in many ways-and not all for the better.
I requested this because lots of people said it would be good. I started this book. And Harriet started talking. And spouting some really random facts. And I did not like her for the first part of the book. I’m really glad that she was clever, because it beats the heck out of someone who is too dumb to live. But people who just talk on and on  to lengths such as Harriet  to people who aren’t interested irritate me.  As the book went on and it was established that Harriet was a geek, we focused more on the plot, I liked Harriet a bit more. Annoying fact insertation, Harriet is likable, funny and a great main character. She’s become a lot more mature by the end of the book.
I really liked some of the secondaries, for example Nat and Annabel.  Alexa got what she had coming together. Wilbur was downright irritating throughout. Toby, the stalker, was annoying, but cute. Nick, the love interest, was sweet from what we saw of him, but I feel we should have gotten to know him a bit more. I think all the characters could have been a bit deeper, and developed more (aside from Harriet, who was done really well).
The school side of Geek Girl, the atmosphere, and social dynamics were well captured. I have no experience of the modelling world, so I have no idea how realistic it was, but it’s a good setting to bring out different sides of the characters.
I really like the fact that Harriet stays true to herself, realises that it doesn’t matter what she looks like, that being a geek is good and dressing in XXX isn’t everything, and spreads the word majorly.

Overall:  Strength 3.25 tea to a cute contemporary with a nice message.
Links: | Goodreads | Author website

Book Blast- Scott Tracey- Moonset




 photo BookBlast_zps43160525.jpgWith one month to go until MOONEST hits the shelves, we want to make sure you are all ready for it. Be sure to add MOONSET to your TBR piles, and don’t forget to check out the giveaway below for $25.00 gift cards to iTunes and B&N!






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Moonset Legacy of Moonset #1 Author: Scott Tracey
Release Date: April 8th 2013
Publisher: Flux

Justin Daggett, his trouble-making sister, and their three orphan-witch friends have gotten themselves kicked out of high school. Again. Now they’ve ended up in Carrow Mills, New York, the town where their parents—members of the terrorist witch organization known as Moonset—began their evil experiments with the dark arts one generation ago.

When the siblings are accused of unleashing black magic on the town, Justin fights to prove their innocence. But tracking down the true culprit leads him to a terrifying discovery about Moonset’s past . . . and its deadly future

PRE-ORDER NOW FOR ONLY $5.55
AMAZON | B&N


THE GIVEAWAY
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The Prizes!
1- $25.00 Barnes & Noble Gift Card


1- $25.00 iTunes Gift Card

Open Internationally

Gift Card to be delivered Electronically
a Rafflecopter giveaway



THE AUTHOR
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Scott Tracey is a YA author who lived on a Greyhound for a month, wrote his illustrated autobiography at the age of six, and barely survived Catholic school (and definitely not for the reasons you might think).

He is the author of WITCH EYES, chosen as one of Amazon’s Best LGBT Books of 2011, as well as an ALA Popular Paperback in the Forbidden Romance category.  The final book in the WITCH EYES trilogy, PHANTOM EYES, will be released in the fall of 2013.

He is also the author of MOONSET, a new series which will be released April 8, 2013, as well as a contributor to the SHADOWHUNTERS & DOWNWORLDERS anthology, edited by Cassandra Clare.

His career highlights include: accidentally tripping a panic alarm which led to nearly being shot by the police; attacked in a drive-thru window by a woman wielding a baked potato, and once moving cross country for a job only to quit on the second day.

His gifts can be used for good or evil, but rather than picking a side, he strives for BOTH (in alternating capacity) for his own amusement.

STALK SCOTT

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Happy World Book Day! *some large pictures under cut*

It's that time of year again when schools let you dress up as your favourite book character! If you're young enough anyway... I'm not.
Little M did an excellent post on this! She put so much effort into her costumes... *applauds*

Anyway, it's World Book Day. The day to get all kids reading. It's a great idea and there's so much happening.

I will attempt to do a proper post about how important reading is when you're young, or any age really, tomorrow or some point in the near future.
In the meantime, here's some of my favourite images about reading. Under the cut, so you don't all want to kill me.







Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Waiting on Wednesday-The Girl with the Iron Touch


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we show off books that we want to read but have not been published yet. 

Title:  The Girl with the Iron Touch-Steampunk Chronicles #3
Author: Kady Cross
Release Date: 28 May 2013 by Harlequin
Link to / Summary from Goodreads: In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken. When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives. 

 With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin. Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine. To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....

Why I want it: I read and really enjoyed the other two in this steampunk series, The Girl in the Steel Corset and The Girl in the Clockwork Collar.  And everything looks like it's kicking off really really badly. And I'm not sure if I'm right but this is the kind of series that seems like it could be a trilogy and

What are YOU waiting on this week?


Also, congrats to Paula! You won the Innovera Yakov-Journey of a Thousand Eyes giveaway! I've emailed Kia to get your prize sorted out. Thanks for entering.

There's still more chances to win stuff!
£5 Amazon/Book Depository voucher in exchange for tagline-ends 30 March
Witchlove by Emma Mills -International-ends 8 March
£11 worth books from TheBookDepository International blogoversary thing- Ends 30 March
2x book packs from my shelf UK only blogoversary giveaway-ends 30 March

Also, it's only TWO weeks till I meet Lauren Oliver!!

And me and some friends are going to be interviewing her (I'm aware that sentence is grammatically incorrect. I'm too tired to sort it out).
So is there anything you want us to ask her? Because we don't have many questions at the moment. Ask for all books, we'll decide if we'll include spoilery questions or not later.


And have a good week, people!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

NEWS!! Also, February round up. Also, stuff.

I broke my book obtaining ban. I'm sorry, shelves. I got Undone by Cat Clarke. But it's ok if I read it in one day, and it's going back to the library tomorrow...right?

What happened in February...Well, I went to the Hot Key Books/Templar thing (see here). I put up a lot of giveaways. some of which are ending soon, so you should go and enter! You should also enter the ones that end later in the month. Lots of awesome prizes to be won!

Innovera Yakov-The Journey of a Thousand Eyes by Kia Garriques International-ends 5 March
£5 Amazon/Book Depository voucher in exchange for tagline-ends 30 March
Witchlove by Emma Mills -International-ends 8 March
£11 worth books from TheBookDepository International blogoversary thing- Ends 30 March
2x book packs from my shelf UK only blogoversary giveaway-ends 30 March

Death Books and Tea turned TWO!!  (hence why we have some of these giveaways)
I changed my design.
I read quite a bit.
I got into Supernatural. It is now on my long obsession list. You may have noticed the sanity level of this book slowly slipping since the start of the year. Supernatural, and all the SuperWhoLock things that can also come from it, is a push down the hill.  I'm sorry.
I have some taglines to consider! Please carry on thinking of them, and I'll settle on one at the end of the month.

 News! We have a cover for book two in the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo! I quite enjoyed The Gathering Dark (review here) and  I like the similarities between the cover for Siege and Storm a nd Shadow and Bone (the US title for The Gathering Dark).

We just got 500 followers!

There's going to be more Neil Gaiman in our lives!! He is a generally awesome man, even if some of his writing for little people is a bit... er.... no (my first encounter with him was Crazy Hair and that was just wrong wrong wrong). Anyway, Neil has a book coming called Fortunately, the Milk and it sounds really really cool. Oh, and Chris Riddell is a great illustrator.



There's going to be more Neil Gaiman in our lives! At some point. And more time travel. And more awesomeness. FOUR WEEKS TILL DOCTOR WHO SERIES 7 PART 2!!!!!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Book Review- The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell


Title: The Reapers are the Angels
 Author: Alden Bell
Series:  Reapers #1
Published:  2 September 2011 by Toe
Length: 304 pages
Warnings: attempted rape, violence
Source: won 2011 from Nocturnal Book Reviews
Summary : For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

Review: Temple is simply trying to survive in this world where zombies, slugs, whatever you want to call them, roam. She wanders from place to place, meeting people then moving on. We find her coming in to a small community. After one of the men there tries to rape her, Temple kills him and runs from his brother, Moses. Further on in her travels, she picks up Maury, a man she must take care of, and plans to help him get back to his family. They carry on travelling, running, from a man who wants revenge.
I like the fact that the zombies weren’t the focus of The Reapers are the Angels. Instead, they’re the world builders, providing a reason for Temple to keep moving and the occasional big action sequence.
 Here, the horror comes from the characters. Abraham, who thinks he’s entitled to have the new young girl have sex with him. The mutants. Even Temple, in the way that she detaches herself so easily.
I like the range of characters. There’s people who remember times before the undead started rising and there’s people who don’t know anything else. Everyone deals with the undead in different ways.
I couldn’t really connect with Temple, despite being given access to her thoughts and method of thinking.
The events in this book seem quite disjointed. Once we met a character, for the most, we don’t see them again. This is perfectly in keeping with Temple’s lifestyle, but as a reader, I didn’t really enjoy it.
It’s all written in third person, closely following Temple and her decisions. There’s simple punctuation, and a distinct lack of speech marks. This and Temple’s strong accent do well in showing her upbringing and lack of education. I did miss the speech marks. A lot. 
The relationship between Moses and Temple is the most interesting one in the novel. There’s the whole wanting to kill each other, but when their meetings become more and more frequent,  they start to understand each other, understand their difference, and similarities.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a character driven post-apocalyptic novel.
Links: Amazon | | Goodreads | Author website