Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interview with Jo Treggiari

Jo Treggiari is the author of one of the most anticipated 2011 novels, Ashes, Ashes, which was released earlier this month! If you've read my book review here, then you'll probably already know that I thought it was amazing! Post-apocalyptic and the general dystopian novels have become a great favourite of mine in YA books and since I thought Ashes, Ashes was such a fun read, I thought it would be cool to ask Jo herself a couple of questions and she graciously agreed to have a small interview with me! Enjoy folks! :)

1. How did you come up with the idea of Ashes, Ashes? Did you always plan for it to be a post-apocalyptic novel?

Originally when I thought of the story my main goal was to write an adventure in the vein of the books I had read as a kid and teenager, but replacing the traditional hero with a heroine. I wanted to portray a girl who was strong but flawed, confident about some things, insecure about others. Someone forced to live with her own choices. Then one day I was with my young daughter at the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park and I started re-imagining my surroundings. I visualized lake water lapping at the edge of the statue, and a tossing sea beyond, toppled skyscrapers and black smoke in the sky, and I had the setting for my story. So many things seemed serendipitous when I started my research. Details just fell into place from there.

2. I absolutely love Lucy and Aidan's character! So, out of the many characters mentioned, which one was the most fun to write?

Oh that's a hard question - I loved writing all of them. I guess I'd say that besides Lucy and Aidan, it's a toss-up between Grammalie Rose, an 80 year old woman with an undimmed spirit, and Del, a 17 year old teenage girl who is stubborn, hot-tempered, and majorly conflicted. I had a lot of back story figured out for the both of them. They are complex characters and I had them face difficult moral choices. The whole book really poses the question "what would you do if faced with having to decide between the individual and the fate of many?" My characters all approach the choice differently.

3. Some of society's worst fears come to play in the book - the likes of natural disasters and disease. The fact that it COULD happen one day in the near future . . . out of all the struggles Lucy has to face in Ashes, Ashes, which one would you fear the most?

The tsunami scene terrifies me. I could hardly bear to watch the footage of the Indian Ocean disaster on YouTube when I was doing my research. It made me look at the ocean in an entirely different way. The sheer mass of it, the unpredictability, our helplessness . . . (shudders). Compounding that is the fact that one of my dearest friends almost died in it.

4. Dystopian is becoming quite a popular trend in the Young Adult market. What do you think makes them so popular? What makes Ashes, Ashes something a little different?

I think it's that whole 'what if' thing? What if global warming caused rising sea levels and widespread flooding on a catastrophic scale, what if the government installed video cameras on every street corner or monitored our website searches, what if love was outlawed, or reproductive rights controlled? Some of these things have already happened which makes the fictional scenarios in books even more scary and plausible.

We are always interested in the tales of survivors because they have lived through horrors the rest of us can only dream of. That aspect of the human spirit intrigues me and I explored it in my book. I think that a focus on human spirit, strength, adaptability and hope is what makes Ashes, Ashes a bit different, and the fact that it is post-apocalyptic rather than dystopian and set in the near future.

5. Name your favourite scene in Ashes, Ashes?

Writing the tsunami scene was difficult and taxing but I am proud of my writing in it. I also loved writing the dancing scene with Aidan and Lucy - all that emotion and awkwardness that the characters were feeling!

6. If you were in Lucy's place and thrown into her dystopian world, if flooding occured . . . name the three items you would take with you and why?

Matches/tinderbox or magnifying glass so I could start a fire. Blanket which I could wear or make a tent out of. A knife which I could use as a tool and a weapon.

7. Any advice to aspiring authors?

If you want to write you must persevere. This means reading widely and across other genres, writing as close to every day as you can manage, revising and polishing your work as much as it is required, and above all believing in yourself and LOVING the process. It is hard work but in my opinion there is nothing so rewarding. Educate yourself about the submission process/query letter - there are tons of great resources on the web, network with other writers on Twitter and through critique groups. Try and have a long view as well, aspire to a career rather than a blockbuster book which comes out of nowhere and makes you rich and famous. Those book are rare and few.

8. Last question: Will there be a sequel to Ashes, Ashes? Are there any other books that you're working on at the moment?

I certainly hope so. I have a companion novel outlined already which gives more history on Del, Aidan and Sammy. I have a punk rock road trip featuring 2 teen girls in 1983 California out on submission. And I just finished a polished draft on a coming of age/fish out of water urban fantasy with great white sharks.

A big thanks to Jo for answering my questions!

Ashes, Ashes is available now and if you haven't already read it, you can add it to your goodreads page here!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cover Reveals of 2012

I don't know about you guys, but I think 2012 is THE YEAR of great book titles. Or - should I say I think 2012 is THE YEAR of great book covers! For this post I'm going to showcase a couple of my favourites so far (covers I'm come across on the likes of goodreads), and by far, these are the most gorgeous covers I've ever seen on a young adult book!

If you're not already drooling over these covers, then I don't know what's wrong with you. *smirks* Out of every single one I've shown you, the only cover that 'kind of' disappointed me was the HALLOWED book cover. It looks too much like the first cover UNEARTHLY and I was hoping for a brighter colour this time . . . but it's still really pretty. As for TEMPEST . . . I don't know about you guys but it instantly reminded me of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush book series cover but nonetheless it's a VERY hot cover. As for my absolute favourite cover . . . while I love Kimberly Derting's third Body Finder installment cover - cause it's one of my BIG favourite series - but this time I would have to say my favourite is Brodi Ashton's Everneath cover! It's so . . . well, it's so WOW and very breathtaking. Especially when it comes to that beautiful RED DRESS! So, what book cover do you love the most out of this collection? What book are you most looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Release Date: 24th May, 2011

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 473pgs

The Story

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the thing inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking a full-grown man with one punch.

Only Griffin King sees the magicial darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be apart of something, finally fit in.

But the Machinist wants to tear Griffin's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows who side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.

The Review

First things first, I LOVE steampunk and it's become one of my favourite genres in young adult books! We need more of them! While other readers remain unaware of what 'steampunk' actually is, I can definitely say once you read this book . . . you'll understand.

"I like a little fight in my girls."

She grinned at him, causing blood to drip down her chin.

"Then you're going to love me."

Judging by this quote, you can already see Finley Jayne isn't your ordinary, lady-like victorian girl. Nor does she have manners. But she does have an unexplainable power: whenever she feels angry or sad, an odd surge of power courses through her that is almost like another side to her. A darker side. After being harassed by a young Lord who tried to force himself on her, Finley fought against him and ends up knocking him unconscious . . . pretty badly. And yes . . . she's clearly in trouble now. Forced to flee her masters home, Finley finds herself running into and meeting a young, handsome (of course he has to be handsome) Duke, Griffin King, whom takes it upon himself to invite her into his home and offers safety and protection despite the fact that Finley's power - or rather this rage - is both dark and dangerous.

THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET drew me straight away - from its cover to its first chapter! I just loved every moment of it! The thing that really had it going for it was the main herione, Finley Jayne. In the book, she's what you call your own Jekyll and Hyde. She has a good and bad side to her. She can be sensitive and she can be badass. I loved these two sides of her, although it would be best to keep on her good side as you wouldn't want to mess with her (it would involve breaking necks trust me). The main thing you'll read in THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET is about Finley's struggles to control her darker side, which is hard considering she's always being threatened, feared, and attacked. But she's gaining better control when she's with the likes of Griffin and his band of followers.

Griffin and his friends were a pretty awesome bunch of characters, all armed with their own abilities, talents, and personalities. Griffin, Duke of Greythorne, has the fascinating ability to tap into the Aether which was again awesome considering I have a high interest in spirits, realms, and aura-like things. And then you Emily, Sam, Jasper . . . but I won't tell you their abilities since it will ruin your own experience. But I will talk about Jack Dandy! Unlike the sophisticated Griffin, the rich boy, Jack is one of England's best unground criminals, and one that you're bound to love like most bad boys of the fictional world. To me, Jack was the only entertaining character throughout the entire novel and it came no surprise that I would fall for him and his Cockney accent cause it's sooooooo London. However, it was a pity that we didn't see more of him. I was like, "Griffin get off your high horse and bring Jack over here!" Anyway, all of the characters mentioned in this book are characters that are loveable, funny, and perfect in every way . . . despite their "issues". What's a character without issues, right?

Despite everything I love, I had a couple of my own issues with the book. With all the action and addictive page-turners, I just didn't like the romance between Finley and Griffin, or even the light-romance-and-possibly-love-triangle with Finley, Griffin, and Jack. Whenever I hear about Victorian-esque novels with a bit of steampunk, I expect adventure and so deep-and-perhaps a little cliche romance that you go, "Awwwwwww." Sadly there was hardly any romance. *bows down head* I get the whole Mr. Darcy act when it comes to Griffin and how he can't exactly makeout with Finley since he's a rich gentleman and all, but really???? At least Jack - a possible love interest - had the sense to pay Finley some attention, even if he's the kind you shouldn't trust but I loved him anyway. Another small issue is when the book smally mentioned rune tattoos and whenever I think about rune tattoos I imagine Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. So as it's a very popular and a best-selling series, it's probably best to leave the runes out because - like me - a lot of readers (well, maybe some) will end up comparing the two. While this isn't a hater comment, it's just a little peeve of mine.

Over all, THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET was pretty freakin' awesome. The action, the faint romance, the technology, the weird-but-wonderful inventions, the world, the power . . . it's everything a steampunk book should have! Even with a predictable ending and a predictable villian, I was glad to have picked up a copy of this book! If you love the likes of Caitlin Kittredge's The Iron Thorn and/or Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel book, then as Finley quoted in the book, "Then you're going to love me."

The Rating
4/5 stars

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Shattering by Karen Healey

Release date: 27th June, 2011

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 302pgs

R.R.P: $17.99

The Story

If you want to find out who

murdered your brother, come with me.

Summerton is perfect: gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, cute out-of-towners to hook up with. But sharp-tongued Keri is immune to her hometown's charms. Her older brother's sudden death has left her shattered by grief and with too many unanswered questions. When Keri discovers that her childhood friend turned rock-chick Janna and seriously smart rich-boy Sione have also lost brothers in unusual circumstances, she begins to suspect that sunny Summerton holds some very dark secrets. As the three investiage, the answers they uncover become more and more frightening. Can the teenagers save Summerton's next victim? Or will they succumb themselves to its strange summer magic?

The Review

Before I start, I want to say a BIG thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this wonderful book! Two books from them within two weeks . . . bless you! *dances* Anyway, THE SHATTERING is the second novel written by Kiwi author Karen Healey, who lives in Australia. Love Australian authors who write fantastic reads! It's not a sequel to her debut novel Guardians of the Dead (a book I was a huge fan of by the way), but it's a damn right interesting story that holds your interest until the very end!

Keri, a teen living in the West Coast town of Summerton in New Zealand's South Island, recently lost her brother to suicide and is still grieving, as are her parents. With the funeral over, Keri still doesn't understand why her brother killed himself. Nobody can figure it out. There was no note, no warning . . . It's a no brainer why she's so confused! He just shot himself one day and Keri found his body. But then there's Janna and Sione - two other characters you will soon meet - who've also lost their brothers to the mysterious and out-of-the-blue suicides. When Janna suggests the suicides have a connection, it's up to the three friends to work out who the killer is or rather what the "killer" is up to in their town.

When this "connection" develops into something a lot more the kids were expecting, there's obviously something strange going on within the town. And it's not what you first think. The town used to rain and rarely attract tourists . . . but for some reason it has been great for one day and then it's perfect for many years since that one day - all happening since the boys started killing themselves. Ever since the suicides Summerton is the best place to go as it's now attracting so much attention and not to mention there's a lot of tourist visits (yes, now there's TOURISTS!). The question here is: Why? Janna - Keri's childhood friend - tends to think it has something to do with the supernatural kind, someone that could be responsible for this town's perfection and for the suicides . . . whether she's right or not, readers will have to read and find out for themselves! But I can definitely say readers will be surprised about what will happen throughout the book. No spoilers from me I'm afraid. ;)

Out of everything I've read, what I loved most about THE SHATTERING is how Karen Healey explored some tough teen issues - from suicide to plain old grief - and she dealt with everything perfectly, and she really knew how to nail it! I also loved the fact that the author spilt the book into three different peoples' perspectives because it gave the book more depth about what was going on in each one of their lives and it came together very nicely. Even though I didn't really like Janna's perspective as much as I loved the other two characters and how I wished Keri and Sione got together (but that of course didn't happen thanks to a nice discovery about Keri), but it was still a fun standalone book. Probably one of the best books as I'm not much of a standalone kind of gal. So, if you liked Karen Healey's first novel Guardian of the Dead or if you haven't read the book yet . . . then you should definitely give this one a try!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Release Date: 7th June, 2011

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 419pgs

The Story

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl little time off. But when it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia - the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become a Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens - including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.

The Review

It's been quite a while since I've read a Karen Chance book, and since I remain a big fan of Chance's Cassie Palmer series and because it's been at least two years since the last book was released . . . I was pretty stoked for this book! Did I mention the cover is absolutely gorgeous and it was a quite a surprise when I saw this at the book store! *instantly grabs* But sadly when I read through the book - a big surprise to me by the way - I didn't find myself enjoying the book as much as the others. But that was just me thinking it would be better than the fourth installment Curse of the Dawn. *sigh*

One of the big NO-NO's was the complex of the story. Yes, it was very complex. I often found myself very confused with the events and sometimes I had no idea what was going on. Obviously in the book there's some time-travel of sorts, but yeah . . . it sent my head spinning. I don't do complicated well, unless it's for a good reason. While the story itself may not have all that great, but I did like how the main character, Cassie Palmer, gained more respect at the end of the novel and we finally get some answers about her mother and father. The only thing that bugged me about Cassie this time round was her and her male company. I'm rooting all the way for her and master vampire, Mircea, to get together! But I found her not taking him seriously, which I suppose it's because he sometimes treats her like a child. Blah. I think the book needs to hurry up and figure out who Cassie ends up hooking up with . . . not exactly a fan of a girl who strings along two men - that including a guy named Pritkin.

Overall, it's not a bad read especially if you too are a fan of Karen Chance's books. While it maybe not the best in the series, but it did answer a lot of questions that were left from the previous books. But I'm not waiting on the edge of my seat this time for the next book, not like I did when I read Curse of the Dawn. Aside from a couple of scenes that probably made no sense to me whatsoever, you'll like the plot on the whole. Hopefully - that is if she writes anymore books in this series - they'll be more character growth and perhaps a final go ahead in a romance with only ONE man!

The Rating

3/5 stars

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Mickey at Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: In the light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer . . . let's talk about fairies. What is your favourite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

My answer: Oh, that's an easy question! I have two answers for this one. First off, my favourite fairy tale would have to be the story of The Little Mermaid. When I was a kid, I was completely obsessed with the story because of my love of the ocean. Plus I always wanted to be a mermaid - all the freedom it had to offer. In my dreams, right? hehe. As for what's my favourite story that revolves around the fae, it would have to be Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series which is probably the best fae YA series I've read. But I also love Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, not to mention her characters Ash and Puck! ;)

So, what's your favourite fairy tale?

Do you also have a favourite fae story?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Release Date: 1st March, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Pages: 242pgs

The Story

Don't Close Your Eyes.

Except When The Truth Is Too Dark To Bear.

Clarity "Clare" Fern see things. Things no one else can see. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother, who has supernatural gift of his own, becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it the most.

The Review

Clarity has visions when she touches an object. To her family she's normal. To her town she'll always be known as 'The Freak'. But when a murder is committed within the town, Clare's ability is about to come in handy after all. While people doubt her family and her own supernatural abilities, she is more than determined to prove them wrong. But when her brother becomes a prime suspect of the murder, it's bound to complicate things for Clare's unusual life as she'll need her ability more than ever before. The question here is: Will it work for her?

Before I get into anything, I just have to say I love any books that have something to do with psychics because 1) I find it absolutely fascinating and 2) because I'm a sucker when it comes to psychics solving Nancy-Drew-like mysteries (a huge ND nerd right here). While there's plenty of books out there in the young adult market, dealing with this sort of genre, CLARITY was definitely a likeable read. Personally it was hard to get into at first - had a slow beginning and sometimes was predictable in terms of who the killer was etc. - but ultimately it was a pretty good read for a 242 paged book. Not a lot of short YA books do the mysteries justice.

Like the story, the main character Clare was quite likeable too. She might be a little naive at times and perhaps a little childish, however when it comes to her ability . . . she started to grow into her own and become a heroine you came to admire. But that doesn't mean she's flawless. She develops a crush on the new boy in town - the detective's son mind you - Gabriel and while she 'might' like him, she still loves her ex-cheating-boyfriend, Justin. I admit, I didn't really like Gabriel. He didn't believe in Clare as much as I wanted him too (maybe because he's a skeptic) but I don't know . . . I just didn't believe in his story and how he starts to like Clare as well. I truly want him out of the picture. As for Clare's ex-cheating-boyfriend, Justin, while he's a cheating jerk and I'm sure there's plenty of cheating jerks out there in the real world that never should be forgiven . . . but unfortunately I had a soft spot for him. While Gabriel was hesitant to trust in Clare's ability to sense things, Justin always believed in her. Plus, he's pretty cute in my imagination. Whether these two guys get the girl in the end . . . I guess we'll find out in CLARITY's sequel. Go Justin I say!

While CLARITY isn't my favourite of all favourites of psychic books, but it's a great debut novel for those who are looking for a quick book fix. It's fast-paced, has a little bit of action, a great deal of suspense, a faint romance that most will enjoy, and an ending that leaves you wanting more for its sequel. If you love the likes of Nancy Drew and Laurie Stolarz's Touch series (my favourite psychic series by the way), then CLARITY is definitely your type of read! But be warned: it'll leave you with lot's of questions!

The Rating
3 1/2 / 5 stars

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winner of Clockwork Angel

Hey guys!

I just wanted to say a big thank to everyone who entered my CLOCKWORK ANGEL book giveaway! I had a lot of people entering, which was great considering most of my followers are international . . . so thank you to all those aussies for supporting my blog - both old and new followers! Instead of using random engines to decide on the winner, it was my job to pick a winner with a very creative answer . . . boy there were A LOT of them and it was extremely hard! But to be fair, I wanted to choose someone with an answer that I didn't expect and I found the right person!

The winner of the signed CLOCKWORK ANGEL book is . . .

*drumroll please*


This follow blogger said her favourite character was the faerie queen from the Mortal Instruments series - as she has yet read Clockwork Angel - and it was a very awesome answer indeed. Like I wanted . . . it was very creative so cheers to her!

Anyway, congrats! The winner has been notified by email.

Once again, thanks to all for entering!

I have more giveaways to come in the future, so look out for them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Release Date: 1st June, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 343pgs

The Story

A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts -- for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued by from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

The Review

In Ashes, Ashes, the world has been hit with a series of natural disasters including droughts, floods, wild weather, and then of course there's the whole plague thing that wiped out 99% of the human and animal population. Unlike those who died, Lucy is a survivor. After losing her entire family to the mysterious plague, she's forced to live alone in the wilds of New York's Central Park . . . trying to stay alive as each day comes and goes. However, one of Lucy's main priorities is to keep away from the Sweepers - a group of people who kidnap the remaining survivors and infect them with the virus.

One day when Lucy is out looking for food, she comes face-to-face with a vicious pack of hunting dogs belonging to the one and only Sweepers. But with the surprise help of another human - that being a boy named Aidan, a survivor just like her and the first real human she's met in a very long time - she manages to escape them. But when she learns more about Aidan and the other groups of survivors who are out there beyond the wilds of her so-called "home", she suddenly is faced with the question: Can she continue to survive alone? As everything she knows changes and romance builds, the lies and secrets are also revealed.

When I first heard about Ashes, Ashes I already expected dystopian and one hell of an adventure. And that's exactly what I got. Reading about Lucy was as interesting as the depressing and yet creative world Jo Treggiari created. Lucy was a pretty tough chick at the beginning of the book and remained so in the end. Where other survivors formed community groups, there's Lucy trying to do it all on her own, managing to survive with lot's of hard work and determination. When it comes to Aidan, from his wit to his devil-ish smile, he too was a very likeable character and had his own means of surviving. As did the other characters you were introduced to.

Like any other young adult book, it must have some romance in it. When it comes to Lucy and Aidan's romance it wasn't love at first sight . . . thankfully. But you could definitely see the attraction between the two of them when they first meet. I think what I loved most about their relationship was how it started as a solid friendship, before hitting the characters with some romance. It gave them more depth and some that seemed believeable, if you were in their circumstances. But they took their damn time! As for the plot itself, while the beginning was a little slow and I already knew what direction we were heading toward in the book, I loved all the twists and turns the author put in. Some of them had me on edge.

Without any spoilers, Ashes, Ashes is a fast-paced adventure that all you Hunger Games fans can appreciate if you're craving for more dystopian. With the book full of hope and lot's of questions, it was a nice solid read. I liked the characters, the plot, the setting - but I find somethng missing. Maybe it's because I want more! I feel like Ashes, Ashes is the first book of a series, so I wouldn't be surprised if Jo Treggiari has another installment coming in the future! So be on the lookout for a sequel! If you like dystopian, a little romance, and some fast-paced action, then be sure to pick up a copy of this awesome debut novel!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Rhiannon at Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: Genre Wars! What's your favourite genre and which book in that genre made it your favourite?

My answer: Honestly, I like a little bit of everything so this question is a really hard one for me. However, my weakness with books is always the paranormal genre and if there's anything with paranormal in it, I'll soooooooo there! But I'll go with something a little different this week and say my favourite genre at the moment is the steampunk kind! For those who don't know steampunk or what it's all about, well . . . you're really missing out on this awesome genre and what it has to offer. It's usually set in the Victorian era and has a blend of fantasy elements, whether that maybe vampires or simple machinery. It's whole lot of fun. I think my favourite steampunk book would have to be either Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and/or The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge -- both of whom are fabulous authors and nail the steampunk genre!

So, what's your favourite genre?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: 22nd March, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 358pgs

The Story

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape - to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

The Review

If WITHER was a person, I think I would marry it. With its beautiful cover and its very creative world, I wouldn't care less what others thought about it because I'm obsessed with it! Man it was just so very . . . AWESOME and UNIQUE! I admit, when I first heard about the book and what it entailed, I thought it wasn't my kind of read . . . what with a boy with a lot of wives that were treated like cattle. That alone didn't appeal to me. But after reading the first chapter and then many chapters after that, it was highly addictive and I wanted more! While there's no words to describe what WITHER is actually like, I can definitely say if you turn away from this book right now, you'll deeply regret it!

In WITHER, a sixteen-year-old girl named Rhine lives in a world where the 'virus' spreads and kills youth. Males are expected to live until they're 25 while the females only live until they turn 20. With illness killing so many, the remaining population of males must marry so many young teenage brides (random girls who are kidnapped) and those brides must carry their children, even though the parents of such children will die anyway. This is a screwed up world I tell you . . . but such a great one too. The story of WITHER was told like a Victorian novel and that's exactly the vibe I got from it. It would've made such a GREAT Victorian novel, but I do love my dystopian worlds . . . even the screwed up ones. Anyway, with scientists working on a 'cure', it's still a long way to go before they actually find one which doesn't help Rhine's case.

Now let's talk about lovely Rhine. Rhine was a such an awesome character! She was kidnapped and torn away from the only person she truly cared about - her twin brother, mind you - and then she basically got presented like breeding stock where only the best of three girls are chosen to be brides while the others are disposed of like garbage. Despite this awful thing that happened to her, she didn't kick and scream - no. Throughout the novel she remained strong, true to herself, and mostly, she stayed determined. Unlike the other girl brides you meet in WITHER, Rhine was the smart one. The moment she sees her surroundings, Rhine already forms a plan to escape, how to be the good wife, and how she'll win the heart of her new husband. But she knows it'll take time, but Rhine is the girl to never give up. And I love that about her!

There are many other character you'll meet in WITHER. First you have Linden, the boy manipulated by his scientist-of-a-father to become the husband of many wives. Readers will probably hate Linden and what he's doing to these girls . . . but as you begin to learn more about his character and how his father uses him . . . you will sympathize for him. Deep down, he's actually a nice guy full of his own emotions and affections. Even if his actions are still wrong but that's because he's still young at heart, vulnerable, and frail in some respects. But then you have Cecily. What's even more disturbing than the situation itself is that Cecily is only thirteen and yet she's married, and expected to carry Linden's baby. *shivers* That's just not right. For me, Cecily was a very hard character to like because she's immature, naive, pushy, demanding, and horribly craving for Linden's attention. But then you have to remind yourself that's she's still a child who is now living in a grow up world . . . still I didn't like her. Then there's my favourite Gabriel, the servant boy of Linden's household. Awwwww I love this guy! The whole relationship that blossomed between the servant boy and the prisoner wife thing was so beautiful and so innocently developed. With everything crazy going on in WITHER, I was glad to see something real and honest come through in a relationship and that's what you get between Gabriel and Rhine.

Overall, with dystopain worlds full of explosives, rebellions, and big adventures that you wouldn't think were possible, WITHER deals with its dystopian world in a quiet, subtle way that shines all by itself! It's a novel that get's you thinking, it's a novel that you would want to read again and again, and it's a novel that could survive as a standalone . . . but I don't want that because I demand its sequel RIGHT NOW! Lauren DeStefano is such a brilliant debut author and I'm pleased her book is something a little different. Hot damn! The year of 2011 has rocked the book boat so far!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cover Reveals

Now I don't know about you guys, but I'm a cover-crazy fan! Covers, to me, are important when it comes to books. While some readers prefer looking at the storyline first as soon as they pick up a book - generally I do this for curiousity - but most of the time its the cover itself that catches me at first glance when I walk into a bookstore. For today's post, I'm showing you a couple of my favourite book covers for next year in 2012!

First up we have this one!

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Description can be found on Goodreads here

I absolutely love this cover! For those who've read the description of the book will know this story is set in Russia - bless this author since I love me some Russia - and this particular cover totally suits the setting and the book title itself. So I'll definitely be picking this baby up when it's released next year!

Secondly, we have this cover!

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

No description at this time.

This book is the third installment of Cremer's Nightshade series and I absolutely love the cover . . . it's RED as blood. Love it! While I don't like the change of covers this series has gotten over the last few months, but this one is definitely an eye-catching cover!

And saving the best for last, we have my favourite cover of ALL!

The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

Description can be found on Goodreads here

This book is the sequel for Kittredge's first young adult book, The Iron Thorn, which I absolutely LOVED! The Iron Thorn had such an amazing cover too and again, the publishers have managed to create yet another beauty for this young adult series! I seriously can't wait to read this sequel and judging it by its cover, it's going to rock!

So, do you have any other favourite 2012 covers?

For me, I love love LOVE Jodi Meadows cover for her debut novel Incarnate.

Which is your favourite from the above covers?

For me, it would have to be The Nightmare Garden!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Release Date: 24th May, 2011

Publisher: Random House

Pages: 405pgs

The Story

Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick - the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.

The Review

As soon as I heard about this book and reading all of the rave reviews, I knew it was going to be my kind of story! Blood. Magic. Love. Mystery. Yes - I was right. But I didn't like it . . . I LOVED every moment of it! A lot of young adult books haven't been uniquely written (at least when it comes to magic and romance), but with BLOOD MAGIC it brought a fresh insight into the world of witchy magic and I've read plenty in the past, but nothing will be so unique than this one right here since it's brought something new onto the table. For which, I'm thankful for. From the interesting journal accounts of magic to the mysterious deaths of Silla's parents, this book will bewitch you!

The thing I loved most about BLOOD MAGIC was the alternative POV chapters told between Silla and Nicholas, our main heroines. Each of these characters had their lives affected by magic which ultimately brought them together and boy . . . they awesome. But while the story is being told by two characters, you will also be introduced to a character named Josephine Darly, whom you'll learn more about throughout the book. She's weird that one. But let's talk about the main characters.

First you have Silla. There's a lot of things I loved about her. Silla maybe considered the "weirdo girl" in her town, but to me, she was sooooo fascinating. When her parents died, Silla then used the likes of acting to pretend everything in her life was fine - to mask away what she truly feels about her parents death and how it's affected her. Until Nicholas shows up. Through all the masks she puts up to hide herself away, Nicholas can still see right through it all. He gets her in ways no one can, and most importantly, he's the type of person Silla needs in her life in order to become a stronger person, to fight away the evils that are in her way. He brought her to life both through magic - magic she's only just discovering - and through her personality. By the way, I LOVED Silla's brother! However, what the author did to him . . . so NOT cool!

And lastly, you have Nicholas. Nicholas . . . Nicholas . . . Nicholas! Why are you so awesome? Why are you so hot? Why are you so fascinating like Silla? From the very first page, I loved everything there was to know about him and I wanted to know more! He's straightforward, snarky, super fun to read about, and he's just the type of character you have to care about! Now unlike Silla here, Nicholas knows all too well about blood magic and what it can do to people. He should know considering his mother went crazy! The thing that was great about Nicholas's character was that he seemed more relatable to readers than Silla was (though Silla did relate to me in some level of not caring what people think), but nonetheless, both of the characters were essential to the story. The only thing I hated about dear old Nick was the way he called Silla 'babe' all the time. I hate that girlfriend nickname!

Overall, I thought BLOOD MAGIC unfolds unlike any other story I've read. It's so flawless in its details and writing, not to mention the steamy making-out scenes that helped the story too! *evil grin* And the bloody scenes . . . Whoops! It's called BLOOD MAGIC for a reason (here's a spoiler): there's plenty of blood for you blood fanatics! While BLOOD MAGIC seemed very familiar to Beautiful Creatures story, but damn me for saying this . . . shamefully I love this book MUCH MORE! Even with Silla who's a lot like Lena in a way and the same goes for Nicholas who has the same likeness to Ethan's character, BLOOD MAGIC rocked in a way even Beautiful Creatures cannot! Anyway, the message I got from the books was that no matter where you come from or who your family are, it's what you do NOW that defines you! I don't know if that's the same message other readers got, but that's what it was for me. When it comes down to it, READ THIS BOOK OR YOU'LL REGRET IT! If you loved Beautiful Creatures, then you'll love this!

The Rating

5 /5 stars

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Nicki at Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says, "you and your favourite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

My answer: So hard! While I would love to switch places with Rose Hathaway from Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series (you know, because of the hot russian babe Dimitri Belikov) but I would have to say Cat Crawfield from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series! Now I'm a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost and the Night Huntress series is my absolute favourite in paranormal adult books . . . and Cat is the best heroine I've ever read! She's strong-willed, kick ass, has a smart mouth on her which I love, and most importantly, she has the most powerful vampires to aid and protect her! Not to mention she's married to "my" Bones! Ah . . . how could I not want to be Cat? She's perfect through my eyes!

So readers, what about you? Who would you love to switch places with?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Release Date: 1st June, 2011

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 400pgs

R.R.P: $22.99

The Story

Teen beauty queens.

A lost island.

Mysteries and dangers.

No access to email.

And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives deep in the heart of every girl, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. The horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count! Join Libba Bray in this wicked satire of beauty pageants, reality TV and pop culture.

The Review

Before I start, I want to quickly say a BIG thank you to Allen & Unwin books for giving me a copy of Libba Bray's BEAUTY QUEENS! They didn't have to send me anything but they did, and for that, I'm very grateful to them! Publishers and their publicist teams rock! Anyway, I've been a fan of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series (be sure to check them out if you haven't already) and I found her writing beautifully prosed and I had high expectations considering the raving reviews of this book. However in BEAUTY QUEENS, I saw a huge change to her writing. When it comes to her new book . . . . well, let's just say that I'm finding it very hard to review it right now. It has a balance of good things and bad things . . . but there's definitely word one I would describe BEAUTY QUEENS as and that's . . . RANDOM.

BEAUTY QUEENS is a combination of Lord of the Flies meets Miss Congeniality. The story starts off when a plane crashes on a deserted island. My thoughts during this time were, "Okay, cool." Along the way, the beauty queen girls are trying to find a way to survive, only each girl has their own way of finding that survival. Then after a while everything goes mental. One of the girls sees strange lights coming from the other side of the island and then crazier events happen throughout the book. Snakes . . . broken nails . . . eating bugs . . . building weapons out of beauty supplies . . . random reality tv-ish pirates that you have no idea why they're there in the first place . . . you name it! The big question here is: Will they survive? My thoughts during this time, "I hope not."

When I started this book, I already expected a parody and/or comedy that made fun of beauty queens and I liked this idea as I'm not a fan of them myself and what they represent in our society. But I admit, some parts of the book - the comments some of the girls made - were hilarious. Not because it was funny but because the girls were so clueless but personally for me, everything went downhill when the silly parts came in. For example - the airplane tray got stuck in some girls forehead?? Seriously? I think I would've liked this more more if the author didn't add the unnecessary footnotes that were scattered around pages to refer to tv and other products. THAT for me was distracting, especially when the author also added ad breaks and other whatnot which I tended to skip because it was pointless and it interferes with the whole progression of the story. The only positive note I can give to Libba Bray herself was that she had gift in creating characters and supplied them with an in-depth personality. Other than that, I thought this book was wayyyyyy over-the-top for my liking. And don't get me started on the hot boy pirates that come in randomly! It was borderline ridiculous. Wished the pirates sailed away forever because like the footnotes and ad breaks, it messed up the book.

When readers finish the book, there's one message that you get: Girl Power. At least I hope that's the message . . . other than NOT being a beauty queen EVER! *insert mental shrug* Apart from the random-silly-crazy plot, the characters had their own way to stand up for themselves and even though I didn't feel any connection to them, but the story itself had a way to tackle several real-life issues including gay rights, corporate responsibility, and one of the big ones for me . . . self-respect.

Overall, I still don't know whether I liked BEAUTY QUEENS or not. Not kidding here. Like I stated before, it had a balance of good and bad things about it, with lot's of rolling of the eyes thing. It's really up to the reader to see for themselves whether this was great read for them . . . or not. Personally, I found this book very disappointing and I wonder about some of the reviews this book has been getting. Perhaps I'm one of those readers who just dosn't get it. But if Libba Bray did a Hunger Games like BEAUTY QUEENS, then I would've been happy. Truth be told, I feel a little bit clueless after reading this . . . unfortunately. But if you love lot's of "unique" characters and a little bit of random-and-let's-make-fun-of-beauty-queens comedy, then this book is for you! Though I do warn you: it's very random and will do your head in! *mental head spin*

The Rating

3/5 stars

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cover Reveals

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

From Goodreads: About the only girl who is new in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest is to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced.

Isn't this cover gorgeous?!?! While the book doesn't come until 2012, but I'm definitely looking forward to buying this book. Not only because it's such a beautiful cover (can't stop staring at it) but it's just . . . the story sounds fantastic too! I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a BIG year for us book readers and bloggers!
WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton

From Goodreads:

Life as a Preliator is harder than Ellie imagined.

Balancing real life with responsibility of being Heaven's warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell's strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She's been warned.

Cadan, the demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian's new plan to destory Ellie's soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian's schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything - including herself.

She'll be betrayed.

Treachery comes even from those she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

This is the sequel to Moulton's Angelfire debut novel. Even though her debut book was an alright read (you can see my review here), but I'm still looking forward Angelfire's sequel, WINGS OF THE WICKED, in 2012! While Angelfire remains the better cover this time round, but I'm glad they stuck with the same cover model and I love the over-the-shoulder look of Ellie's model. Except for the words. The thing about big titles is that it takes away the focus of the covers, but that's just me being OCD. haha. Anyway, the plot sounds interesting too.

So, what do you think of the covers?
Love or hate?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Release Date: 21st December, 2011

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Pages: 230pgs

The Story

When Eddie Reeves's father commits suicide, her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father's and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie's vulnerability has weakened her, and Culler is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on . . . but are some questions better left unanswered?

The Review

Courtney Summers became a favourite YA author of mine when I read Some Girls Are and while that book remains a top favourite, but FALL FOR ANYTHING is something a little lighter (I don't know if that's the right word for it) for readers to still enjoy. But I have to admit, her books aren't for everyone's tastes!

Like the plot mentioned above, Eddie's father committed suicide and she's left with the question of "Why?" With her family life going a bit out of control - what with her zombie mother and her crazy mother's best friend who would peeve off everyone if they met her in real life - Eddie wants to know the answers to her father's death. Wouldn't anyone? Especially since her father was so successful in his photography career and seemed pretty normal before his death. Problem is, the why question makes Eddie even more paranoid than she should be.

As we walk in Eddie's shoes, I have to admit . . . I found it hard at first as it was a slow beginning and it didn't interest me as much as Summers other books. But once you hit the halfway mark and begin to unravel some of the secrets about her father . . . it became quite an interesting read. While Eddie wasn't a favourite character of mine and the same goes for this mysterious-creepy-a-little-weird Culler, I did however LOVE Eddie's best friend, Milo. He's the best friend everyone would want to hang around with and support you. He has put up a lot with Eddie's depression but the thing I loved most about him, was that he cared for her so much! He never gave up on her whereas a lot of people would have in his position. I think he was the stronger voice than Eddie was, but maybe that's just me. Nonetheless, each and every character in this book had a purpose to the story, and I'm glad to have read this one.

Without revealing spoilers since it's a much shorter book, all I can say is that Courtney Summers is a very strong writer when it comes to emotions and real life situations. She's gets what's going inside a teenagers head and knows how to tackle the tough issues that are perhaps quite relatable to a lot of kids. Even though this may not be my favourite Summers book so far, but FALL FOR ANYTHING is definitely the book you should read if you too are a fan of her previous books. It's quite a journey of grief, questions, and answers that you didn't see coming. But most of all, like each Courtney Summers book, there's a powerful message and it's up to you to decide what that is.

The Rating

3/5 stars

Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)

My answer: I don't know about you guys, but I'm such a nerd when it comes to zombie flicks because I LOVE THEM TO DEATH! Zombieland is probably my favourite so far and of course the hilarious Shaun of the Dead, but if you play with their Shaun-of-the-dead-way . . . you would most likely die. Zombieland is the film to watch! So honestly, with my love of zombie films, I should be well prepared for the zombie apocalypse - if and whenever it comes! As for the weapon of choice, there are MANY to choose from! Some prefer bats while others like the sounds of chainsaws, but with me . . . I love the classic shotgun as it's light and pretty useful for a blow to the head! However if there's no shotgun, I want to go all Kill Bill with a japanese katana sword because I'm that type of gal! It's a stylish weapon and razor-sharp! ;)

Lastly, if Mel Gibson makes a sudden comeback . . . then good for him! I love him as an actor and while his personal life "maybe" out of control, but through all the drama he's a pretty awesome actor who still has a lot to offer. But maybe that's just me. If Charlie Sheen can make it (that's a big if mind you), then Mel Gibson has a chance to brilliant again!

My question to you readers, how are you preparing for the zombies? Have you got a zombie weapon of choice?

And what do you think about a possible Mel Gibson comeback?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Iron Knight Cover Reveal

Isn't it mouth-dropping beautiful? It's by far my favourite cover of the series and I'm so grateful to Julie Kagawa to be writing an Ash story, especially after the way she ended The Iron Queen and all that. Anyway, be sure to check online on June 15th, where the author herself will be revealing the back cover copy of THE IRON KNIGHT, and see all the burning questions answered about the series. But WOW, this cover is AH-MAZING!

So to my blog readers, what do you think of this cover? Love it or hate it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Release Date: 5th May, 2011

Publisher: ATOM

Pages: 384pgs

The Story

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of-journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

The Review

Before I start gushing over this title, I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to ATOM Australia for giving me a copy of this amazing book! It was bloody brilliant! Now I'm a huge fan of Malinda Lo's debut novel, Ash, and when I heard about her writing a prequel of the book set in the same world as Ash, I pretty much had a fangal freakout moment! And I can definitely say HUNTRESS doesn't disappoint! It's a wonderful story about coming of age and a beautiful, well-set environment with a sweet romance that blossoms between two very strong female heroines.

In HUNTRESS, Kaede, the daughter of the King's Chancellor, wants to escape the political marriage her parents have arranged for her. Taisin on the other hand, wants nothing more than to become a Sage. So here in this story, we have a non-magicial girl and a magicial girl. The two of them are the shining stars of this dark tale and I was amazed how great they were! I think what I love most about Lo's writing is how she uses her beautiful language and weaves it into this encompassing fantasy world of hers, while focussing on a romance between two girls. I love stories like these. One time, I'd read a review where someone said they felt uncomfortable about it being about a gay relationship, but I found it quite beautiful. It's about time someone addresses a new kind of romance and Malinda Lo does it just right: her writing is rawly emotional, layered, and just damn . . . solid.

While the story is filled with fascinating magic, riveting action, and an unpredictable plot (though I guessed what would happen by the end of the book), it was the romance between Kaede and Taisin that really made an impact on me. To watch how their feelings grow and then watch how they try and deny their affections . . . it was nice to see these girls develop as characters and feel - like themselves - overjoyed when they finally let go of responsiblities (even for a little while) and become aware they're falling in love! It was so utterly beautiful and heart-warming. What I loved most about Kaede and Taisin as our main heroines, was how strong they were and how they were the complete opposites to one another, in personality wise. In a way, they complimented each other and I'm thankful for it. In addition to these characters, I loved the supporting cast: Con, Shae, Tali and Pol. Each character had a purpose in the story and were solid til the very end (though two didn't exactly make it til the end but you'll have to read it and see what I mean).

To be honest, I think HUNTRESS is soooooooo much better than Ash, even for a prequel set centuries beforehand. With its astounding sense of adventure about bravery and unconditional love, this book has definitely become a dear favourite of mine for 2011! I highly recommend to anyone who loves the likes of Melissa Marr and Robin McKinley!

The Rating

5/5 stars
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