Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait for.

I never really was one for zombies, but after reading Feed (my review) I was hooked. This is a 2012 debut, and it sounds very good! And the cover looks awesome, even though I have no idea how it relates to the story.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Expected publication July 24th by HarperTeen

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

What are you waiting on? Leave a comment to your post!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar

Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar
(Gossip Girl #13)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Poppy
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

This is exactly what the title says. This is a parody of the first book in the Gossip Girl series, but the weird thing is that the parody is written by Cecily von Ziegesar herself. I find this both courageous and extremely weird. It must feel uncomfortable to butcher your little baby book.

Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer is heavier on the killer part than the Gossip Girl part. All the original characters are in it: Blair, Serena, Chuck, Nate, Jenny and Dan. The book loosely follows the original storyline, but adds massive slaughters and gross murders.

I have to say, this book is pretty gruesome. If you're not interested in horror, or if you are squeamish for blood or severed heads, don't read this. This book isn't really for hard-core Gossip Girl fans, it's more for the fans of cheap horror flicks.

I personally actually quite like horror. But even for me this was a little bit too much at times. It took me a very long time to get into the book, and to get into the dark humour. In the end, it was entertaining, and the adaptation from the original novel was very well done. I would recommend Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer but with a fair warning.


Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep-sometimes with each other. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it . . . until they die.

So begins Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer, a re-imagined and expanded slasher edition of the first groundbreaking Gossip Girl novel, featuring all new grisly scenes and over-the-top gore by #1 New York Times bestselling author Cecily von Ziegesar.

Just as in the original story, Serena returns from boarding school hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf--things just haven't been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. But here's where our dark tale takes a turn: Serena decides that the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate. If that means killing him, well, c'est la vie. Her attempted murder doesn't go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn't about to let Serena kill whoever she wants-not when there's Cyrus Rose and Chuck Bass and Titi Coates and everyone else who's ever irritated Blair to get rid of first . . . .

American Psycho's Patrick Bateman has met his match in Manhattan's newest, most fabulous trendsetting serial killers, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen.

Other reviews you might be interested in
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Monday, 27 February 2012

Review: Katana by Cole Gibsen

Katana by Cole Gibsen
3.5 out of 5 stars

Expected publication 8th March by Flux
ARC received through Netgalley

You know, I think the Japanese are cool. They have ninjas and samurai and awesome weapons that look more like pieces of art, but that can behead a person with a single swoop. I know they like tea, and that they wear funny white socks in flip flops. They are completely awesome with technology, and are very polite. With that knowledge of Japanese culture I started Katana. A girl that discovers she was a samurai in a previous life? Hell yes!

I have seen some reviewers complaining that the Japanese part of the book wasn't well researched, and didn't give a correct view of how everything worked over there five hundred years ago. I can't be the judge of the historical accuracy of the things happening in Katana. Maybe they're right, maybe they're not. But I think you shouldn't look at Katana as a groundbreaking novel about Japanese culture, but more of a fun young-adult book that features kick-ass fights with sword-wearing bad guys.

That's probably the best way to describe Katana: fun. It's really a cute novel, in my opinion. Yes, it does fall back into some clichés. There is an overly theatrical gay best friend. The main character Rileigh gets warned by a mysterious hot guy that "She is in great danger!". I didn't have a problem with any of those, actually. I laughed at the gay friends jokes. I wondered who the mysterious hot guy was. I was engaged by the story from the first chapter, and I didn't mind the slight clichés at all.

Even though I had a lot of fun reading Katana, there are some things that bothered me. My main problem was with said mysterious hot guy. For some reason he turned from "hot asian guy" into "elderly kung-fu master" in my mind. He even had the braided moustache and the ponytail. I'm not sure what went wrong; the way he talked said more "ancient" than "teenager" for me. Because of that, the whole story got a little bit of an ick-factor that was slightly disturbing.

I liked that Rileigh didn't turn into the most important girl in the world. Even though she gets some pretty bad-ass fighting skills, there are still people bigger and stronger than her. The fighting scenes were the strongest points in the book in my opinion. I wished that there were more of them.

If you're looking for a fun young-adult novel from a female point of view with some Japanese themes, I would certainly recommend Katana. It's a pretty light novel that keeps you entertained. I'm keeping this one for a rainy day. There's nothing like katana to cheer you up.


Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline had given her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of 15th-century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings.

While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

Other reviews you might be interested in
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Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Hunger Games Readalong: Chapter Fifteen

Running up to the release of the movie, Larissa from the Howling Turtle and Sharon from Obsession With Books are co-hosting a Hunger Games Read-Along! Every other day a blogger will share a little story, a picture, a video or something that has to do with that day's chapter. To see the full readalong schedule, go here.

Today we are going to talk about Chapter Fifteen. For those of you who need a reminder, in this chapter Katniss wakes up after the tracker jacker stings. The nightmares are fading and the reality of the Hunger Games is coming back. She makes a pack with the little Rue, and they share food and comfort.

I found a still of Rue (played by Amandla Stenberg) in the movie on IMDB. Click on the photo to go to the source. She looks nothing like how I pictured Rue. For me she has a way more angular face, a bit more bird-like.

Chapter Fifteen is a very mellow chapter as far as that is possible in The Hunger Games. After the horror of the nightmares the tracker jacker venom induced, it's time for a little bit of friendship during the Games. It really helped for me to establish the character of Rue more, and it was nice to see Katniss's softer side.

Because nothing controversial happens in this chapter, and I still would like to create some conversation, I have thought of a game to make it a bit more interesting. I always love discovering new good books, and I'm sure you guys know of a lot of books that I have never heard about! So, let's play...

If you like The Hunger Games, you probably also like...

I'll go first. If you like The Hunger Games, you probably also like Divergent! In Veronica Roth's debut the future city of Chicago is divided in five groups, each with their own characteristics. It reminds me a bit of the district system in THG. Also, the mean character Tris in Divergent is one strong lady, just like Katniss. It doesn't have a love triangle, but since I don't like love triangles at all, I don't mind that one. If you're interested in this book, you can check out its Goodreads page, or my review.

Have you read Divergent? Did you like it? Or do you have a way better recommendation? Leave a comment!

In My Mailbox

It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

I'm in a bit of a Netgalley slump. For some reason publishers that I have been accepted for before like to decline me now. I hope it's nothing I've been doing wrong, and that it goes away again quickly. I did get accepted for a book from Carina Press (yay!) and Zondervan (never read a book from them before, but I'm looking forward to).

Click on the cover to go to the Goodreads page.

For Review: 

Interrupted is a kind of historical drama about a girl that loses her mom and she has to go live with some other woman. World War II is just around the corner, and there is some confusing love interest. It's written by a 15-yearold, so I'm a teeny tiny bit wary of the tone being too juvenile, but I'll try not to be too prejudiced. (:
Thanks Zondervan!

This Carina Press title looks really cool. I've really enjoyed a lot of their steampunk novellas so far, and I hope Heart of Perdition will be just as engaging. 

What do you have in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment! (:

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Amazon Community

In the Blogosphere there are pretty often discussions on if we bloggers have to write negative reviews. Should we post them? Do we hurt the authors? Almost everyone agrees; negative reviews are needed sometimes, and if they stay respectful to the author, why not? (Discussion: Should Bloggers Post Negative Reviews?)

I have had some run-ins with authors that commented on my review on Goodreads, but it always stayed pretty polite. If it was about a mistake in my review, I would say sorry, I'll correct that. And if it wasn't, I would point out that it was my personal opinion. I have also emailed some authors when the book really, really wasn't for me, and politely declined to write a review.

On community sites like Goodreads and in the book-blogging community, negative reviews are just a part of life. Just like the raving 5-star ones. But on Amazon I have found out that this isn't the case. I found out the hard way.

I got called names. I "had to get over myself", "no one is interested in my opinion" and "can only write overly critical rants and nothing else". I actually felt so bad about that 2-star review that I was thinking about taking it down from Amazon. I asked a few of my bloggish friends, and I'm glad they advised me to keep it up. The review was a rant, yes, but I didn't say anything bad at all. I reported the person that was hateful, and the comment got deleted.

Now I have added another review, this time a 3-star one on Anne Rice's new book. If you're interested, you can read it here. For some reason, I get a massive amount of downvotes, again. I don't say anything bad or condescending. It just not my thing. And it isn't just me; apparently Amazon customers don't find negative reviews helpful. About 80% of the reviews on all the books on Amazon are 5-star reviews. There are barely critical ones, and if there are bad reviews, they get downvoted into the ground.

It makes me a bit sad that speaking your mind isn't appreciated there. I want to support authors by posting my reviews on Amazon (as the saying goes - even bad publicity is good publicity), but I'm starting to doubt my decision.

What do you think? Do you post your reviews on Amazon? Even the negative ones? Have you had negative responses to your reviews?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Guest Post: Darke Conteur on Book Bloggers

With the rise of indie and self-published ebooks, there is a different way of bringing the books to the public needed. Traditional media doesn't cover these books yet. That's where we come in, book bloggers! Darke is here today to share her view as a writer on this all.

The Guest Post

Book Review Bloggers; the backbone of Ebook marketing?

If you've been floating around the writing world over the last couple of years, no doubt you've been bombarded with 'experts' telling you to join as many social sites as possible, as this is the key to marketing your book. I say, forget Twitter or Facebook for promoting your novel. In the new digital age, the book blogger can be the strongest tool a writer has to promote their work.

With the tsunami of indie and self-published books washing over the publishing world, many things are changing. One of them is the way people find new books among the piles of hopefuls. I read an article online that stated the majority of readers find books through recommendations by book store employees, but many of those are geared toward traditionally published books, overlooking some of the smaller indie or self-published novels. This is where the book blogger comes in.

Book blogging has exploded over the last few years. These fanatics of reading take to their keyboards and give their honest opinions of books. To some, that might seem intimidating. The thought of getting a bad review sits in the forefront of every writer's mind, but part of writing is accepting and dealing with criticism. Not everyone is going to like your work, and how you handle these reviews tells a lot about how well your writing career will proceed.

Another reason book bloggers are becoming so popular--their honesty. How often have you bought a book through Amazon/Smashwords/Apple/Nook/Kobo on the high recommendations of the comments from other readers, only to find it's not worth the money you paid? It's a sure bet the author's friends put up those reviews trying to be helpful and supportive, but any writer will tell you that close friends and family are the WORST people to review our work (unless, of course, they're professional writers). Their attachment to us is what fuels their comments and many don't understand that a high-praised, raving review does more harm than good.

Book bloggers give an honest opinion not only the story, but everything about the book; from the cover design and grammar (or lack of), right down to how the book made them feel. For a writer this is invaluable information. It shows the author where the weak points are, and in the long run, helping them to become a better writer. As these bloggers aren't paid, it puts more credibility on their honesty. The only thing that's motivating them is their love of books and a good story. The same thing that motivates writers.


I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) with a passion for writing. At the mercy of my Muse, I create stories ranging from paranormal to science fiction, or whatever she decided to whisper into my ear. When not writing, I look after one Husband, one son (Sithboy), two cats and a ghost dog.

You can visit Darke on her blog, her other blog, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Review: The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Knopf
Review copy received through Netgalley

Ms Rice has made some pretty weird twists and turns in her writing career. She has written BDSM erotica, steamy romance, ancient vampire fantasy, contemporary witches, religious fiction. Now she has left the Church, this is her latest addition to her bibliography: werewolf literary fiction.

The Wolf Gift is the story about a man that has been called Beautiful Boy all of his life, a label he detests. He is a reporter, and when he visits a mansion to write an article about, he gets attacked by an mysterious assailant. He survives, but it seems like things are changing. Changing his whole identity.

Even though Ms Rice may have left the Church, religious themes are very distinctly present. Very distinctly. I call this book werewolf literary fiction on purpose. This is not a light fast-paced paranormal read. The Wolf Gift is heavy stuff, continuously spiralling toward philosophical insights and ethical inner conversations about the true nature of good and evil. I guess she brings up some valid points here, but to be very honest that was not what I was expecting. I was hoping to see something more like her older work from her vampire-era. The Wolf Gift wasn't what I thought it would be at all.

This just really isn't my kind of book. I started skipping their philosophical discussions after a while. I am sure some of you will enjoy them, but I will warn you. Do not expect this book to be fast-paced or something that keeps you on the edge of your chair. This is something you might read in a comfortable chair with a sophisticated alcoholic beverage of your choice. Something you will discuss over dinner with your theological discussion group. Or something like that.

If the only thing I didn't enjoy in this story was the themes, I might have given this a higher rating. Something that really bummed me out was how horribly shallow the characters were. They felt like sock-puppets, just for show. They had no real personality, they weren't consistent. At some point I got confused by who was speaking, because all of their voices are almost identical. I was a bit disappointed by this. The woman who has created one of my favourite characters of all time, the vampire Lestat, wasn't able to bring this promising cast of characters to life.

Another thing that struck a nerve was how she handles the female relationships with Reuben, the main character. He switches effortlessly between lovers, loving (as in "I love you", not as in lusting after) them in a single week. Someone that made a very deep impression to him in the first half of the book, gets completely forgotten in the second half. He cheats on his girlfriend, but his girlfriend doesn't care because she understands. He gets a different girlfriend, and when he sees the old one, they're friends. No awkwardness at all. Even if a book is fiction, I like the story to have a certain credibility. I was very much disappointed in that area.

The Wolf Gift is not a bad book. There is a market for this kind of book, and I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it. But in my humble book-lover's opinion, this isn't Ms Rice's best work so far.


The time is the present.

The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

Other reviews you might be interested in
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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait for.

I read The Vespertine, the first part of this series, last year and I absolutely loved it (read my review)! I am very much looking forward to read the sequel, which stars a different main character. The blurb sounds really interesting, I can't wait to read The Springsweet.

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell (The Vespertine #2)
Expected publication April 17th by Harcourt Children's Books

Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a“springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land. Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.

What are you waiting on? Leave a comment to your post!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Review: The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett

The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
(Discworld #27)
5 out of 5 stars

Published by Gollancz
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

I don't think anyone can deny that Terry Pratchett is a brilliant writer. He has such a great sense of style, of storytelling. I always feel like there are so many inside jokes in his stories, that I just get about half of them. When I do discover new ones, it feels a bit like uncovering a little piece of a big puzzle.

As for the story of The Last Hero, I have nothing much to tell you. Characters from different story lines come together in the last adventure of the now elderly heroes or Cohen the Barbarian and his gang. I've only read three Discworld novels so far, so I don't really have anything to compare it to. I did enjoy the little role Death played in this one, he's my favourite character so far.

What makes The Last Hero special is the pictures. This is a beautifully illustrated book. I loved how they didn't just showed what was going on, but also added to the story. Although slightly like caricatures, there are a lot of little inside jokes in the drawings themselves. Even though this book is about novella length, I still enjoyed many hours of reading it, because I liked the pictures so much.

This is a marvellous addition in any Discworld collection, but if you've never read a Discworld novel, I would recommend you starting with The Colour of Magic, not this one.


Cohen the Barbarian. He's been a legend in his own lifetime.
He can remember the good old days of high adventure, when being a Hero meant one didn't have to worry about aching backs and lawyers and civilization. But these days, he can't always remember just where he put his teeth...So now, with his ancient (yet still trusty) sword and new walking stick in hand, Cohen gathers a group of his old -- very old -- friends to embark on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain of Discworld and meet the gods.It's time the Last Hero in the world returns what the first hero stole. Trouble is, that'll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time.

Other reviews you might be interested in
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Valentine's Day & 250 Followers Giveaway Winner

Wow. I expected you guys to be awesome, but I never would have expected you all to be THIS awesome! In the end the giveaway got a whopping 1601 entries. A big thank you for all the people that have been sharing and tweeting like crazy! I got such a big increase of Twitter followers that I haven't had the time to follow you all back, so if you see me around, say hi and I'll follow you (:

Looks like my 500 followers giveaway isn't that far away any more...

Now, I believe it's time to give people some cool stuff.

The winner of a book of $10 from The Book Depository is...
A Love For Books!

The winner of the Mystery Prize is...

A big congrats to both of you! Thank you all for participating. Reading all of your comments totally made my week. <3

Sunday, 19 February 2012

In My Mailbox

It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

A nice big box of bought books arrived this week. I can't wait to read them all! I didn't get any books for review this week, but that's okay because I still have a massive stack of review books to get through.

Do you have a lot of books for review too? Join us in the month March in the Review Copy Cleanup! (: We got lots of fun stuff planned, including international giveaways.You can sign up here.

Click on the cover to go to the Goodreads page.


Have you read any of those? And what do you have in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment! (:

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Better Know a Blogger Guest

I am a guest at For What It's Worth where Karen has interviewed me! Hop over to the interview to see my answers to her questions on how I named my blog, how my reading has changed by blogging and other blog-related questions.

Hope to see you there! (:

Friday, 17 February 2012

Review: Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
4 out of 5 stars

Published by MIRABooks
Review copy received through Netgalley

To enjoy The Legacy of Eden you need a certain amount of morbid curiosity. Even when an entire family falls into ruins, you need to continue reading to see how far the disease has spread. If you don't have this curiosity, you probably won't be able to finish this book.

When Meredith receives a letter that contains the news of her deceased cousin, she wishes that she never would have opened it. All of the memories that she has tried to stay away from come back. She will have to relive them all until she can do what she has to... Face her fears and return to her childhood home.

Basically The Legacy of Eden is a recount of the lives of the members of the Hathaway family throughout the generations. There are tiny flashes towards the present, where Meredith is dealing with the ghosts of her past, but mostly the story is being told as a family history. Because of these two different times (present and past), it keeps you invested. A lot of crucial plot points are kept hidden as long as possible. There are barely any flash-forwards, which I liked.

Because the history is chronologically written, this is a fairly easy story to follow. It starts with Meredith's grandparents meeting and from there slowly works down until Meredith's own youth. There was barely any confusion with where in the history we were. Usually I get lost after a while with this kind of book, but I was glad this was not the case with The Legacy of Eden.

I really enjoyed the characters in the book. They all were so different, yet share some of the flaws that run throughout the family. From the manipulative grandmother and the drunk grandfather, to the abusive uncle and even worse cousin. Every single person in the story has his or her problems, by their own fault or more often by someone else's making.

It's very beautifully written, but it's not bogged down by all these heavy descriptions. For me it was perfect; enough words to paint the picture and the ambiance, but not too many to make it boring.

Reading The Legacy of Eden is a little bit like watching a train crash in slow-motion on TV. Even though it contains quite some heavy subjects, it was never really depressing for me. It's not a very happy read but I have read way worse. After I finished it, I felt content. Not excited, not sad, just content with how everything turned out.


"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

"Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void."

Other reviews you might be interested in
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New Blog Design!

I've been wrestling with my old design quite a while now, and with the Review Copy Cleanup event coming up, I thought my blog could use a nice new layout!

It's not perfect yet (my sidebar got pretty messed up), but I'm very happy with the result.

I bought this template over at She's got some great designs for very low prices, go check her out!

So, what do you all think of the new Nyx Book Reviews? (:

Review Copy Cleanup: Sign Up

Welcome to the 2012 Review Copy Cleanup!

My bookish friend Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea were getting swamped in review books. We decided to make it all a bit more fun and are challenging you all to read your review copies with us! Clean up that big pile of books this March and join the Review Copy Cleanup. We have lots of fun challenges and tons of prizes in store for you guys, so make sure to join us on a quest to clean up our review copy pile and to have some fun in the process.

Challenge Guidelines:
  • The challenge runs from 1 to 31 March
  • To sign up, just fill in the Mister Linky below. Link to your sign up post directly please! The Linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once
  • The sign up is open until 15 March 2012. Participation in the challenges and giveaways won't be possible for anyone who hasn't previously signed up
  • When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thank you! 
  • Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both ebooks and hard copies, including all genres and lengths
  • You don't need to follow the two hosts in order to be able to sign up for the event (although it's appreciated), but you do have to follow us in order to be able to enter our giveaways. In order to be entered in the giveaway, simply complete the given challenge and add the link to your post in the linky list
  • Challenges will be posted every week on Fridays and will last throughout the week until Thursday the next week. Every challenge ends with a giveaway. To enter in the challenges and giveaways, simply add the link to your challenge post in the Linky list in the main challenge post. It will be posted on both blogs.
  • At the end of the event we will host our Massive Giveaway. This contains tons of prizes donated by awesome authors. All you'll need to do in order to enter this giveaway is to fill in a Rafflecopter form - as simple as that.
  • Most of our giveaways will be open INTERNATIONALLY but you'll find all the relevant info about each giveaway when we post the challenges 
  • Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:

Challenge Schedule:

March 2 - Show Off Your Pile
March 9 - Cuddle Up With a Book
March 16 -  Don't Be Such a Tease!
March 23 - Mysterious Meet-up
March 30 - Love Will Find a Way

    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

    Passion by Lauren Kate
    (Fallen #3)
    2 out of 5 stars

    Published by Random House Children's Books
    This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

    Reading the Fallen series has always been like walking on thin ice for me. As long as you're treading very carefully, everything is fine. Passion is the book that was just slightly too heavy for the support of the ice, and it falls through, dumping me in the freezing water.

    Luce is jumping through the Announcers through history to find something she's looking for. She doesn't know yet what exactly that is, only that she needs to find her past selves. All of her friends and Daniel try to follow her, and find her before she changes something fundamental.

    I did like the idea of this book. I'm a secret fan of historical settings, and I was looking forward to meeting a Regency Luce, and a pre-historical Luce, etcetera. The problem is, that was the only thing I ended up liking in this book. Luce breezes through history, and I enjoyed watching her being a completely different person in other time periods.

    The rest of this book wasn't that entertaining though. Passion lends from countless clichés. The snarky travelling companion. Daniel chasing Luce but never quite catching her. But the worst thing I read in this book was the awful characterisation of Satan. With a character like Satan, you need him to be the ultimate of evil. He should be cruel but intelligent. Someone that makes you shudder, that you can be afraid of.

    Well, none of that. Ms Kate's Satan acts like a five-year-old. You know, one that throws a tantrum if he doesn't get what he wants. But the worst cliché that an author shouldn't even want to touch with a very long stick, is one that Ms Kate embraces. She lets Satan spill all of his evil plans. Just like that. Here they are, puny human. My ego is so large I don't have to be sneaky in taking over the world. I will tell you just now how I'm planning to win from heaven so you can try to stop me.


    I might have been able to deal with the awful clichés if there was some emotion to brighten up this story. But Luce is just jumping through time, looking for some kind of love. It feels like she's running around like a headless chicken. There is no reason behind it, and in the end I still don't get exactly what she was searching for. All of her emotions felt forced, and I couldn't relate to them at all. In the meantime Daniel is just flying around, being emo. Thinking about killing himself.

    Passion really wasn't a passionate book at all. If it had more of it, I might have liked it. Just like the cover, the inside of Passion is mediocre at best. I will read the last book in this series, Rapture, but my expectations of it have been exponentially lowered.


    Luce would die for Daniel.

    And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way...

    Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime... going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel... and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

    Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

    Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames... forever.

    Other reviews you might be interested in
    More links

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait for.

    Even though I did not like Passion, I still want to know how this story ends. I've spend quite some time into this series, reading three books, and even though they're kind of hit & miss for me I want to have a proper ending for Luce and Daniel. The cover of Rapture is my favourite so far. I also did a cover review about it a few weeks ago (:

    Rapture by Lauren Kate (Fallen #4)
    Expected publication June 12th by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

    The sky is dark with wings. . . .

    In RAPTURE, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel in the FALLEN series, Luce and Daniel are together . . . but for how long? Can history be rewritten? Or are some punishments eternal?

    What are you waiting on? Leave a comment to your post!

    Now you're here anyway... Check out my giveaway (:

    Cover Reveal: Capure by Brina Courtney

    I'm part of the Capture Cover Reveal Blog Blast today! Clicking on the cover will lead you to the Goodreads page. For more information on this release hop over to Brina's blog! (:

    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    Release Day: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

    Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire.

    Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

    It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

    > Read my review of Scarlet

    Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

    Valentine's Day: Books with Love Hop & 250 Followers Giveaway

    It's the 14th of February, and one of the least fun holidays of the year is here. I personally hate Valentine's Day. It should be called Torture Every Single Person Out There Day. I have a boyfriend, but from conviction I refuse to celebrate this day.

    So why am I participating in the giveaway hop, you might ask? Well, I'm going to celebrate my 250 Followers! And therefore, I want to spread some bookish love. Thank you all for making blogging such a wonderful time <3.

    The winner of my giveaway will get a book from The Book Depository of his or her choice, as long as it's $10 or under. Open internationally, as long as TBP ships to your county.


    Update: You guys are awesomer than awesome! I reached 321 followers today which means... Extra winner! I'll be adding a mystery prize for a second winner. It will be something bookish, and it fits into an envelope. Still open internationally (:

    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Reviews by Author Name, Yes or No?

    Because I have written so many reviews throughout the years, my Review page is looking a bit... disorganised. I'm currently working on finding a way to make it easier for people to find a review they're interested in. Here, I've sorted my reviews by the author's last name. Is that better? Annoying? Leave a comment with what you think (:

    Abercrombie, Joe: The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) 4☆
    Armstrong, Kelley: Industrial Magic (Women of the Otherworld #4) 4☆
    Armstrong, Kelley: Haunted (Women of the Otherworld #5) 4☆
    Armstrong, Kelley: Broken (Women of the Otherworld #6) 4☆
    Armstrong, Kelley: The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) 4☆
    Ashton, Brodi: Everneath 4.5☆
    Bayarr, Samantha Jillian: The Apothecary 3☆
    Bordeaux, Belladonna: Hell Rider 3☆
    Bray, Libba: The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle #3) 5☆
    Brown, Sandra: A Treasure Worth Seeking 2.5☆
    Burke, Stephanie: Absolute Perfection 4☆
    Butcher, Jim: Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) 4☆
    Carriger, Gail: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) 4.5☆
    Cashore, Kristin: Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms #1) 3☆
    Cast, P.C: Marked (House of Night #1) 3.5☆
    Clare, Cassandra: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) 4☆
    Clemens, James: Shadowfall (Godslayer Chronicles #1) 4☆
    Collins, Suzanne: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) 5☆
    Collins, Suzanne: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) 4☆
    Coelho, Paulo: Veronika Decides to Die 4☆
    Corwin, Amy: Vampire Protector 4☆
    Cross, Kady: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles #0.5) 4☆
    Dee, Bonnie: Like Clockwork 4☆

    Farrell, Claire: Thirst (Ava Delaney #1) 3☆
    Fisher, Catharine: Incarceron (Incarceron #1) 4☆
    Fitzpatrick, Becca: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) 4☆
    Fitzpatrick, Becca: Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) 4☆
    Gaughen, A.C: Scarlet 4☆
    Gomez, Alain: Space Celebrity 3☆
    Grant, Mira: Feed 4☆
    Hamilton, Laurell K: Bloody Bones (Anita Blake #5) 4☆
    Hamilton, Laurell K: The Killing Dance (Anita Blake #6) 4☆
    Harrison, Kim: Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) 5☆
    Harrison, Kim: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows #2) 4.5☆
    Harrison, Kim: Every Which Way but Dead (The Hollows #3) 4☆
    Harrison, Kim: Blood Work (The Hollows Graphic Novel #1) 5☆
    Harrison, Kim: Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery #1) 3☆
    Harrison, Kim: Early to Death, Early to Rise (Madison Avery #2) 4☆
    Hartness, John G: Hard Day's Knight (Black Knight Chronicles #1) 4☆
    Hobb, Robin: Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) 4.5☆
    Irving, Jan: The Wanderer 5☆
    Jones, Carrie: Need (Need #1) 4☆

    Kate, Lauren: Torment (Fallen #2) 4☆
    Keaton, Kelley: Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1) 4.5☆
    King, Stephen: Insomnia 4☆
    Lee, Karalynn: Demon's Fall 2☆
    Lewis, C.S: The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #1) 3☆
    Lewis, Jon S: Invasion (C.H.A.O.S #1) 5☆
    Lewis, Jon S: Alienation (C.H.A.O.S #2) 4
    Liparulo, Robert: House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1) 3
    Mady, Elyse: The Debutante's Dilemma 3☆
    Mantchev, Lisa: Eyes Like Stars (Theatre Illuminata #1) 4
    Marshall, W.G: Enormity 4☆ 
    McCafferty, Megan: Bumped (Bumped #1) 2
    Meyer, Stephanie: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight #3.5) 3
    Mitchell, Saundra: The Vespertine (The Vespertine #1) 5 
    Moning, Karen Marie: Darkfever (Fever #1) 4.5 
    Myles, Jill: Foreplay (Succubus Diaries #0.5) 4
    Myracle, Lauren: Shine 4 
    Myracle, Lauren: Bliss 3 

    Paolini, Christopher: Brisingr (Inheritance #3) 2☆
    Pape, Cindy Spencer: Photographs & Phantoms 3☆
    Payne, KE: 3☆
    Pearce, Jackson: Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings #1) 4☆
    Peterfreund, Diana: For Darkness Shows the Stars 5☆
    Peterfreund, Diana: Errant 5☆
    Peterfreund, Diana: Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1) 5☆
    Rice, Anne: Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) 3☆
    Rice, Anne: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) 4☆
    Roth, Veronica: Divergent (Divergent #1) 5☆
    Sanderson, James: The Angelic Mysteries 2☆
    Schulze, Christine E: Bloodmaiden 3☆
    Shan, Darren: Lord Loss (Demonata #1) 4☆
    Shan, Darren: Demon Thief (Demonata #2) 4☆
    Shan, Darren: Slawter (Demonata #3) 4☆
    Shan, Darren: Bec (Demonata #4) 4☆
    Shan, Darren: Blood Beast (Demonata #5) 3☆
    Smith, L.J: The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1) 3☆
    Smith, L.J: The Struggle (Vampire Diaries #2) 2☆
    Smith, L.J: The Fury (Vampire Diaries #3) 4☆
    Snyder, Maria V: Touch of Power (Healer #1) 4☆
    Spraycar, Joy: Quicksilver 3☆
    Stevens, Keri: Stone Kissed 2☆
    Stoker, Bram: Dracula 4☆

    Vincent, Rachel: Stray (Shifters #1) 2.5☆
    Ward, J.R: Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) 5☆ 
    Waters, Sarah: Fingersmith 4☆
    Weatherford, Lacey: The Trouble with Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks #1) 4☆
    Weatherford, Lacey: The Demon Kiss (Of Witches and Warlocks #2) 4.5☆
    Weatherly, L.A: Angel Burn (Angel #1) 4☆

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    In My Mailbox

    It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

    I finally cracked and ordered a big bunch of books from Amazon... But they haven't arrived yet ): So my mailbox looks kind of sad this week, but it will look awesome next week!

    I still got something to show you, because I found a great book in the book store yesterday (:

    Click on the cover to go to the Goodreads page.


    This is a really cute Discworld book with lots and lots of art inside. The illustrations by Paul Kidby look great next to Pratchett's writing. Technically this is the 27th book in the series, and I've only read the first three, but so far it doesn't really matter to the story. It has pictures! I like pictures!

    Hmm, I can't wait until my box of books arrives... What is in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment!

    Saturday, 11 February 2012

    Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

    Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

    4 out of 5 stars

    Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books
    ARC received through Netgalley

    There are countless movie and book adaptions of the Robin Hood myth, and now we got another: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. In this one Will Scarlet is actually a girl. Only her band mates and a few select people know the truth; that she's just Scarlet.

    Of course, the evil sheriff is after the poor people of Nottingham. But things get even more complicated when thief-taker Gisbourne enters the scene, someone from Scarlet's past that she would rather forget.

    I am an utter Robin Hood newbie. Seriously, the only thing about the myth that I know is that he was a guy that stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and that he had some friends that helped him steal stuff. So I got into Scarlet with no expectations other than it being an engaging read. I was very satisfied with how the novel turned out to be.

    I have no idea if this book will also satisfy the hard-core Robin Hood fans of the world. The story wasn't that very strong plot-wise. It's pretty straight-forward with barely any twists you don't see coming. It was entertaining enough; there was a little mystery about Scarlet's past that was interesting and wasn't revealed until the end of the novel.

    The main way of creating tension wasn't the plot but the characters. From the legendary Robin Hood "Rob" himself to the one-handed Much, and not to forget Little John. I loved them all, and how they stick together as a band. As any group of people that spend a lot of time together they bicker and banter but their camaraderie was heart-warming. I also enjoyed seeing the damaged but brave Scarlet between the guys, who don't know whether to protect her or treat her as any other.

    Romance is a big part of Scarlet. At first I wasn't so sure if I liked it the way it was going. Throughout the story I started to love all the characters, and about halfway I was hooked. Love is a strange concept for Scarlet, and it shows through the awkward moments she finds herself in. She is a rather angsty character who thinks she doesn't deserve any people caring for her. Any time something happens she can't deal with, she runs. Deep down, she's a great person, and I loved her through all of her flaws.

    Lastly, I would like to make a note on the writing itself. It's narrated first person through Scarlet's eyes, which helps to portray her feelings. This also means that the whole book is narrated with Scarlet's voice, who likes to refer to faces as "mugs" and to throats as "pipes" and other not so sophisticated epithets. It's slightly hard to get into at first, but it has a certain charm to it. I wouldn't want it any other way.

    I think Scarlet is a great adaptation of the classic Robin Hood tale, and one that will be enjoyed by older teens and adults alike.


    Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire.

    Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

    It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

    Other reviews you might be interested in
    More links

    Celebration Giveaway over at Kindle Fever, Letters Inside Out & My Shelf Confessions

    This is a massive giveaway hosted by Rebecca (Kindle Fever), Amanda (Letters Inside Out) and April (My Shelf Confessions). These guys are very awesome bloggers, and on top of that they are very generous too!

    What can you win? You can pick between a Kindle, a Nook or a $100 gift certificate from Amazon!

    You can still enter here. The giveaway is open internationally and lasts for another 18 days. What are you waiting for?

    Thursday, 9 February 2012

    Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    (Divergent #1)
    5 out of 5 stars

    Published by HarperCollins Children's Books

    Divergent was so incredibly fast-paced that I finished it within two days. Even though it has close to five hundred pages, it doesn't feel like so long a read. From the moment we meet Beatrix, later shortened to Tris, I was hooked.

    I like this book so much that I don't have enough words to write a full review. There is not one piece of Divergent that I didn't like. I loved the romance between Tris and Four. I was swooning after fifty pages, which is a record for me. I love the sense of community in the Dauntless. I loved Tris as a character, I loved that she wasn't a total goody-goody. I loved the simple and clean writing style. And I loved the holy-crap-the-world-is-going-down exciting ending.

    The most incredible thing about Divergent is that it's a debut novel. That means Ms Roth is only just getting started. There is going to be so much awesome in her future...


    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

    Other reviews you might be interested in
    More links