Sunday, 31 October 2010

BR: The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
5 out of 5 stars

This book was horrible. It was amazing. I almost cried when it was over. I wanted to throw it across the room and scream to it. I wanted to hold it in my arms and never let it go again.

I can't write a coherent review about The Sweet Far Thing. The title is perfect for this book. It's such a bitter-sweet story, with the perfect open ending. It lacked the pace Rebel Angels had, but to make up for that, TSFT had a building sense of impending doom.

The first half of the book was quite a bore, nothing much happens, but then again, that was how life was in that time. There was nothing to do for ladies, except for sitting around, have some tea, and gossip. Attend some dances and get married with good fortune. You were not supposed to have an opinion of some sort, and your whole life was planned for you before you were even ten. Libba Bray shows this helplessness perfectly, and what happens if you just do not fit in this society. It makes me once again glad to live in this period of time, where it's okay to be different, and where it is considered normal for a girl to have a voice in her own life.

The realms were beautiful. I loved the growing darkness, the sense that everything they've worked for is falling apart, that Gemma is growing mad, the line between nightmare and reality thinning...

Gemma makes horrible choices. But then again, can we blame her? What would you do if so many people (and other creatures) depend on you, while you have absolutely no idea what you are up against. She is absolutely lost in all her responsibilities, without anyone to help her. Of course, Felicity and Ann, her closest friends are still there, but even there are some problems. 'Cause well, they just can't understand how great a burden it is for having all the magic of the realms bound inside of you. The sense of being misunderstood and being all alone is very strong in this book. Most of the time Gemma is brooding over what she is supposed to do. And I think this is portrayed very realistic. If I was in her shoes, I would have collapsed under the pressure a long time ago.

This is a beautiful story about strong girls. And in the same time I have no idea if I even liked it. One thing I can certainly say: this was one hell of a read.

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Follow Friday #2

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Julie @ My 5 Monkeys

Weekly Question:
If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?
I don't have a daughter, but if I had, she could read what she want. I'd love it if she liked fantasy and paranormal books and I would certainly recommend them to her, but if she wanted to read chick-lit I would let her read that. Or if she wants to read Stephen King when she's only twelve, I would let her do that too. I wouldn't really care, as long as she read books (:.  

Thursday, 28 October 2010

TBR Thursday

The three books on top of my ever-growing to be read pile.

Early to Death, Early to Rise

Book two in the Madison Avery series by Kim Harrison, and I really hope it is better than the first book in this series, Once Dead, Twice Shy.

"Seventeen, dead, and in charge of Heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.

Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.

Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of Heaven.

But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention."

The Awakening

Second book in Kelley Armstrong's YA-series, and, in contrary to Kim Harrison's, I did like her YA almost as good as I did her adult one. Quite looking forward to read this, The Summoning ended with such a cliff hanger. 

"If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever. 

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying." 

Vampire Protector

Reading this for The Romance Reviews, seems interesting enough.

"Exploring Gwen's deliciously spooky and long abandoned childhood home in the company of her handsome neighbor sounds like a brilliant way to break her dating dry spell and find a few missing memories. Unfortunately, she soon discovers her mistake. John, her date, is a vampire and her house is not exactly empty. Secrets—and the dead—don’t always stay buried, and John’s extraordinary strength and determination may be all that can withstand what awaits them.

Gwen must unlock her memories and survive the devastating company of her Vampire Protector if she hopes to prevent the past from destroying her future."

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

BR: Hell Rider

Hell Rider by Belladonna Bordeaux
3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed for The Romance Reviews

Hot and quite amusing short novel set in a paranormal universe during the late 18th century.

When one day Jocelyn Thatcher, a seamstress, meets Lucius Dominitius Stanton, she knows he is dangerous. What she doesn't know is that she is actually a half-fay, and that Lucius is an immortal who also goes under the name Death. They are mated together and bound by fate. But their love is impossible; Lucius can only live in the shadow, and Jocelyn can only live in the sun.

This book starts with a glossary, which I found to be rather confusing, as this is my first time to read a book in The Hellfire Club series. There are so many Royal families I kind of lost track of them. I would have found it clearer if the writer had woven this mythology through the story, so we would have more time to get used to this world and understand it better.

You can feel the amount of work the author has put into the background story, to come up with a whole political sub-plot, and it is such a pity that it just doesn't come alive the way it is supposed to. There is so much going on, but it is only mentioned so briefly that I couldn't really grasp the extent of it, especially since the whole system was quite confusing for someone who hasn't heard about this world yet. Perhaps the reason for this is that the events happened in the other books, of which this book is part of a series. I think this was also partly due to the rather short length of this novel. There wasn't that much time to explain it all, but I would have preferred if the author had confined herself to a simple point of plot, as opposed to trying to give us a bit of everything.
"He was gorgeous. Dark and deadly, she mused. Taller than most with broad shoulders and a face that would make an angel swoon, she bit her lip to keep from sighing when he leveled his black-as-original-sin gaze on her face. This man commanded all of your attention from the get and immediate respect from the go."
There is close to none romantic development, but this is explained to be because they are mated, so they are fated to love each other for the rest of their lives. The best thing about this book is the sexual tension, and the release of it. Mrs. Bordeaux surely knows how to write a good sex scene. The ménage with another woman was done very well, and the short orgy at the end of the book was quite believable.

The only real problems I had with Hell Rider were the glaring plot holes. It doesn't feel like a coherent story, but a series of flashes of one. There are so many things going on that are being untold and big periods of time unexplained. Again, this could be because this book is merely a part of a bigger whole. Another point that really bothered me was that, at the end of the story, I still had no idea how our protagonists even looked like. I hate it when every single detail of our characters is told, from their shoes to their hair, but this was a little bit too much freedom of imagination.

The potential is there, and even though it has quite some obvious flaws, Hell Rider is an amusing and quick read. It is part of a series of short novels called The Hellfire Club, and I will surely check the other books out to see if reading them will make me understand more about the world this is set in, because it really is an interesting one.

Jocelyn Thatcher is a humble dressmaker’s apprentice determined to not go down the road of prostitution, as her own mother did. Thwarting her sensible plans for a decent vocation are the lurid sexual fantasies, which have begun to plague her hours. Those naughty little secrets lead her to a devastating truth—she’s half fay.

Lucius Domintius Stanton has served Satan for nearly three millennia. He’s a Hell Rider--the living, breathing visage of death. Along with the other three Riders, he collects the tainted souls destined for hell. His world is tilted on its ear when he meets Jocelyn. Turn her over to the Hellfire Club or keep her for his own? A brief interview with Satan will set the course. His lust for Jocelyn might just kill her.

Buy this book
Author page

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Blog Award

Today I've won my first blog award, yay! Here it is:

Thank you Carmel from Rabid Reads!


  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.

  2. Answer the 10 survey questions.

  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic

  4. Contact the bloggers you've picked to let them know about the award.

  5. Questions:
    • If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you  are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you  could be anonymous now?
    I'm at the moment blogging semi-anonymous, if that is possible. I do use my real name and talk about myself, but I'd rather not post pictures of myself or tell more about my personal life. I am quite happy the way I'm blogging now, this way people won't judge me on by example, my age.
    • Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
    I keep telling myself eating noodle soup while reading is a good idea. Even though experience has proven quite the opposite.
    • What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
    That I really should clean that mirror more often.
    • What is your favorite summer cold drink?
    Everything that has ice cubes in it. I love ice cubes.
    • When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
    I put on my most comfortable clothes and lie down on the coach or on my bed with a good book and something very fat and unhealthy to eat.
    • Is there something you still want to accomplish in life? What is it?
    I want to get a degree in English Literature.
    • When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
    I was the strange kid that nobody really understood but were quite nice to.
    • If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
    The day my guinea pig died when I was little. His name was Stripes. It would never be the same without him.
    • Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
    The reviews I write are a reflection of my opinions, so in a way I do write about my true self on my blog, but apart from that, I prefer to write about other people or books.
    • If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
    Depends on talking on the phone with whom really, and about what. 

    And I'm passing the award to:

    Monday, 25 October 2010

    30 Days of Gratitude #1

    Today, The Readings of a Busy Mom has started a series about what she is grateful for in everyday life on her blog. Every Monday she will post something that makes reading time to become more often or things she likes to do when she sits and reads.

    I decided to join the fun, and tell what I am grateful for!

    This week I'm grateful for:

    Comfortable Beds!

    The best place to read is in bed, tightly snuggled in a soft blanket, propped up on some pillows, with some hot chocolate at grasp distance. And it's even better to read in the middle of the night, when the whole world is quiet, and the only sound you can hear is the occasional whispering sound of turning pages. The lack of sleep is totally worth it!

    Feel free to leave a comment and share what you are grateful for.

    Friday, 22 October 2010

    BR: Absolute Perfection

    Absolute Perfection by Stephanie Burke
    4 out of 5 stars
    Reviewed for The Romance Reviews

    There is one word that truly describes this book: unique. This will be something you have never read before.

    By a twist of fate, royal naga Astika saves the little sea horse Taza when he is being followed by a crazy human who believes that eating a sea horse will give him immortality. And everyone knows that's just a fairy tale, right? Anyhow, by saving Taza's life, Astika is bound to him forever. They are destined to be mates for life. Astika's dreams of having a naga mate to lay a clutch for him to protect and look over are instantly destroyed. But even his divine parents cannot help him in this matter. He will have to make the best out of it.

    I have never read any story about paranormal sea creatures before, and after Absolute Perfection, I can certainly say, I'm a fan. It's amazing to read a story that is so different from all the standard paranormal literature out there, to have a completely new lore to dig in and new creatures to get to know. The downside of this is that, because I had never heard about all these deities before, it was hard to keep track of them all. The author has included a summary of them, but I didn't really feel like looking them up while reading, because that would take the pace out of the story. It would be nice if there had been more time to get to know them. From what we can see in Absolute Perfection, those gods seem like an interesting bunch.

    Even though you cannot relate to the main characters at all, their story is incredibly touching. It's really cute how they get attached to each other and find out that their fate isn't that bad at all. I fell in love with the tiny sea horse immediately and found his view on humans hilarious. I laughed out loud when he was telling about his adventures in trying to fit in into human culture. Absolute Perfection has a nice balance between touching and emotional scenes, and light, funny scenarios.

    There is also a small amount of extra plot building around their blooming relationship. I thought this was done nicely, the plot enhancing their bond and giving them a reason to grow together. It gave the story a comfortable pace, making you want to keep on reading, without giving it a rushed feeling.

    Basically, this is a male/male romance story. With the accessory sex. And some scales, sea foam and split tongues thrown in. This sounds like an awful and incredibly gross combination, but in this book, it actually works. It was quite sexy. Of course, this is only for the open-minded among us. But if you are open-minded and you let the story unfold, you can see the brilliance of it. The scales and long blue hairstyles almost make sense, and you can enjoy the refreshingly different love scenes. They are a little bit silly at times, but still remain a certain amount of credibility, and also very important, a certain hotness.

    This book is not for you if you are looking for a serious book. You need to have a liking for this kind of weirdness that makes this book so good. If you cannot enjoy this, you will not be able make sense of it and you will probably hate it. If you think the idea of a sea horse paired up with a naga is awesome, you will thoroughly enjoy Absolute Perfection.

    Follow Friday #1

    This weeks Feature: Emily @ What Book is That?
    Weekly Question: What are you currently reading?

     I don't have that much time to read lately, so I'm still working on The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (which is way, way better than Interview I can tell you) and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (bit in a drag there now.. It misses the speed Rebel Angels had) and a few days ago I decided to pick up Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, for my monthly portion of classics.

     Happy Following!

    Tuesday, 19 October 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #2

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #1:The Sweet Far Thing

    "The Tree of All Souls lives. That was what the mysterious lady wrote upon the slate. But no one has ever mentioned it to me before. I realise, once again, that there is very little I know about this strange world I am to help to govern."

    "The morning brings a foyer filled with cases and trunks, girls going home for Easter week. They stand hugging goodbye as if they shall see each other never again rather than Friday next."

    Friday, 15 October 2010

    BR: The Wanderer

    The Wanderer by Jan Irving
    5 out of 5 stars
    Reviewed for The Romance Reviews

    The Wanderer has something that other books only pretend to offer. It has a perfect balance--between characters that feel like real people, action and suspense, romance and last but not least, sex. It is one of the best books in this genre I have ever read.

    Jude is a doctor in a small town, Sylvan, somewhere in Western USA, after the Civil War. He has a little clinic where he takes care of his patients and the occasional ill farm animal. Then, one day, a stranger comes into town. Gabriel, a gunslinger, is hurt, and seeking medical attention. But there is something growing deeper between him and Jude than a mere patient-doctor relationship. This sets into motion a series of events that turn the whole town upside down.

    There are a lot of books out there that use a time period as a mere stage for their characters to act on. Ms Irving, however, embraces this certain time, and creates a historic feel, that amplify the small town atmosphere. You really believe the characters actually lived then, and that they're not just planted there for convenience. Much thought has been put into the setting, which gives the story a certain credibility.

    The thing that most touched me was the strength of Jan Irving’s characters. At first, I tried to label them, put them in a box, so I could place them. But I just could not make sense of them. They were not stereotypical. There was no box that would fit Doctor Jude, or the little blind boy Mouse. And I think this is one of the best parts of this book. The characters are special, they have a personality, they are individuals. You feel their pain, their happiness, their despair.

    This story has so many layers. Growth, finally accepting of what you are is an important one. All main characters develop in some way or another. The one I thought was most touching was the change in Jude. He undergoes a complete transformation. He starts off as a lonely, introvert person. He lives on his own, writing poetry about love. Then, when love finally comes to him in the shape of the incredibly hot Gabriel, it takes time for him to cope with his shame, his resentment for what he really is. We learn with him, we see him coming to terms with the part of him that he has hidden not only from the world, but also himself. I thought this was beautifully, subtly done.

    His relationship with Gabriel was interesting. It develops slowly, and sometimes you doubt if this is even going to work, but in the end you just know they are right for each other. There is some domination love play in this book, but I thought it was quite sweet. I liked how they acted like they were somewhere else, being somewhere else. Everything you could want from sex scenes are here. They were hot, steamy and variable. In some books you feel like you are reading the same scene over and over again, with just a slightly different setting. This was not at all the case with The Wanderer. Every scene is exciting in its own, unique way.

    I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an erotic romance with a well thought-out story. It’s fast-paced, very nicely written with clear descriptions, and is just a great book overall. Its bitter-sweet ending was absolutely perfect. You will not be disappointed.

    Tuesday, 12 October 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #1

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #1: The Vampire Lestat

    "I was an extraordinary fiend! If I'd been sitting on the steps of hell with my elbows on my knees and the devil had said, "Lestat, come, choose the form of fiend you wish to be to roam the earth," how could I have chosen a better fiend than what I was?"
    "We were on our knees in the snow together, and it was a wallop, the life going into me with the blood. I couldn't move for a long moment. Hmmm, broke the rules already, I thought. Am I supposed to die now?"