Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bout of Books 2.0 Readathon Ending

What a week. Let's see how I did!

My Goals:
  • Read at least 3 books
  • Have a lot of fun and meet some awesome bloggers!

Yay, I accomplished all my goals!

I read 3 books this week, the last of which I have just finished. This is what I read:

Because it's the week before Halloween I sticked to ghost/creepy themed books. Overall I think I did pretty good with the readathon, especially since I have exams tomorrow and had a few Halloween parties to attend to in appropriate dressing.

Had a great time once again talking to all the fellow readers out there on Twitter (: Hope to speak to you all again very soon!

Call for Reviewers!

  • Are you a beginning book reviewer, but you can't seem to get any ARCs?
  • Do you want your review to get posted on my blog, where a lot more people will see them?
  • Do you want to draw more attention to your own blog and reviews?
Well, then I have something to offer! I have a big bunch of unread ebook ARCs I have received from authors for review, but I don't have enough time to read them all. Most of them are from self-published authors, that deserve to get some attention.

Therefore, I'm looking for reviewers that don't mind reading ebooks, that are willing to write an honest review. I can't stress enough how important the honest part is. You don't have to like a book. If you were annoyed by the main character, then you put into your review that you were annoyed by the main character. If an author gets feedback from the reviewers, in a respectful way of course, they can take that critique and learn something from it. If you think you are an honest reviewer, continue reading.

How does it work?
It's pretty simple. I have a big list with over 50 titles where you can pick a book from to read. The author has sent the book to me, and I will forward it to you. You will then read and write a review for the book within 2 weeks. You send the review back to me, and I will put it on my blog. You get full credit, including your name, blog link, and a short bio. You can put the review on your blog, Goodreads, or any other media source, as long as you clearly state you received your review copy from Nyx Book Reviews.

If you're interested to become a reviewer on Nyx Book Reviews, send a request to nyxbookreviews(at)!

Guest Post: Lynna Merrill (The Seekers of Fire)

A little later than planned, I would like to introduce author Lynna Merrill! She has written a character interview for NBR. If you're interested in her books, feel free to visit her on her website.

The Seekers of Fire
The Bers have ruled Mierenthia with fire magic and an iron fist for hundreds of years, but now their magic is failing. The firepipes are dry. The firewells gape cold and empty, and the factories are shutting down. Light, warmth, and food are scarce. Strange creatures appear not only in the distant forests but even in the cities, the Bers' own strongholds.

Amidst this chaos arises Linden, a young commoner woman who dares oppose a Ber with forbidden magic of her own. She is joined by Rianor, the High Ruler of Qynnsent, who defies what the Bers call a noble's greatest responsibility. The two tamper with the half-ridiculed, half-forbidden idea of science and believe that there is more to science than the Bers and mentors would have people think.

Dominick, a young mentor, one of the priestly class who keep people from thinking aberrant thoughts, starts to question the Ber world even as he is trying to save it.

Merley, a young Ber woman who sees things that others cannot, saves a condemned boy and seeks out a reprobate old witch.

As these young people choose the paths rarely taken and make paths of their own, others try to pull their strings and shape the world according to their own wills.

The Interview
Interviewer: So, tell us about yourself. What are your dreams? What are your fears?

Linden: You must know that already. You must have already tried to breach my mind. For the eighteen years of my life I have learned that those who ask the questions already know the answers. At least, they attempt to. There is no safe place in Mierenthia. Not for those with thoughts even slightly diverging from what the Bers and mentors claim we must think. There is no safe place for those who want to make their own choices.

Interviewer: But no one could ever breach your mind.

Linden: None of them ever succeeded. Even the Ber who attacked me could not make me fall.

Interviewer: Why would a Ber attack you? The Bers protect people. They give you all fire and warmth. They are Mierenthia's caretakers and guardians, the ones who make sure that the unspeakable ones who lurk by the world's edges do not creep closer. They are the ones who protect you from your own selves.

Linden: Ask the Bers why. Ask them what happened to the world. Ask them why the firepipes broke in people's homes, or why the factories are failing even though the Bers torture wretches so that Ber magic would continue to exist. This magic does not exist any more. Not really. It is weak, so very weak---and yet we have nothing to replace it with. Ask the Bers why there is no warmth, no food, why the rites of master crafters, which used to give us food, clothes, and even canned food, produce nothing these days.

Most of all, ask the Bers why even the master crafters have no idea how their rites are supposed to work. Ask why even basic tools are denies to us, and why science is rudimentary and ridiculed as nothing more than a trifling pursuit for those with too much time to waste. Magic was what used to run our world. Now, magic is dying, and yet it has gripped the whole world tightly in its fist like a falling giant clutching madly at something, anything.

Even a dying giant's grip can be deadly.

Ask your questions of the Bers. Perhaps they will give you an answer. They gave none to Rianor and me. So, we are taking matters into our own hands.

Lynna Merrill was accused at an early age that she lived in a world of her own. Since then she has changed the country, continent, and language—but she still lives in worlds of her own. One of these is the world of Mierenthia. A part of it, together with some of its people and conflicts, has recently been chronicled in the first three books of Lynna’s fantasy series, The Masters That Be. Nine books are planned. Lynna also makes her own cover and interior art.

In the real world Lynna has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the Ohio State University and has worked on various open source software projects, both as a volunteer and as an employee. She wrote the almost 300,000 words of her first three books in the VIM text editor.

Lynna is interested in books (of course),  computers, and “what if” questions. She lives by lake Ontario with her husband and soulmate, Alex.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Review: Thirst by Claire Farrell

Thirst by Claire Farrell
(Ava Delaney #1)
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Smashwords

Thirst was enjoyable. It was al right. It just didn't stand out for me.

Ava is a half-vampire, and the only one at that. When she by accident binds a human to her, she doesn't know what to do. And know two rivalling vampire clans are fighting to capture her and use her powers. Only Ava is completely unaware of what she can do.

This is pretty much a basic vampire story. The main character is a pretty girl that everyone either wants, or is jealous of. But she's not perfect! She hasn't talked to a human being in a few years! I don't know why the writer chose this characteristic. Ava is perfectly chatty in conversation. You would expect her to be a little rusty at that.

Vampires are the big bad guys in Thirst. They look more like zombies, with decaying flesh everywhere. They are completely gross and we should hate them all and they should burn in hell! But then Ava suddenly pities a vampire that almost killed her human pet. I have no idea where that feeling came from. Seems like Ava's hate isn't as absolute like she would likes us to think.

And what is a vampire story... without a love-triangle! I won't even start on this one. It's just plain old. And even more sad when you consider what her choices are: the brainless but apparently tasty human pet, or the mysterious guy that hates her guts. They both sound like perfect boyfriend material, don't they?

Oh, I just thought of another thing. You know when we are all face-palming because the heroine is taking off on her own so "the hero won't be endangered!"? Well, Ava manages to pull this off, not once, but TWICE! Because the first time was such a good idea! And yet we are told she's pretty smart. Huh.

However, these are all kinds of little things that completely annoy the crap out of me, but I know that other people often don't agree. At the moment this book is available for free. It isn't very long. So if you're looking for some quick light vampire read, you can give Thirst a try.


Part vampire, the only thing greater than Ava Delaney's thirst for human blood is her capacity for guilt. When she accidentally turns a human into her minion, she does her best to set him free - but her attempts land her in the middle of a potential vampire civil war. With the help of some new friends with ambiguous loyalties, Ava tries to save her human... and herself.

Other reviews you might be interested in

More links

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bout of Books 2.0 Readathon Starting Line

Well, as I had so much fun this weekend in the Wonderfully Wicked Readathon, I thought I'd participate in the Bout of Books 2.0 Readathon too, starting today (October 24th) running until the 29th. You can still sign up here!

My Goals:
  • Read at least 3 books
  • Have a lot of fun and meet some awesome bloggers!

Books I will try to read:
Or any other book that catches my fancy (:

My first update: 10/24

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/3rd
Total number of books I’ve read: 1/3rd
Today #insixwords: I like creepy books like Carrie
Books: Carrie by Stephen King

Update: 11/24

Number of books I’ve read today: 2/3rd
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Today #insixwords: Wish I had more reading time
Books: Carrie by Stephen King

    Sunday, 23 October 2011

    The Wonderfully Wicked Readathon Wrap-Up Post

    And so the Wonderfully Wicked Readathon, or #WWreadathon as it's also known, comes to an end for me. I had a GREAT time, and it was wonderful to meet such awesome people.
    Even though I spent MASSIVE amounts of time on Twitter (yes, I blame you all for that!) it was one of the most productive readathons I have ever participated in. I managed to read three books in three days, something I haven't accomplished any more since I was like six, and all the books I read contained 200 words.

    Mindless babbling aside, these are my stats:
    • Total books read: 3
    • Total pages read: 916
    • Average pages per day: 305
    • Challenges participated in: 2 (have to work on this one next time..)
    • Updates posted: >9000, I am not going to count all of my #WWreadathon tweets!
    The books I read:

    But, there is even more readathon fun at the horizon! Starting tomorrow, I will also participate in the Bouts of Books Readathon! More about that will be posted later this week (:

    Monday, 3 October 2011

    Interview & Giveaway: Chris Turner (Fantastic Realms)

    After such a long absence I have something pretty cool in store for you guys! Author Chris Turner is stopping by at my blog today, talking about his latest book, his favourite reads, what he thinks about the blogging community and more. And after the interview he is so kind to give away some copies of his book, so keep on reading! Read more about Chris and his books on his blog.

    Nyx Book Reviews: Hi Chris, welcome to Nyx Book Reviews! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

    Chris: Hi Celine, I’m a writer/artist/musician living in the Ottawa, Canada area. My background is high tech, yet I’ve had an avid interest in fantasy and adventure writing ever since I went backpacking and cycling in Asia in the early 90’s. With the advances of e-publishing, I’m very happy to be able to share stories written over the years.

    Can you describe your book, Fantastic Realms, in one sentence?

    The anthology consists of heroic sword and sorcery, dark fantasy and a little comic relief, with vivid description, compelling action and many major female characters—all written in a sophisticated and eloquent but natural style.

    What makes your book stand out from other fantasy anthologies?

    Primarily the world-building. The collection brings to light a lot of the best devices used in fantasy world-building. The stories are intensely character-driven and create the atmosphere of an alternate world, which is a necessity, in my opinion, for lasting-impression story-writing. The characters are jaded, somewhat enigmatic creatures, but heroes in the making, who cross the boundary from light to dark. Readers are left wondering about their fates. The exotic settings—from the quiet, bonsai-adorned temple of Sinru and faraway city of the Magi of old Parnoss, to the jungle wilderness of Mostra and the psychedelic “mirror-world” of Ynos and other dark sword-and-sorcery worlds—set the backdrop for the heroes’ epic struggles. My feeling is, if the characters can integrate into their world seamlessly then the stories have a better than good chance of being successful reads.

    I am generally unsatisfied with many of the fantasy shorts I read in ezines, for the reason that they don’t live up to the exceptional tradition of fantasy that is out there. Consider the vivid and gripping depth portrayed by the original pulp writers like Fritz Leiber, R.E. Howard and Jack Vance. In modern fantasy, the dialogue is generally very clipped, a lot of it shallow and containing excessive expletives and anachronisms. The description of far or distant worlds is weak and limited in comparison. Though, that’s just my observation and opinion!—I’m not setting myself out to be a critic. Of course, there are notable exceptions: writers such as James Lecky, and Adam Corbin Fusco, (The Jewels of Montefort)—amongst others.
    The other “problem” with sword and sorcery genre is that it has been pigeon-holed as “dated and sword-slashing”, the stuff of the 80’s, beaten to death since the early popularity of the 1930’s. As a result, a lot of what is being written is somewhat clichéd. The mountain of material, always growing, has certainly not helped the reputation of the genre, and I think, has contributed to its “dumbing down”. There has been a shift to urban fantasy, which, in my opinion, has become even more clichéd than sword and sorcery—and even worse, attracting some of the more notoriously bad forms of vampire and zombie writing. I think it takes a lot of skill and a love for heroic fantasy to let the world-building features of that genre shine. It is no easy task! I have attempted to revive some of the older tradition in this anthology—but I’ll let readers judge for themselves.

    What does your average day as a writer look like?

    Pretty much from morning on, writing, editing, doing promotion, and learning new things, i.e. via social media, staying on top of things in online forums. Also designing book covers, making new contacts and friends with writers and readers. It is a pursuit that interests me; though there’s little money to be made in the early stage, yet there’s a higher purpose: getting stories out there and finding out how to make stories better, and how to attract readers to the genre.

    Do you still find time to read yourself? If so, what books have you read lately that you particularly recommend?

    I make time to read. I finished Last Free City by Tim Stretton and I read his other novels (Dragonchaser, The Zael Inheritance)—all which were enjoyable. Constantly I’m reading and rereading classics like Jack Vance’s Dying Earth series and Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo. I read Michael Shea’s, The Extra. Though very different than his earlier, horror-based, sword and sorcery stories, the book was entertaining enough—if one can get past the tough-guy slang and vernacular, which takes some getting used to. Some Indie writers are Red Tash, with her fast-moving darkish-fantasy tale, This Brilliant Darkness, and Robert Eaton in Hero Always Wins, with his shocking, “good-guy-turned-villain”, though admittedly, problematic, with its collage of interconnected scenes and characters.

    You have a blog of your own. How are you enjoying the blogging community?

    Very much. Personal blogs, I believe, are the best way for writers to share their opinions and vent their passions and frustrations. They can get a load off their minds and contribute valuable information to the community. I started my blog in August with the intention of creating a relevant sideline on the theme of “The craft of writing fantasy fiction”. The articles I posted started to get more detailed than I’d originally thought—but better more detail than not enough. I’ve had some good response, considering the blog’s infancy. A huge blogger community exists out there, and writers like myself, readers and enthusiasts are always sharing knowledge and discoveries in big ways. That’s what made it easy for me to get into the publishing market in the first place: the variety of free information and things to watch out for.

    What are your plans for the future? Any more books coming up?

    I continue to write new stories and interact with readers—I do interviews and offer giveaways and submit new books to review sites. I’m also in the process of digesting the last beta reading for the third and final book of the Rogues of Bindar epic fantasy series, which is scheduled for release in Oct. 2011. Here, a fugitive-outlaw, caught in a net beyond his control, tries to run from his destiny and finally understands that he must face his fate and help rid the world of a demented sorcerer.

    There are always new ideas streaming through my head, and with the ease of uploading and distributing new books by Indies, I’m very excited!

    Thank you for answering my questions! (:

    Thanks for inviting me!

    Giveaway of three ebook copies of Fantastic Realms
    • Fill out the form to enter
    • Giveaway ends October 17th