Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Trailer : Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn’darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court.
And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

Read the entire synopsis on Goodreads:
















It's here! It's finally here! We've been seeing little teaser snippets of this trailer on some blogs all last week and its such a relief to get a look at the whole thing. I'm usually not a fan of book trailers, but this one is pretty awesome!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review : Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor



Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


First Line: 
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

My Thoughts:

If I had to describe this book in a few words, this is what I'd say.

Enchanting. Bewitching. Spellbinding.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful, beautifully written novel. It is an utterly enchanting book. I've read a little more than a dozen novels about angels and forbidden love, but never anything like this. If you've read the synopsis and expected anything like anything you've ever read, then you're badly mistaken. I don't feel worthy of reviewing this book, saying anything about it - because to anyone who has read this - it will sound utterly bleak in comparison with the authors' writing style.

Laini Taylor's writing is beautifully poetic and so very, very vivid. This struck me especially when the author made a thorough description of a setting, and I could practically see things stand out at me. Colors and smells of the streets of Marakkesh. A battlefield after a fight. Emotions. People. While the authors' characters were almost always described as beautiful, ethereal beings, I couldn't bring myself to not like this - completely otherworldly, flawless characters and I still can't; because as everything else - it fit perfectly into the story. I never thought I'd say this about romance in a book, but it was as believable and real as every other thing in this amazing novel, and this is seeing the fact that he tries to slash her to bits.

There is not one thing about this book that I can say I didn't like. I loved Karou.I truly admire this fantastic female character that the author has created. She regrets nothing she does, and she's one of those female protagonists that are so rare these days - strong, a little skeptical, and not going falling head over heels for the other guy the minute she gets a look at him.

I loved the setting. Rather, I loved the huge multitude of settings in the book! That was the very first thing that made me love this book so much.Things never just happen in one place. And each place fit seamlessly into the story. Beautiful, snowy Prague. A brief glimpse of Paris with its street musicians. Morroco. And in the end, a tantalizing glimpse of the land of the chimaera - Eretz.

I'd written a similarly rambling review of Witchlanders yesterday, and now I can feel the stark difference between the two. They were both fresh, unique ideas. They had engaging story lines and great characters; but the difference is vast. There are books that drag you in headfirst into the novel, with a fast-paced storyline that barely lets you breathe. Now, if I had to make a comparison like that to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I'd say its a book that slowly, subtly lulls you into the story and slowly but surely pulls you into its depths, and it stays long after you've turned the last page and put it aside. Sounds cliche, doesn't it? Yet, I had no idea how true it was until I finished this book.


Book Trailer for Daughter of Smoke and Bone :

Waiting on Wednesday #2 - A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

The cool button is from the awesome girls over at  Bewitched Bookworms! Do say hello!



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink:


When her parents are murdered before her eyes,  sixteen year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls  the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants  charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she  has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic   brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong because temptation will be hard to resist, even for  an angel. 



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #2 - 27th September 2011




Teaser 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  •  Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
  •  

I'm currently reading: 

  Over the years she’d found that that was all it took, that lazy smile, and she could tell the truth without risk of being believed. It was easier than keeping track of lies, and so it became part of who she was: Karou with her wry smile and crazy imagination.


Review : Witchlanders by Lena Coakley




High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future
 It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him. 

 


First Line:
Ryder woke to the sound of clattering bones.

My Thoughts:

Okay. Deep breath. Exhale. Calm.

I totally, utterly and completely loved this book.!!

I think this is the first YA book I've read in a long, long time that has no romance in it whatsoever and boy, am I glad for that. I might be a little partial due that as I like the mushy stuff to be low or altogether absent in books. But I stand by my original declaration! This is an awesome book in its own right! 

What makes it so great in my view, you will ask? Everything. Just everything about it. The world building is perfect. It's an utterly unique, fresh idea. As far as I can see, it isn't rooted in folklore or mythology of any sort and that is one thing that I always admire in a book. I can't help but be in complete awe with the author's superb skills at building this alternate universe.

I loved the two main characters, Ryder and Falpian. Even though they were great characters on their own, I just wish the author would have made them stand out more as individuals with differences other than their physical appearance. I understand the author would want to make them appear to be a rather similar pair given *ahem* what they are (don't want to give away too much here so I'm going to  be sounding vague) but a couple of more stark difference between the two would've been nice. I would've expected some arrogance in Falpian and some rustic bumbling by Ryder, given their upbringing.

As I said before, the world is totally new. Its like nothing I've ever read before and the whole premise intrigued me from the minute I read the synopsis.I love the fact that the author keeps the suspense up till the very end, dropping little bits of information through the book, alternately from Ryder and Falpian and its all done so subtly, you have loads of information about the Witchlanders and the Baen without you realizing it. Nope, no huge info dump-and-process sessions here. Even then, until the very last page , you're wondering about what will happen to the characters.

When I picked up the book, I hadn't expected and second character so important to the story. The synopsis, the trailer, nothing hints towards it. I'd expected a war maybe, and a story from only one viewpoint, the Witchlanders'. When the synopis said "Baen", I hadn't thought of a still existing race of nothing more than humans with a different appearance and different forms of magic. Needless to say, (I'm saying this rather often, no?) Witchlanders left me pleasantly surprised with how the story turned out to be and also left me one very, very satisfied reader.


Book Trailer for Witchlanders:






Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey


My reading has been at an all time lately - I've read only two books this week. On the brighter side, I'm hoping to remedy that, now that there are no exams hovering over my head! Phew.


Books I Read Last Week:

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead:

It was a good read, even if I felt sort of disappointed. I'd expected so much more from it after reading VA.
Read my review here.
 
Fury by Elizabeth Miles:

Okay, I did not technically read this one as I gave up about halfway through the book. Things kept dragging on and on and I couldn't see much beyond vindictive girls and cheating boyfriends. Oh, well. Will probably finish it at a later date. And I love the cover. All that gorgeous fiery hair!








I'm Currently Reading: 


Very happy with this so far.Turning out to be quite the fresh, engaging read!















Friday, September 23, 2011

Review : Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead


When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.










My Thoughts:

Sydney Sage is a smart, sensible, if slightly self-deprecating protagonist that fit perfectly in this book. She is a young but brilliant mind and an Alchemist with a history of getting into trouble due to association with vampires, which is heavily frowned upon in Alchemist circles. And Adrian.The great Adrian Ivashkov. Sadly, I can't say he's his same ole self with uttering a huge lie.You don't even want me to get started on that guy at the moment. I'll save the rant for later.

Jill, the newly discovered Moroi princess is one of the important characters in this book, along with Eddie Castille, her dhampir guardian. I just wish that we saw a little more of Jill outside of her being slightly shy and aloof and Eddie in the "high paranoia" mode all the while, though it was rather funny.

I loved the pacing of the book. It started off pretty quickly, then got slower, and then quicker again and just as you think things have started calming, there's this huge plot bomb falling right out of nowhere at you. The number of fighting scenes in the book were less than in the VA series as Bloodlines emphasizes the doings of Alchemists and isn't focused on the dhampirs, but its paced fast enough that you don't notice the lack of action as opposed to her other books, which have a good number of them.

I have to admit Sydney's her sometimes utterly brilliant, sometimes utterly naive and oblivious persona was off-putting at times. And what is it with Adrian?? Yes, he's a hot, witty and charming character. Yes, he's also sarcastic, snarky, a smoker and an alcoholic. Oh, and he's suffering a heartbreak; but can we please keep the formerly mentioned characteristics at a higher level than the latter unfavorable characteristics? I was ecstatic to know Adrian would be one of the more important characters in this book, but the Adrian of Bloodlines seemed like an entirely different character from Adrian of VA, apart from the occasional witty quip.

One of my biggest disappointments with the book was that about three-fourths throughout the book I could guess who was so obviously behind all of it. Once I had that idea in my head, all the supposedly cryptic clues that hinted toward the instigator's identity turned out to be blatantly obvious. Seriously, it's just staring you in the face by the latter half of  the book.

This was generally a good read.  Nope, it wasn't flawless and I did have a good number of 'duh' moments. Despite all this, I liked the book. It kept me on the edge of the seat for a good part of the book (until I figured out the point of it all) and  I had no problem connecting with the characters. And the last line! Phew. What a cliffhanger! As usual, Richelle Mead leaves little to be desired.


The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead
 
The sequel, The Golden Lily is set to be published in June the following year.I positively adore the cover to the sequel. It's so pretty! Love the golden tones!


Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.







Cover Reveal : Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity has a new cover for the paperback! The new cover matches the cover to the next book in the series, Perception, releasing March 2012. The paperback of Clarity is set to come out in February.




Don't close your eyes. Except when the truth is too dark to bear.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case -- but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother -- who has supernatural gifts of his own -- becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?


When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?
Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.
Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.
But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?
One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. 





Paint quite the pretty picture, don't they??




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #1 - Black Heart by Holly Black

The cool button is from the awesome girls over at  Bewitched Bookworms! Do say hello!



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black :

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.



I loved White Cat. I loved Red Glove. I loved the writing. I love Cassel and this amazing world Holly Black has created. I loved absolutely everything about each book. Needless, to say I'm gonna be clamoring for a copy when this releases. April 2012, come soon!

P.S - Did I mention I also love this cover? Oh yeah, much better than the previous two, even if they were unique in their own right. 

Which is your most eagerly anticipated book this week? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #1 - 20th Septmeber 2011



Teaser 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  •  Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
  •  
I'm currently reading: 

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead:





 “Not true,” he said, green eyes sparkling. “Everything’s about my personal entertainment. The world is my stage. Keep it up—you’re becoming a star performer in the show.”


Monday, September 19, 2011

Review : Blood Song (Lharmell #1) by Rhiannon Hart


When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?






First Line:
I was thinking of blood again so I went to practice my archery.

Zeraphina is the princess of Amentia, younger daughter of Queen Renata. When her sister is betrothed to a prince of a prosperous nation in the North, she is ecstatic. Her yearning to go North, to be finally able to discover why something from there calls to her so deeply is finally being fulfilled. To be able to find out about the disease she contracted that changed her appearance. To know more about the unspoken lands of Lharmell.

My Thoughts : 

I'll admit that the premise of the book sounded rather intriguing. I can't resist a book set in a different realm or universe and the cover, the blurb all hinted towards a dark, mystic storyline, yet another thing I can't resist. Also, I loved the new names. Lharmell. Zeraphina. Again, very very mysterious. 

I got into the book pretty quickly. The first few chapters were probably the best in the whole book. The eerie phantom in her room, the North calling to her, a  promise of something dark to come - it was all there. There's little that I want in a book if all those aspects are present; but soon, it just wasn't enough. 

Zeraphina went North, spent a good amount of time in the palace there, yet discovered nothing. It wasn't as if she wasn't looking for information, nope. Rather, it's quite strongly strongly portrayed that she's quite desperately looking for something that will lead her to answers. Yet, her search seems entirely futile. I couldn't see a pattern or basis for her searches and her instant dislike of Rodden -  who seemed like nothing more than a somewhat-creepy, not too friendly guy -  threw me off.  I felt like there was something lacking or there was some part if the story that I was entirely missing. I couldn't figure out reasons behind Zeraphina's thoughts, why she was so fixated on the feeling that Rodden had something to hide.

I don't know what exactly to make of this book. Yes, I liked the it. The writing was excellent and the world was entirely different, curious concept. The idea was excellent. The creatures aren't anything like you would have read before. All in all, it has all the makings for a wonderful, enthralling read. There first couple of chapters drew me in and held me there. It was intriguing. It was compelling. And then slowly, things seemed to deflate. I just couldn't figure things out. A t the end,(which, by the way, seemed really abrupt and a huge torrent of information that should've probably been explained in bits throughout the book), I couldn't make out what had happened. Uh, I should stop saying that.

Maybe it was all me, and I wasn't reading closely enough to see something that was probably staring me right in the face, which would've been a very  "me" thing to do. My thoughts about this book are rather conflicted, but all things considered, it was a good read.

   

About The Author:

Rhiannon Hart
Rhiannon Hart remembers writing before she could read, puzzling over the strange squiggles in Jeremiah and the Dark Woods by Janet and Alan Ahlberg and putting her own words in their places. Her first love was Jareth the Goblin King at the tender age of eight. She wrote fan fiction in high school but she'd never admit to it out loud, so don't ask. When she's not reading or writing she is belly dancing, chasing after other people's cats, or putting the pedal to the floor at her sewing machine. She grew up in north-western Australia and currently resides in Melbourne, where she works in marketing. Rhiannon has been published in the Australian Book Review, Magpies and Viewpoint and blogs at http://rhiannon-hart.blogspot.com/. She is currently writing further books in the LHARMELL series.






Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cover Reveal : Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Yayy! The cover for the much anticipated Insurgent is finally out! Yes, I'm sure you've seen it in a dozen other sites but I just couldn't resist putting this up! The symbol on the cover is that of the faction Amity with a background of Chicago city, while the first book had the fiery symbol of the Dauntless faction!  Isn't it great?

The tagline for this book is, "One choice can destroy you." while the tagline of the first book is "One choice can transform you."

This is what Author Veronica Roth had to say about Insurgent from the interview up on Entertainment Weekly here.

I can’t say much because there’s very little I can reveal without spoiling everything. But I will say that the factions there were not featured in Divergent will have a more prominent role in Insurgent, and that readers will learn more about Tobias’ history. But essentially, the book is about consequences. The repercussions of what Tris did, and what Jeanine did at the end of the first book, in particular.

Exciting, right? Am I the only one who feels like weeping at the release date on Goodreads? May 2012!!


Book Trailers : September Releases

Vanish by Sophie Jordan :



Witch Song by Amber Argyle :



The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton :



The Daughter of Smoke and Bone  :

This is just the intro trailer to the book. There are four other awesome trailers to this book, I believe, so you should probably go here to see all of them.



After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel :

I've heard loads about this book in the past few days and I'm probably going to be keeping away from it because from what I've heard its creepy. Nope, no horror for me, thank you very much. But it's supposed to be an excellent book.



I'm going to deviate from the topic a little here and include a countdown widget. I came across the widget to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins while looking for its trailer and seriously, I must have been living under a rock to have not seen this widget before! Its sooo pretty! I swear, I must have staring at it, transfixed for a good while before I scrambled to get its code now. And how could have I not realized from the cover that it was supposed to be underwater? Shameful, that it had to dawn on me a dozen days before release.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review : Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  


Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?


First Line:

Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is.

My Thoughts:

To those who know me well, this would seem very, very skeptical. Me, reading a YA contemporary-romance novel? Highly unlikely. And that's a huge understatement. Romance is not a genre I'm particularly fond of and the only reason I can read most YA novels of the day - with all these multiple love interests and triangles -  is because it isn't solely focused on the romance. I like a good dose of humor and/or a witty or sarcastic protagonist in the books I read and I can't stand the fluff overpowering the actual story.

Anna and the French Kiss  by Stephanie Perkins has got loads of positive, highly recommended reviews and after a good amount of glowing references, I decided I'd give it a go and boy, am I happy I did.  I loved this book. One page into the book and I was hooked.

Anna is a great character- fun, witty and yet not without her own flaws. She was a simple, funny, completely natural character and very easy to connect with. Etienne St. Clair - the American with the British accent! -  the other main character  was as awesome a character as Anna and just as funny. For one, he's not the standard "tall, dark and handsome" that comes with every novels these days (being no taller than Anna). He's a surprisingly sweet character for a male, and that's in a good way! Stephanie Perkins has done an awesome job writing these two characters. 

The other characters in this book of importance are St. Clair's friends at the SOAP and are all great, wonderful characters and are seamlessly fit into the story. Her camaraderie with St.Clair and the rest of her friends at The School of America was really well pictured and I found myself laughing out loud more often than not at their antics.Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing - they had their disputes and the usual dose of teenage angst and frustration, but again, it was just right.

What annoyed me the most about this book was Etienne and Anna clinging desperately to their current lives, exactly as it was, unwilling to accept that things had changed and that they had face it and to move on already. And why, oh why, do YA novels have to have a perfect-beautiful-mean-yet-a-pain-in-the-ass blond girl who has to be utterly in luuurve with our hero and has to have a name like Amanda or Tiffany or Chelsea? That said, I was really glad about the fact that St. Clair doesn't utterly ignore Amanda annoying Anna all the time, as most male characters tend to do and actually retaliates and annoys her in turn, though obviously not in such a catty way.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is the perfect, one-sit read for a somebody looking for a laugh-out-loud cozy afternoon read.