Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ash - Malinda Lo - Review

Book: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Hodder
Rating: B-

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love

Ash... I really did like this book. It’s an original retelling of Cinderella with a twist. Not only does Ash have a fairy (godfather who wants to marry her) but {SPOILER ALERT} SHE IS A LESBIAN!!! Gasp.

The plot starts off very traditional, following the story line but towards part two it veers of path. Basically there is supposedly this non-existent world of the fairies and Ash manages to find it in the woods where she befriends a fairy called Sidhean. Pronunciation: sh-EE-n. Anyway she takes every opportunity she has to see him but as she spends her time in the woods she meets at the royal Huntress, her she forms a friendship a bit to close. Eventually Ash is torn between the two worlds – both forbidden.

At the end Ash is supposedly to realise a moral but in my opinion she found a loophole to the payment she owed Sidhean. The prince wasn’t really in the story. To be honest there was hardly any men in the story, which was very self, centred on the females although I think the book was trying to show that women have just as much authority and importance as men.

I mean I did like the book... how often do you come across a lesbian fairy tale, right? I mean I didn’t even know the author was a bio until I read her bio on GD.

The plot was I think carefully planned but went off track. I like how it was split into two parts, but they were optional as I don’t think they were necessary.
                Favourite character: I’m really not sure on this one but if I had to pick it would probably be Kaisia (the huntress who Ash falls in love with). She is just... really really AWESOME. So yeah, I think four and a half stars for this one.  

Friday, 22 October 2010

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater - Review

Sorry about the big gap above - blogger is always causing problems.
Book: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic 

Rating: A+

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love - the light and the dark, the warm and the cold - in a way you will never forget.

I thoroughly enjoyed Linger. As usual it didn’t lack stiefvater’s usual use of amazing detail that makes it so life like and realistic. I liked how in this book it went into the science side of the werewolf as it refines the book more making it much easier to understand how the werewolf works.

Shiver I loved because it was fantastic to curl up with and was very cosy, and festive and made you feel warm and well... really nice inside where linger... well I just can’t wait to find out what happens is Forever. Please Maggie – Type Faster. Maggie’s books are enchanting. The vivid description is so beautiful I just can’t put into words (but clearly she can – he he)

The series are very good and do work as standalone books, which is something I like because I have read the series and do read them in order but it means someone else doesn’t have to. Someone else could come along and read anyone of the series first.

In linger the roles have swapped. Sam is now human and grace is now fighting with her inner wolf, which is nice because it is always the boy who is mysterious and the mythical creature so for once the tables have turned. In the book Cole is introduced, and so far he seems fine but only when grace is around, so I think even though there is meant to be something between him and Isabel, in forever he will fall in love with grace and there will be this love triangle ting. The other thing that was good was that Isabel’s point of view was included, sharing hoe she felt abrupt everything, because as we know she has a very unique personality.

I HATE GRACE’S PARENTS. Everyone I know who has read the book has the same thoughts. They’re like, oh Sam is bad for our little Gracey Wacey – Grace you grounded he’s bad for you – and they’re are really snobby and stuck up to Sam who actually loves Grace more than they ever will. I mean at the end, Grace’s mum is a bit better but her Dad just gets worse. Punch Sam! How dare he.

My favourite character is most definitely Sam because in certain ways I relate to him. Look: I love books, he loves books. I want to work in a book store, he works in a book store. He hates being a wolf, I would never want to be a wolf (or would I???) You see. But really he is just generally a really cool person with a warm bubbly personality that is so likeable everyone likes him (EXCEP GRACE’S PARENTS)

I loved the book – oh so very much and yes Five stars – Long Live Maggie Stiefvater – Long live Mercy Falls (even though it isn’t real)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Strange Angels - Lili St.Crow - Review

Book: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St.row
Publisher: Quercus 
ISBN: 9781849161251

Rating: A+

Dru Anderson: Night Hunter. Knife Wielder. Heart Breaker. Dru can sense evil, which helps when she and her Dad are tracking down ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional reanimated corpse. It's a dangerous life, but it's the only one she knows. Then Dru's dad turns up dead and she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deadly game where every move she makes could be her last. Dru is more special than she realizes - and whatever killed her dad could be coming for her next. Can Dru stay alive long enough to fall for one - or both - of the guys hungry for her affections? Find out in the heart-stopping first book in a thrilling series.

I absolutely loved this book so much. This intense atmosphere, and they way Christophe and Graves were totally enemies on the same side. Who needs Buffy, when you can have Dru.

"Who needs Buffy"

This is the basic love triangle story with a fantasy side to it. In this case, Demon hunting. It is set in the real world - a world all around us made up off monsters and demons. Dru... was an interesting character, always full of surprises around every corner. I like how, for a change, the girl is the hero/fighter and not the love interest/boy. It's a very different book but in a good way. One thing that got me was I don't enjoy reading the buffy books so much but this I absolutely loved, I mean people are going to compare Strange angels and Buffy but they're not that a like... Strange Angels is better.

My favorite character was definitely Graves. The was a warm homely friendly sense about him underneath the goth camouflage. I mean most of the characters were easy to get to know but some seemed to have a really cold presence around them. Like christophe showed trustworthy but i still don't trust - there's something about him but i guess we'll found out in Betrayals - the sequel.

I thought the plot was very common when i first started to read this but then i got into it and realised it was more than the, as they now call it, 'twilight plot' - which consists of a girl two boys who she plays eventually causing the other boy to fall in love with her child. Do not take this comment the wrong way - i absolutely love twilight.

Maybe the reason i liked this more than buffy is that there is no realism to buffy. None. Nada. But with strange angels it all seemed so real. Like Graves and Dru had been plucked out of my local high school.

It is not a cheesy horror book and I absolutely heart so READ IT - and you will lurv it.

Fanmade Ash cover

Fanmade Cover
Original Cove

I really love this cover so I made a fanmade one. As you can see I've sort of followed the theme - but I can't decide which one I like more. Mine or the Original.
Click on either for a larger view. 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Fanmade Nightshade Cover

I heart this cover so much so I made a fanmade which is not nearly as good as the original.

Original Cover
Fanmade Cover
Told you my one's not as good, and the other one is amazing. Still yet to read this book. :)
Click on either for a larger view.

Knife - R.J. Anderson - Review

The reason this review is so short is because the book was so amazing I was stuck for words.

Book: Knife
Author: R.J. Anderson
Publisher: Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408303122
Rating: A

Once upon a time, a fairy is born. She lives in an old oak tree at the bottom of a garden with the rest of the fairy folk. Never has she known a time when life hasn't been hard, with many dangers and much adversity. But when she becomes the Hunter of the group and learns to do battle in the outside world, her adventures really take off...Don't read this book if you're expecting fairy dust - the last thing Knife is likely to wield is a magic wand...

This book found its way to my heart, where it is under lock and keep.

Not many ways to describe this book. Took me two days to write the review and let me tell you this book was amazing – I cannot wait to read the next two and for the fourth one to come out.

The book is a sort about trust and loyalty in a sense. It is about a faery who basically wants more out of life than the usual. She wants to explore not just the outside but her emotions too.

I don’t think it is a YA book. Definitely an 11+/children but not YA. It verges on a romance but not enough of a romance to be classed as a Teen/YA.

I liked the variation of the two worlds, and how all the pieces slotted together as you read on.

Trust me on one thing – I finished the book – then I went round my local town shoving my hands into holes in oak trees looking for faerys.

Well done Anderson – I <3 your book. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Radleys - Matt Haig - Review

Book: The Radleys
Author: Matt Haig
Publisher: Walker Books
ISBN: 9781406330281
Rating: A+

Meet the Radleys: Peter, Helen and their teenage kids Clara and Rowan. An everyday family who live in a pretty English village and juggle dysfunctional lives. So far, so normal. Except, as Peter and Helen know (but the kids have yet to find out), the Radleys happen to be a family of abstaining vampires. When one night Clara finds herself driven to commit a bloodthirsty act of violence, her parents need to explain a few things: why is their skin is so sensitive to light, why do they all find garlic so repulsive, and why has Clara's recent decision to go vegan had quite such an effect on her behaviour...? But when mysterious Uncle Will swoops into the village, he unleashes a host of shadowy truths and dark secrets that threaten to destroy the Radleys and the world around them.

The Radleys... It was a gothic, but also a light, fast-paced, thriller. I loved it. It was good the way it was stretched out over a couple of days! Very Clever.
          The book made laugh out loud so much. The comedy was well thought out and helped to lighten the gothic them of Vampires. That is one thing I loved about this. For a Vampire book, it was actually really light, which was great because recently everything I’ve read has been really heavy and I guess it was nice to get a break. It is a good, and quite different plot which I most enjoyed.

The characters were cool, and I think the book was on the verge of having to many characters but just stayed safe. Sequel? I wish. I love the way the kids have not an idea they are vampires thirsting for the blood of humans, and how they found out, freaked and fell in love. The book has a bit more maturity than other books, I guess treating you as a more responsible person? At least that’s the feeling I get.

Favourite character... this part always gets me stuck. Who, who? I think it’s gonna be a couple this time, yes it is... EVE AND ROWAN!!! OMG they are so perfect together, with a caring and unconditional love for each other. All the better when Eve was converted. They were by far my favourite – Eve and Rowan forever – or should I say – FANGS FOREVER!!! Don’t take it personally (all you dead (and alive) but I am sucker and a hardcore fan of the Undead – whatever form they’ve taken.

The only problem was it was a very obvious plot and the whole story sort of unravelled before you even got to the part. That was the only flaw in the book.

The book is the classic vampire novel with a modern twist. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the difference of it so yeah! Well done Matt – You’ve created a book that I lurrrv!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Facebook Page Launched

The Excellent Reads Facebook page was officially launched today!!! |SO EXITED| You can acsess it by going to the sidebar and scrolling down to the facebook 'Like' widget.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Vampire Academy - Blood Promise - Richelle Mead - Review

Book: Vampire Academy: Blood promise
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 9780141331867
Rating: A-

How far will Rose go to keep a promise? The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of many. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them - including Dimitri. He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa - the one she has sworn to protect no matter what - and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Blood Promise didn’t live up to Shadow Kiss. It was very different to be away from the academy whilst reading, but it was good. I... I’m really stuck for words on this; I don’t know what to say. I think there wasn’t too much effort in this book and was only written as a bridge between Shadow kiss, and Spirit Bound. Definitely the worst book in the series, so far. Positively I was happy when I thought Dimitri had died, but as we know – I was wrong. The Leech survived.

Lissa... wasn’t really involved in the story, neither was the academy hence the name Vampire Academy. Richelle tried writing from the perspective of both Lissa and Rose, and too be honest from the little of Lissa’s life I read about it was more interesting than Rose’s. Positively I liked the ending with the big fight and Lissa being compelled to commit suicide.  I like the fact that it introduces lots of memories of Dimitri and Rose, but some of them were just page fillers.                    

I mean yeah it was sort of good but to be honest the 5 stars I gave it on GD was only because I <3 the rest of the series. Like I said, not much to say about this and yeah, I was disappointed. 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Reckless Tour - Cornelia Funke - Event

On Saturday 2nd of October 2010, i had the honor of going to see Cornelia Funke on the Reckless tour where I manage to get some book signed, which you can see here. It was great, and really interesting, she's such a nice woman, and I'm so happy that I had this opportunity. If she ever comes back to UK I will definitely see her again.

In my mailbox #4

Okay, So technically this isn't in my mailbox - but I needed somewhere to show the Cornelia Funke books that I got signed so here they are.

 Comparison View

Side View

Reckless signed page

Inkheart signed page 

 Inkheart front view

Reckless front view

Reckless - Cornelia Funke - UK v US Cover

UK                                                                                                               US/GERMAN

Seeing as I have just read this and it is Reckless Day, I thought I'd compare covers.

I'm not sure with these two, as they are both amazing covers. The UK Portrays the golden goyle eye better, but the US portrays the jade skin better. For me this is a toughie so it all comes down to the fonts. The UK title font wins me over straight away, including the fact that it is foil. But then I love the frame around the US. For mr it's a draw but if I had to pick I would pick the UK. When I met cornelia she said to her they draw but is she had to pick she would pick US.

Reckless - Cornelia Funke - Review

Book: Reckless
Author: Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Chicken House
ISBN: 9781905294855
Rating: A★                                                               For the first time in his life, Jacob Reckless is afraid. For years he's stolen across to another world. A dark enchanted place he's loved for its treasure, secrets and dangers. Until now. Will, his younger brother, has followed him with terrible consequences: The boy will turn to beast; the girl he loves will break her hert and chaos will rule forever, unless Jacob can spin a fairytale to save them ...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED RECKLESS. I CAN'T EVEN PUT IT INTO WORDS.THE BOOK WAS SO AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC, I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN.I have to admit this is one of the best books I've read it a long time. I love the idea, of the fairy tale world. It's different, to the fairy tale modern rewrite craze. Reckless is an amazing book, and I have already devoured it twice. I can't wait to the next two in the series. Of course I was lucky enough to meet Cornelia Funke and have my first edition signed, and boy am I glad. The book just blew me away.

Some people were saying that the book is not for kids as the the characters are adults, but when I went to the reckless tour and listened to Cornelia she clearly stated, 'A lot of people say that if it's a children's book it must have children, but dustfinger was not a child but became one of the best loved characters, so as you will see Jacob and Will are both adults but all the more reason to love them.' Yet again she was so right. The description in the book was amazing, and I felt it got better throughout the book Cornelia has such a unique way of telling a story it's almost as if you're there. Obviously as she was helped by Lionel Wrigam in creating the book, so she has said that in a couple of years time it will become a film. 

Surprisingly my favorite character was not Jacob, but Fox. She had a nice, funny, quirky personality, who cared deeply about Jacob, and let the Jealousy get the better of her when he drank the Lark's water. Another thing I luurved so much was the illustrations. Cornelia is an amazing artist, and I loved all her illustrations. Unfortunately Cornelia said that not all of the Illustrations were included in the UK edition, unlike the US, German etc., so I would have liked to have seen them but, I guess I should be happy that they included any of her illustrations. 

The characters were very easy to get to know, and sometimes you would forget that they weren't even real. You befriended them quickly and easily. The dark fairy sounded interesting, and the jade goyle (Will) was cool, but I'm glad he got changed back. I'm seriously hyped to see what happens in the next book, because Jacob is paying with his life.

The novel itself is curious, dark and has a fairy tale combination of many. The danger started with the Tailor, which I was so creeped out at. Thank goodness he's dead, he was such a sick person, I loved this child eating witches house. It was clever how nearly anything you touched or ate would have a consequence. Like the Larks Water. That was awesome, and so funny reading about Fox getting jealous. And the watermen, and Lorelie (i think you spell it like that)

The book overall is a fantastic novel, and should become a modern fairy tale, just as Beastly has. The book is fantastic and definitely five stars.

Reckless - Cornelia Funke - Trailer

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Angelology - Danielle Trussoni - Review

Book: Angelology
Author: Danielle Trussoni
Publisher: Michael Joseph
ISBN: 9780718155582
Rating: A+

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days Genesis 6:4. When Sister Evangeline finds mysterious correspondence between Mother Innocenta of the Saint Rose Convent and legendary philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller, it confirms Angels walked among us - and their descendants, the cruel Nephilim, still do. Indeed, the Nephilim are hunting for artefacts concealed by Abigail Rockefeller during the Second World War - objects that will ultimately allow them to enslave mankind - and have so far been prevented from reaching their apocalyptic goal by one, clandestine organisation: The Angelology Society. And if the Angelologists are to stand any chance of winning this new battle in the ages-old war, they must find the artefacts first. But their fate rests in the hands of innocent Sister Evangeline, who holds the key to unlocking Abigail Rockefeller's hiding places ...and whose own destiny may yet find her prey to the terrifying Nephilim army, with horrifying consequences for humanity.

Angelology took me a good hundred pages to get into. I felt I was hanging with this book because I’d heard so much about it. One minute there would be five chapters that were boring and focusing on Evangeline and the next minute you’d have one chapter which was good and had a lot of action, and then you’d expect more and it would just go back to boring.

“I felt I was hanging with this book”

The book in a sense was well thought out and the plot was clever, but the only reason it was as thick as it was is because it is filled with unnecessary details that just bore you. Of course if there were to be a sequel where these details somehow gained an importance then that would be great, but if it wasn’t for these details the book would be the size of twilight.

My favourite parts were definitely the finding, creating and destroying of the lyre, and the second expedition. They were tense, and had the right amount of actions. The obvious part was that Angela was Percival and Gabriella’s baby. The characters were not as close to you as they are in some other books as I think Danielle tried to portray the characters in an outsider’s point of view, so that changed my view on how I thought about the characters. My favourite character was definitely Gabriella. She had something dark and dangerous about her, and she was most definitely exiting. She grew to be a very valued character and when she was killed it came as a sort of surprise that she didn’t put up a fight.

The grammar was good, although the odd word or two was misspelt, I think. I have to admit the book is epic, but more of a modern classic than a new cool YA read. The Lyre. That’s what the whole book is about, it all focuses on the lyre. As long as the Lyre is hidden the Nephilim (Human, Angel Hybrid) cannot take dominion over the world. The book isn’t at all complex as it looks from the thickness, but it is a slow read because the boring details just slow you down. The book is though worth a full five stars, and I guarantee will become a modern classic.