Archives

All posts for the month December, 2013

4 stars to School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson

Published December 23, 2013 by katheryn13

Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of the “Flock”–Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel–are just like ordinary kids–only they have wings and can fly. It seems like a dream come true–except that they’re being hunted by half-human, half-wolf “Erasers” who can fly, too.

In Book 2 of the series, the Flock members are taken under the wing of an FBI agent and try to live “normal” lives by going to school, making friends–and continuing their relentless search for their parents. But the Erasers return, forcing the Flock to abandon their search and make their escape once again. The voice inside Max’s head keeps telling her that it’s up to her to save the world, but this is especially challenging to do when she is faced with her ultimate match: a newer and better version of herself, Maximum Ride II.

Review:

After the immense start of the Flock’s journey to freedom in The Angel Experiment, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the sequel.

As is it, I was impressed and somewhat enjoyed this more. There’s far more action, more drama, and plenty of funny moments.

I love Max and Fang mostly, but Nudge and Iggy I’m learning to like more. I’m not sure how I feel about the rest.

And although Ari is the bad guy, it’s annoying how he’s supposedly so “misunderstood”. At seven years old…I mean, he thinks by attacking and trapping Max, he can get her to LIKE him? Eh no. If anything, he’s making an idiot of himself. So Ari did get on my nerves a lot. But enough about him. How about the fact the Flock get to go to School? A real school, that is.

After an incident leaves Fang badly injured, the FBI find them and Anne, a pleasant yet sketchy (according to Max’s inner gut feeling) woman, is kind enough to let them stay with her, in exchange for information. Things become too peaceful, and of course, life is never peaceful for runaway bird kids, right?

Insert education, mischief and Erasers, and you have your self a disaster in the making. They discover answers to mysteries, and a cloned Max decides to take over the gang. Things are not going well.

There were a few editing errors, and annoyances, but over all it’s a cracking read and I can’t wait to read the third book.

Kat

4 stars to 1.4 (Point 4 #2) by Mike A. Lancaster

Published December 19, 2013 by katheryn13

It’s a brave new world. In the far future, people no longer know what to believe…Did Kyle Straker ever exist? Or were his prophecies of human upgrades nothing more than a hoax?

Peter Vincent is nearly 16, and has never thought about the things that Strakerites believe. His father — David Vincent, creator of the artificial bees that saved the world’s crops — made sure of that. When the Strakerites pronounce that another upgrade is imminent, Peter starts to uncover a conspiracy amongst the leaders of the establishment, a conspiracy that puts him into direct conflict with his father. But it’s not a good idea to pick a fight with someone who controls all the artificial bees in the world.

Review:

A thousand years after Kyle Straker made those tapes, depicting what happened to the human race.  Peter Vincent, a 15 yr old boy who is so smart he attends college, is finding out life just isn’t as normal as he’d thought. New technology, the Link connects person to person via thought and it pretty much controls their lives. But nobody has ever questioned its motives, until now.

David Vincent, Peter’s father, is an award winning scientist who discovered a way to save the bees. Or maybe, replace them. Because of this, people look up to him. They consider him a well deserved genius. All except his son, Peter.

His father is unloving, self involved and couldn’t care less what Peter gets up to unless it directly affects him. So when Peter finds out his memory of his mother, the last time he ever saw her, was altered, he begins to wonder what else in his life has been a lie. And with that discovery, he realises life could end pretty soon. When there’s a countdown to a new upgrade.

I actually cannot believe this, but I read this in a DAY! Well, less than a day. It was fast paced, intriguing, freaky and makes me wonder what technology will be like in say 20 or 30 years time.

A spine chilling sequel to 0.4.

Kat

5 stars to Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Published December 19, 2013 by katheryn13

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Len, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find – or whom she will lose.

Review:

Wow, Lauren DeStefano has done it again. Another fantastic read, admirable characters, beautiful prose and a world completely and utterly original. (well, for me.)

I can’t get over how this book blew me away and that’s no pun. Or maybe it is. Hmm.

Perfect Ruin is one of those stories that’ll make you think “why didn’t I think of that?” because that idea of a…island? Country? In the sky, is just…unthinkable.  I mean, planets, yes. But one that’s still in the earths atmosphere? No.

So this was something new, something different and I was sucked IN. In the city of Internment, Morgan Stockhour is a daydreamer and someone who doesn’t comply to rules. Or so it would seem. Her brother, Lex was a jumper. This left him blind and therefore unable to see the way their world is changing. Especially when a murder happens. The first in many years. It’s so unheard of that some people start questioning the safety of Internment and whether it’s becoming corrupt.

Morgan is one of those people, and she begins to wonder what is beyond Internment. The Ground is fascinating to her, and she isn’t content with what she has. She is warned from thinking about it. It’s classified as treason, after all. Not knowing who she can trust, Morgan feels trapped.

In this world, everyone is partnered with a betrothed from before they’re born, everything runs on a schedule, and anyone caught straying from the path is classed as “Irrational”. I personally loved Basil, Morgan’s betrothed, but I also had a soft spot for Judas.

When tragedy strikes, Morgan soon realises there is a hidden rebellion beneath the world she knows and it rocks her. Eager to join in the plans, she goes on a journey that may or may not kill her.

I am stupidly excited  to read the sequel. The ending to this left me high and dry and holding my breath. I mean…I was biting my nails with anxiety throughout most of the book. Lauren really has a gift for telling a story. One thing I must say is I’m glad there isn’t as much “fancy prose” as there was with the Chemical Garden series. But that’s just a personal preference.)

Great job!

Kat

4 stars to Grave Doubts & Heaven Sent (The Mediator 5&6) by Meg Cabot

Published December 19, 2013 by katheryn13

Meet Susannah Simon: she’s a typical teenage girl who just happens to be a ghost-hunter…oh, and she’s also dead-over-heels for Jesse – the sexiest spook ever! But can this girl get her ghost? In “Grave Doubts”, Suze has to contend with fellow ghost-hunter, Paul Slater, who gives her a deadly ultimatum. Unless she dates him, he’ll send Jesse into the afterlife – for good. Paul may be totally hot, but Susannah Simon will not be bossed around. Let the games begin…In “Heaven Sent”, all Suze’s dreams have come true – she’s finally dating the most gorgeous ghost of all time, Jesse! But when her creepy admirer threatens to travel back in time and stop Jesse from dying, Suze is distraught. Will her new boyfriend choose life or love?

Review:

Sadly, as with many series, the last book is nearly always the best, and Grave Doubts & Heaven Sent do not disappoint. Okay so technically they’re two books in one, but as a whole, they topped the first 4 for me.

Suze already met Paul Slator whilst babysitting for his younger brother in the previous book, and this time Paul has come back for seconds. After finding out how sinister and evil he actually is, Suze isn’t best pleased when he turns up at her school.

But surprisingly, I didn’t hate Paul as much as Suze did. He seemed to have redeeming features, but then he’d go and ruin them. I could easily see how he did like Suze a lot, but he was going about it ALL WRONG. Granted, he did “almost” kill  Suze in the last book, but really? Is that any reason to hold a grudge? Well Suze feels so. Okay, I agree.

Since book 4 and that “kiss” at the end, Jesse has been avoiding Suze and she can’t figure out why. Only that he must not feel the same way.

Okay so her attitude about him is rather…childish. She’s 16, but she’s all “in love” and he obviously doesn’t love her back. How do you know? I mean…for god’s sake, just say something to him! The story went around in circles with her trying to GUESS. And I just wanted to slap her because her naivety was getting annoying. Apart from that…Jesse is just…divine. But he’s old fashioned and when certain rumours go flying, he talks to Father Dominic about his feelings, which doesn’t end well. Not for Suze, anyway.

In Heaven Sent, things pretty much continue and Paul makes a deal for Suze to let him show her what they can really do as Mediators, which she agrees to on the terms that he stay away from Jesse. We  meet Paul’s grandfather, and the secret behind Paul is all revealed.

Cee Cee and Adam weren’t involved as much as before, and in a way that’s good for me because Cee Cee irritates the hell out of me. >_< I was gradually warming to Paul, though, and his quips towards Suze made me smile because it’s SO OBVIOUS.

Then Paul goes on a mission which involves Jesse and Suze thinks he wants to get rid of him, and he does…just not in the way  she thinks.

There fire, romance, peace and…time travel.

A great read. I’m sorry to see the series end. :(

Kat

4 stars to Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll

Published December 19, 2013 by katheryn13

The gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.

Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days. Rumour has it that the house is haunted . . . Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare.

Then it goes horribly wrong. The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.

Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets . . .

Review:

I picked this up mostly because the cover is so pretty and wintery and it just called to me. I didn’t realise just how lovely the story would turn out to be, also.

A different kind of ghost story, this one is set in 19th century England (not entirely sure where). It’s a nice change, and it’s not the scary, hide-behind-your-pillow frightening.  It’s simplicity is what makes it such a good read.

Tilly lives with her mother and sister, and they are very poor. While waiting for her father to come home, Will Potter, a good looking, but ridiculously infuriating ladies man, knocks to invite Tilly out.

About ten years prior, a young boy named Kit Barrington, drowned in the lake by Frost Hollow Hall, and stories are rife that Frost Hollow is haunted, that Kit’s mother has grown…strange. Nobody really knows what happened. Then in an accident that can only be put down to stupidity (in my view) Tilly falls through the ice and discovers a saviour. In the form of Kit.

Tilly goes on a mission to help Kit. He’s troubled. Something is stopping him from passing on, and his spirit lingers over not just the lake, but his mother. But there’s also another spirit in for which Tilly soon works the connection.

The Hall employs Tilly, and she soon learns what the people close to Kit have to say and that they hold terrible secrets.

This tale is both chilling but in a subtle way, and romantic, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. The back and forth bickering between Will and Tilly is charming. I’ll admit, a part of me thought Kit and Tilly would have some sort of ghostly romance, but then that’s because I read too many books where the ghosts are corporeal.

The pacing was perfect, and the writing style different to what I’m used to, but once I got used to it, the story flew by.

A great winter read if ever there was one,  and one that shall probably remain with me for a long time.

Kat

5 stars to Daylighters (#15 The Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine

Published December 9, 2013 by katheryn13

While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end

Review:

Wow. I don’t give 5 stars easily. But The Morganville Vampires series just hits the spot every time. For me, at least. It’s really sad to see it come to an end, but after 15 books I suppose it was bound to happen.

There were many shock moments, a few oohs and ahhs, and plenty of  awww’s. But overall there was thrill after thrill that kept me on my toes. Sure, some bits were ahem…cheesy, but that’s Shane for ya. :P Kidding. But you know, we knew it wasn’t going to end pretty. Ultimately some folk had to go. And there were times I thought Rachel Caine was trying to rip out my heart. For real.

Myrnin, for all his faults and crazy madman moments, is my favourite and I found myself rooting for him, and praying to whoever to keep him safe. Yes, despite him being a fiesty old vampire, he wasn’t safe. None of them were, and that was terrifying in itself. With a new man in charge of the town, Rhys Fallon, the leader of the Daylight Foundation, comes to Morganville to change the fear to peace. It works, for a time, but damn if Claire and Co  don’t try their best to get back their home, because Fallon’s way isn’t necessarily the RIGHT way. He’s on the war path and there are a few times I was scared for everyone. How could you not be? Most of them, even the vamps, have become our friends, we’ve become invested in them so much. Well, I have, and damn if I didn’t gasp in horror when…

Yeah I won’t spoil. I hate to cut reviews short but I already miss the books and just want to hug myself until the pain of never having a new book goes away.

The ending is beautiful, and that’s rare for me to say so. Most endings are either good or meh, but this was just…right. Michael, Eve, Shane, Claire and even Miranda all get their happy endings, and that’s a wonderful thing, don’t you think?

I didn’t feel there was anything missing, and that’s what counts. And the epilogue was short and sweet, but wrapped it up really nicely. I’m seriously GUTTED to have this series leave my life, but hey, I can see myself rereading them in the near future. I already miss the torture.

Bye bye Morganville. I never wanted to leave, but you kicked me out. I’ll find my way back, don’t you worry. xx

Kat

Zombies: Why the brains? Check out @DefinitionHouse’s #YA Kickstarter project #DeadNewWorld to find out!

Published December 8, 2013 by katheryn13

Logo

Here at BookNerds we’re pleased to be hosting Dead New World by Ryan Hill. Check it out…Zzzzzzzzombies!

DEAD NEW WORLD

HoltZombies aren’t mindless anymore.

They follow orders. And if Holt and Ambrose want to kill some undead, they’ll do the same. But when a routine mission goes horribly wrong, the best friends’ lives are flayed to the bone.

Now there’s only one light in the darkness of Holt’s life, and when she’s taken, he’ll do anything to get her back. Even if that means defying orders and using his best friend as a weapon. Holt and Ambrose risk all to save her, but what they discover among the hordes threatens to remake humanity. Again.

In the end, will there be anything left to live for in this dead new world?

The Campaign:

The Kickstarter campaign is live! It’ll run from November 14 to December 14, and we are so excited! We believe that by using crowd-sourcing we will be able to generate buzz and interact with readers even before the book is published. It also brings authors and readers together so that they are both part of the publication journey. And as the publisher, we look forward to strengthening that bond. We’ve chosen Ryan Hill’s Dead New World as our first project and are looking forward to sharing it with you. Thank you for spreading the word. Now let’s make beautiful zombies together!

Check out how you can help get this project going by visiting Kickstarter:
Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/definitionhouse/dead-new-world-a-young-adult-dystopian-zombie-nove?ref=live

Zombies: Why the brains? By Ryan Hill

Of all the body parts available to munch on if you’re a zombie, why is it always the brain that seems the most delectable? Does it have some kind of nutritional content I’m unaware of? Maybe brains are high in protein. Regardless, zombies seem to love them.

Isaac Marion, in his wonderful novel Warm Bodies (which also made a very enjoyable film), posits that zombies love brains because it allows them to relive the memories of their victims. It’s the closest to living they’ll ever get in their deathly state. Marion may have a point. They want most what they don’t have life.

Why do zombies predominantly try to eat people, which according to Richard Connell, is the most dangerous game? Just go after cats or something. Maybe it’s because misery loves company. The zombies are dead, so why not drag down everybody else with them?

Honestly though, I sort of side with Marion on this. Not that I think they want to relive life through their victim’s memories, but the brain is what separates them from the living (well that and a healthy complexion), so that’s what they want the most. And when you’re dead, you don’t really have any responsibilities or, you know, feelings, so who cares if you eat a few brains?

Dead New World book trailer:

Some info on the author:

Ryan Hill likes to keep zombies in a safe place—his head. If zombies ever do take over, the thought of living off canned beans is not enticing. At all.

Ryan uses a healthy dose of real life and imagination to come up with stories, and typically spends his time, reading, writing, and watching movies or TV shows…anything involving a good story. Drop him a line on Twitter @J_Ryan.

Definition House: Facebook | Kickstarter | Twitter | Website

Ryan Hill: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Thanks to Definition House. :D