Monthly Archives: January 2012

Alyzon Whitestarr

This is a review of the novel “Alyzon Whitestarr” by Isobelle Carmody.

Alyzon is an somewhat ordinary girl in a not-so-ordinary family. Her mother Zambia is an introspective artist, her father Macoll – a musician. Her sister Mirandah is obsessed with colours and her boyfriend Ricki. Her other sister Serenity wears black and prefers to be called Sybl. Jesse, her brother is kind-hearted, insightful and thrums with intensity. And her baby brother Luke is the embodiment of the love they all share for one another.

Alyzon suffers a severe blow to the head and is hospitalized. She falls into a coma for a month. When she wakes she is assailed by her senses which seem to have been painfully intensified by the accident. Every person she comes across gives off a distinct scent. This scent can change with worry, sadness or love. Alyzon finds it very overwhelming at first, and it takes her some time to recover to the point where she feels comfortable enough to return to school, where she will be surrounded by lots of people.

She returns to school. Her senses do overwhelm her at first, but she discovers that they provide her with an insight toward others and toward life. She becomes closer to her friend Gilly, and her school work becomes markedly better. However when she gets close to her crush, hottie Harlen, she is aghast to find that her senses find him to be utterly repulsive. Confused and curious as to why this should be, Alyzon sets out to discover the underlying cause.

She forms a fast friendship with Gilly’s circle of friends: Harrison, Raoul and Sarry. She also notices a darkness hanging over her sister Serenity. And Alyzon is suspicious as to why her Da suddenly attracts the interest of a mysterious music agent-like man called Aaron Rayc.

Can Alyzon figure out what the horrible smell of Harlen means? Can she discover what is wrong with her sister Serenity? Just who is this Aaron Rayc man? And what does he want?

I really enjoyed this novel. I love Isobelle Carmody, and “Alyzon Whitestarr” did not disappoint me. It is full of meaning, and is a novel that makes you think about the world in a deeper sense.

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Deep Kiss of Winter

This is a review of “Deep Kiss of Winter” by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter.

It consists of two novellas. The first is “Untouchable” by Kresley Cole, which belongs to The Immortals After Dark Series. And the second is “Tempt Me Eternally” by Gena Showalter which belongs to the Alien Huntress Series.

I have already reviewed “Untouchable“.

“Tempt Me Eternally” is a novella about Aleaha Love, a sassy female who can change her appearance to look like anyone she’s ever seen or come into contact with. At the moment she is masquerading as Macy, an agent in an elite force on Earth (in the future) that deals with Otherworlders (aliens). She is on her first big mission when she encounters Breean.

Breean is an incredibly sexy alien who has the ability to spirt walk and enter the body of another being and control their actions. He is strong and capable and searching for a safe home for himself and his men, who have escaped a devastating plague on their own home planet. He and his men capture Aleaha and the other agents, intending to trade for safe passage.

But can Aleaha maintain her cover as Macy? And can she resist Breean?

An entertaining read.

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Untouchable

This is a review of “Untouchable” by Kresley Cole. It is a novella in The Immortals After Dark Series and is found in the book “Deep Kiss of Winter”. It is meant to be read after “Kiss of a Demon King” and before “Pleasure of a Dark Prince“. It provides some back story to “A Warlord Wants Forever“.

Daniela is part Ice Fey, part Valkyrie. She must maintain her body temperature so that she stays cold at all times. She finds any skin-to-skin contact unbearable, as it burns her. She has spent her long life lonely, and yearning to be held and loved.

Murdoch Wroth is a vampire and forbearer (he refuses to drink blood directly from another living being). When he was a human prince, he had quite a reputation for being a ladies man. He was definitely a “love em and leave em” type of guy. He sees Daniela and is blooded by her. He is none too happy about it. He doesn’t really want to be in a relationship, and how can you be in a relationship with someone you can’t even touch?

Will Daniela and Murdoch be able to work something out? Or will they both be forever wanting something they can’t have?

A delightful read, about making things work, even when it seems impossible.

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The Warlord Wants Forever

This is a review of “The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole. It is a novella found in the book “Playing Easy to Get”. It is the first novella in The Immortals After Dark Series. It takes place before the events recounted in “A Hunger Like No Other“.

Myst the Coveted is a Valkyrie. She is a seductress and quite good at it. Around her waist she wears a chain. This chain will give any who can break it power over her. She will have to obey their every command. It is a punishment laid down upon her for being too wanton. So far it has been found to be fairly invulnerable. Trapped in the dungeons of Ivo the Cruel, she catches her first glimpse of warrior Nikolai Wroth.

Nikolai Wroth is a warrior and warlord. He is a vampire, but a forbearer. He refuses to drink blood directly from the source. He and his people believe that to do this constitutes a great evil and eventually the drinker would succumb to madness. He finds Myst in the dungeon and intends to extract information from her about The Lore. But then he is blooded by Myst, and she leaves him wanting…

A great little story about learning to trust one another.

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Bloodlines

This is a review of “Bloodlines” by Richelle Mead. It is the first book of her new series.

I am a fan of Richelle Mead’s YA Vampire Academy Series, and her adult Georgina Kincaid Series (reviews of those forthcoming). So I was eager to read “Bloodlines”.

Sydney is an Alchemist. An Alchemist is a highly trained human who helps to keep the world of vampires secret from the rest of the unsuspecting humans. Life as an Alchemist is all Sydney has ever known. But ever since her escapades with Dhampir guardian Rose Hathaway, (read the Vampire Academy Series for more info) the rest of the Alchemists are not sure where Sydney’s loyalties lie. Sydney is willing to do anything to restore her reputation. So when she is woken up late at night to be sent away on a covert mission, she decides to commit herself fully to the job.

She is to masquerade as a human student alongside a couple of vampires in Palm Springs. Everyone must believe that they are human, and it is Sydney’s job to make sure that no one suspects otherwise. Jill (sister to the Moroi vampire Queen, Lissa (Vampire Academy Series) has been sent away from vampire court to protect her from attempts from Moroi dissenters to take her life. She brings with her: Eddie, a Dhampir guardian and Adrian a Moroi royal. Sydney has to ensure that they all “blend in”.

But how is she going to explain her “sister” Jill’s aversion to sunlight, or her “brother” Eddie’s physical prowess? What is to be done with bratty Adrian? Why are Moroi turning up dead? And what about all these weird tattoos being given to students? Tattoos that are eerily similar to her own Alchemist’s mark…

An entertaining read! It was great fun to revisit the world of “Vampire Academy”, especially from the perspective of a heroine so different to Rose Hathaway. Look out for appearances from other favourite characters.

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I, e-Reader

Now, I am a HUGE lover of books. I love the feel of them, I love turning a page, I love using a bookmark.
But, we live in a technological age. And I want to be able to read a book while I am having a snack, drinking a cup of coffee or feeding the baby. I love reading books with lots of pages, and I am looking forward to carrying around something a little more lightweight.

I am really quite curious about ereaders and ebooks. So today I bought myself a kobo ereader (touch edition). I look forward to reading on my new toy. And I look forward to reviewing the experience here on my book blog. So if you’re a bit curious about e-reading, stay tuned!

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Child of the Prophecy

This is a review of “Child of the Prophecy” by Juliet Marillier. It is the 3rd book in The Sevenwaters Trilogy.

The sacred islands were taken by the Britons. There is a prophecy that states that a child that is neither of Britain nor of Erin- but at the same time both- and who is marked by the raven, is the only one that can take the sacred islands back. Without such a child, the quest to regain the sacred islands will fail.

This story follows Fainne, the daughter of Niamh and Ciaran (Son of the Shadows). Ciaran was not allowed to become a fully fledged Druid, because the blood of a sorcerer flowed in his veins. Niamh died when Fainne was quite young, and so Ciaran raised her on his own. She learns the art of sorcery, from Ciaran. Namely she masters the art of glamour: to change her appearance. She has a close friend, Darragh, who is the son of a local tinker.

She visits her cousins and her Uncle Sean at Sevenwaters. While she is there, her grandmother (evil sorceress from “Daughter of the Forest“) Oonagh contacts her and instructs her to follow her orders, lest she make her father Ciaran so sick that he would die. Oonagh wishes for the islands to remain as they are. She instructs Fainne to thwart the plans of her uncles and her cousin Johnny, who is believed to be the child the prophecy speaks of. Frightened, Fainne does as she asks, and a fire burns at Sevenwaters. Her cousin Maeve is terribly burned, and a young Druid is killed.

This tragic turn of events makes Fainne sick at heart. She doubts she can continue on with her grandmothers plan. But her Father’s life is in danger. She decides to make a deal with Eamonn (Son of the Shadows) . They will be married, and he will do his best to waylay the expedition for the islands. Fainne also vows to help Eamonn to get rid of Bran, whom he vehemently hates. However, her Uncle Sean rejects Eamonn’s proposal of marriage on Fainne’s behalf.

Fainne is sent to Inis Eala. Darragh follows, but as a warrior, Fainne cannot dissuade him. Can Fainne shake her grandmothers influence? Will the islands be won? Will the child of the Prophecy stay safe? And what of Eamonn, will he get his revenge?

I loved this book. Full of poignancy, love, self-doubt, shame, passion and the bonds of family, it is not easy to put down!

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Dreams of a Dark Warrior

This is a review of “Dreams of a Dark Warrior” by Kresley Cole. It is the 9th novel in The Immortals After Dark Series. It follows on from “Demon From the Dark“.

Long ago, Regin and Aidan were together. Valkyrie and Berserker warrior. Aidan perished. But every couple hundred years he is reincarnated and is united with Regin once more. Until his life is taken by a curse…

Regin the Radiant is a Valkyrie with glowing skin. She is a brilliant fighter, can influence lightning with her emotions, and has a personality as bright as her skin and as loud as her voice. Brash and tactless, she often gets on her sisters’ nerves and can be a little embarrassing to be around. Regin has always been a handful.

Declan Chase is a dark soldier. He belongs to The Order, a mysterious organization of mortals whose sole purpose is to eliminate all immortals and creatures of The Lore. He is cold, emotionless and hooked on drugs. A burning hatred lives inside him, stoked to life the day his family was tortured and murdered, the day he barely escaped with his own life.

Regin is captured by Declan. Declan does not know that he is Aidan reincarnated, but he knows that he is inexplicably drawn to Regin, a female of a species he abhors. Regin knows that the only way that she can save herself and her friends from certain torture and possible death, is to make Declan remember that he is also Aidan. But how can she achieve this? And can she do it in time?

A really good book. This is probably my favourite book of the series. It had more substance. The hero was far from perfect, and I liked that. He was a battered, tortured soul who had no real hope of redemption. And the heroine was just as imperfect. Loud and foul-mouthed, Regin is likable but is also a bit grating. Which I enjoyed. It made her seem real. Full of other richly fleshed-out characters, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.

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Demon From the Dark

This is review of “Demon From the Dark” by Kresley Cole. It is the 8th novel in The Immortals After Dark Series. It follows on from “Pleasure of a Dark Prince“.

Carrow Graie is a witch. A sexy, party-girl witch. She is captured after a night of revelry, and wakes up in a cell with a collar around her neck that prevents her from calling forth her powers. She soon learns that she has been taken captive by a mysterious organisation of human immortal-haters known only as “The Order”. They want her to procure something for them…

Malkom Slaine is a scarba. A demon turned vampire. He is fearsome, and trusts no one. After a few centuries of loneliness and constantly being let down by those closest to him, he lives by his own code: “those who betray me, only do it once”. He lives on a demon plane, a land named Oblivion.

It is Carrow’s mission to lure Malkom to be trapped by The Order. If she does not comply, they have threatened to kill a young witch-child in her care. They have promised to let her and the child leave if she brings Malkom to them. And so Carrow journeys to Oblivion.

But Malkom is not at all like she imagined. Even though they do not speak the same language, Carrow finds that he is sweet and thoughtful beneath his rough exterior. She finds herself falling for him even as she knows she must betray him. But can he ever forgive her?

I really enjoyed this book! The male lead was not dashing and debonair, instead he was unsure of himself. It was the woman who did the betraying, and the man who did the forgiving, which was a nice turnabout in a romance novel.

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Son of the Shadows

This is a review of “Son of the Shadows” by Juliet Marillier. It is the second book in The Sevenwaters Trilogy.

This novel follows Liadan, daughter of Sorcha (Daughter of the Forest). Liadan lives on the land of Sevenwaters with her big sister Niamh and her twin brother Sean. Liadan is much like her mother, and is a healer by trade. Niamh is exceedingly beautiful, and when the young neighbouring Chieftain Eamonn visits, it is expected that he will ask for her hand in marriage. Instead he asks for Liadan’s. She is is somewhat taken aback and tells him that she will give him an answer in a years time.

During his stay at Sevenwaters, Eamonn recounts the tale of a recent attack made on his men. They were set upon by a band of mercenaries led by a man known only as the Painted Man. Even though Eamonn’s life was spared, he vows revenge. During the festival of Imbolc, a young druid named Ciarán falls for Niamh, and she is taken with him in return. Soon they are embarking on a secret love affair.

Liadan comes across her sister and her lover by accident, while taking a walk in the forest. When the family finds out, they are outraged and the young couple are treated quite harshly. Ciaran is sent away and Niamh is forced to marry a Ui Niell chieftain, Fionn.

Liadan travels with Niamh to her new home. On the way back to Sevenwaters she is abducted, and brought to the camp of The Painted Man. She has been brought there because of her healing skills, they wish for her to save the life of one of their band, Evan the Smith, who has been injured in an accident. Liadan tries her best, and eventually wears down the rough exterior of the leader, The Painted Man, whom she calls Bran.

Bran and Liadan share nights of love and passion, but when he learns that she is the daughter of Hugh of Harrowfield, he sends her home immediately. Once home, Liadan discovers that she is pregnant with Bran’s child. She will not speak of her time away, and refuses to reveal the identity of her baby’s father, only saying that her pregnancy is the result of shared love and not of rape.

Sean, wishes to employ the services of The Painted Man and his band of mercenaries to aid him in his long battle with the Britons for the sacred islands. While the men hold meetings, Liadan and Niamh visit Sean’s future bride (and Eamonn’s sister) Aisling at Eamonn’s estate Sidhe Dubh. Liadan discovers that Niamh has been savagely beaten by her new husband. With the help of Bran, Liadan tries to help Niamh escape. But Eamonn and Fionn arrive at the last minute…

Did Niamh survive the escape attempt? Or is she dead and lost as Eamonn believes? And what is Bran’s true identity? Why does he baulk at the mention of Hugh of Harrowfield? Why weren’t Niamh and Ciaran allowed to be together? What of Eamonn’s jealousy over Liadan’s pregnancy and the unnamed father? And will Liadan ever get to be with her Bran?

An excellent book full of intrigue, heartache and salvation.

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