Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn

Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.

Kitty and Ben flee The City That Never Sleeps, thinking they were finished with the dangers there, but the sadistic cult of lycanthropes and their vampire priestess have laid a curse on Kitty in revenge for her disrupting their rituals. Starting at the next full moon, danger and destruction the form of fire strikes Kitty and the pack of werewolves she's sworn to protect.

She enlists the help of a group of TV paranormal investigators - one of whom has real psychic abilities - to help her get to the bottom of the curse that's been laid on her. Rick, the Master vampire of Denver, believes a deeper plot lies behind the curse, and he and Kitty argue about whether or not to accept the help of a professional demon hunter - and vampire - named Roman, who arrives a little too conveniently in the nick of time.

Unable to rely on Rick, and unwilling to accept Roman's offer of help for a price, Kitty and her band of allies, including Vegas magician Odysseus Grant and Kitty's own radio audience, mount a trap for the supernatural being behind the curse, a destructive force summoned by the vengeful cult, a supernatural being that none of them ever thought to face.

This was heaps better than Kitty & The Dead Mans Hand so if you was less than impressed with that don't give up as this restores my faith in the series.

This does continue from the previous book as they all have and Kitty is back in Denver along with her new husband Ben and in this instalment we find Kitty with the back up of a paranormal television series crew.

This is such a brilliant series it has just the right mix of everything - yes there is romance but, its not totally OTT like some romances in this genre can be, its all really quite normal which of, course Kitty is not.

This is my 2nd fave in the series, I just loved the first book and getting to know Kitty etc read that if you don't read the rest of the series but, I am guessing it will just whet your appetite for me.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rebel by R J Anderson

No ordinary fairy tale... Linden is a feisty faery with a lot on her mind. She her fellow faeries are under threat: their magic is fading, and if they do not act fast, they will die... When Linden meets Timothy, a human staying in the house opposite her Oak, she knows he can help. Together they embark on a dangerous journey to seek more magic _ and discover that there is more to fear from other faeries than they could ever have imagined.

Rebel starts 15 years after the ending of Knife and now Knife is married to Paul we don't see as much of her as the prequel which is a shame as I loved her character. Knife is still about though as even though now married to a human, Paul she still protects the fairies.

This book focusses more on Linden who is the youngest of all the fairies. This book is not quite as good, in my opinion as Knife but, then Linden is a much different character than Knife she is a lot less gutsy the human boy, Timothy also is as far from the character of Paul as you can get he comes across as quite moody and I felt little sympathy for him.

A lot of what happens is fairly easily predictable and leads on to the ending to be set up for the third book I'd probably rate this a 3 out of 5 and will still read the next book as hopefully it will re-claim the charm of 'Knife'.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Knife by R J Anderson

Forget everything you think you know about faeries. . . .

Creatures full of magic and whimsy?

Not in the Oakenwyld. Not anymore.

Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and their very survival is at stake.

Only one young faery—Knife—is determined to find out where her people's magic has gone and try to get it back. Unlike her sisters, Knife is fierce and independent. She's not afraid of anything—not the vicious crows, the strict Faery Queen, or the fascinating humans living nearby. But when Knife disobeys the Faery Queen and befriends a human named Paul, her quest becomes more dangerous than she realizes. Can Knife trust Paul to help, or has she brought the faeries even closer to the brink of destruction?

Talented newcomer R. J. Anderson creates an extraordinary new fantasy world and weaves a gripping tale of lost magic, high adventure, and surprising friendship in which the fate of an entire realm rests on the shoulders of one brave faery rebel.

This book is entitled Faery Rebels stateside, it would be simpler if books had the same name both sides of the pond, its caused me some confusion at times but, never mind.

This was another brilliant story of the Fae, one of the quotes for this books was "This is the best kind of fantasy: a book that makes faeries wonderfully real and maybe even living in our own backyards." This is so so true of this book.

Knife is of course, a faerie and she gets injured in battle she is nursed by a human, Paul and Knife decides she wants to know more about humans. The faeries R J Anderson has created are all very tiny and are I guess what we imagine them to be. I found it interesting how sensitive Paul's disability was dealt with, really well written.

The cover of this book in the UK seemed a little more grown up than the USA edition so think perhaps they are trying to appeal to a slightly different audience over here.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

This was an absolutely delightful tale! Although not all sugar and spice and all things nice.

Laurel is 15 and is unable to eat most things, quite amusingly she can drink Sprite and canned fruits and syrup. Laurel is a fairy, only she doesn't know it at the beginning of the story, Laurel has been home-schooled all her life and has to start school for real which she finds quite daunting and so enter love interest, David.

This is a love story with a fairy twist, Laurel finds a bump on her back which seems to grow and grow and she manages to cover it up until one day a big flower blooms out of her and that is not all a little love triangle develops enter another Faerie called Tamani, David and Tamani are as different to each other as you could get.

This was a really easy to follow book, apparently its aimed at the 'Twilight' set but, its lighter than that and personally I'm not a massive Twilight fan and think Stephenie Meyers books are slightly over-rated but, this was different it’s a really nice faerie tale but, in a way different to other faerie based books I've read (ie. Melissa Marr and O R Melling), apparently it’s the first of a 4 book series so will definitely be reading the rest.

I've also heard this is to be made into a film which might be good until I heard the lead role was to be played by Miley Cyrus! Never mind. Also interesting as its Aprilynne's first book, methinks Ms Meyer has more to do with this book than just the quote on the cover.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

SYNOPSIS Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.


This was brilliant if you love any fiction about faeries then read it, read it, read it!

A YA fiction book yes but, I loved it as you can probably tell even though it was brilliant Aislinn was just an OK central character I didn't dislike her but, I didn't have a big connection with her I found the sub-characters more fascinating and for me they made the story.Keenan (Summer king) and Donia (Winter Girl) were for me more interesting. Keenans character really develops through the book whereas Aislinn I don't know she just seems to meander through.

Keenan seems not too likeable at first but, as I say his character does develop and I wanted to read more on him than anyone else, the book is at the basics about a Summer King looking for his Queen and he thinks he has found her in Aislinn but, Aislinn just wants to avoid faeries so it makes for an interesting quest.

This was a very well written story despite me not warming to Aislinn it really doesn't matter there is so much going on and never a boring moment and once you've read this you will look at carnivals in a different light and just wonder ...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley

Cloistered in a stone cell at the monastery of Saint Brigit, a sixth-century Irish nun secretly records the memories of her Pagan youth, interrupting her assigned task of transcribing Augustine and Patrick. She also writes of her fiercely independent mother, whose skill with healing plants and inner strength she inherited. She writes of her druid teacher, the brusque but magnetic Giannon, who first introduced her to the mysteries of written language. But disturbing events at the cloister keep intervening. As the monastery is rent by vague and fantastic accusations, Gwynneve's words become the one force that can save her from annihilation.


Quite a short book by my usual standards but, not one word was wasted, this was fantastic!

The pagan nun is Gwynneve and living in 6th century Ireland and in what is known as a Clochan, this is the building pictured on the cover. The clochan is at a monastery of St Brigit and is at the time of the Pagan-Christian conversion. Its so fascinating a Pagan nun seems so strange yet the book doesn't seem to shout that one is better than the other like you would think it would.

Gwynneve was raised as a Pagan but, it is after her mother dies that she converts to being a nun. This is not a happy book but, is also thought provoking too - read it if your Pagan, read it if your Christian in fact read it if your not religious at all.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Her Mothers Daughter by Julianne Lee

A new novel of sixteent-century royalty from the author of A Question of Guilt

Her name was Mary Tudor. First of the Tudor queens, she has gone down in history as Bloody Mary. But does she deserve her vicious reputation?

She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, and half-sister to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor's life began as the sweetly innocent, pampered princess of Wales-until the age of eleven when the father she adored cast aside the mother she worshipped and declared Mary a bastard. Only after years of exile did Mary finally rise to the throne alongside the man who, aside from her father, was her greatest love-and her greatest betrayer.

Told by Mary herself and the people around her, this grand-scale novel takes us back to the glittering court of sixteenth-century England, and tells the tragic story of a fascinating, largely misunderstood woman who withstood the treachery and passion around her only to become one of England's most vilified queens.


The beginning of this was rather different in that a group of schoolgirls in the present time conjure up the spirit of Mary Tudor. However, it doesn't detract and just launches the story.

The story does move along fast in places perhaps two fast and skips Mary's life by about 6 years, we are told of the major things that happened in Marys life like her fathers marriage to Anne Boleyn and also to Jane Seymour however, things are just zipoping from one thing to the other too quickly Henry dies, his son is on the throne I think she may have missed out the Sixth wife which seems a little odd as she was a major part of Henry's story.

Now that said if you can overlook these slight niggles (or that may just be me) it is a good read, certainly nowhere near as dire as Susannah Dunn's offerings, those with superior knowledge of the Tudor era may find this book a little irritating as there are some historical inaccuracies but, its not too bad, I don't usually rate books but, I'd say this is about a 3.5/5.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Virgin Queen's daughter by Ella March Chase

As captivating now as it was more than four centuries ago, the reign of Elizabeth I—with its scandal, intrigue, and resilience—has sparked the imaginations of generations. In her sweeping historical debut, Ella March Chase explores a thrilling possibility: that the Tudor bloodline did not end with the Virgin Queen.

Tucked away in the country estate of her beloved father, Lord Calverley, young Nell de Lacey feeds her hungry mind with philosophy, language, and studies of science. Her mother, once a devoted lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, would rather her daughter stop dabbling in the grand affairs of men and instead prepare for her eventual duties as a wife. She knows all too well what menace lurks in royal courts.

But Nell’s heart yearns for something more, and a chance meeting with Princess Elizabeth, then a prisoner of the Tower of London, pushes her closer toward finding it. Now, years later, Nell’s chance arrives when she is summoned to serve as a lady-in-waiting to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Nell is entranced by the splendor and pageantry of royal life, unaware of the danger and deception that swirls around the monarch and her courtiers.

But a lingering rumor about nine unaccounted for months in the Virgin Queen’s past reignites when the flame-haired Nell—a mirror image of Her Majesty both physically and intellectually—arrives at court. Quickly she catches the eye not only of the cunning Elizabeth, but of those who would see the queen fail. With strong evidence to connect Elizabeth to her newest maid of honor and the politics of England in turmoil, the truth could send Nell and those she loves to the Tower to join in the wretched fates of those who’ve gone before her.

Engrossing and enlightening, The Virgin Queen’s Daughter brings to life one of the greatest mysteries of one of the greatest monarchs. Ella March Chase’s vivid storytelling gives due credence to a daughter who might have been and a mother who never was.

This was a very interesting and enlightening read and based on a rumour that went round before Elizabeth went to the throne. Some may think it is a little far fetched but, I think it is quite plausible that aside as historical fiction books go this was pretty good.

It is 1554 and a 5 year old Elinor de Lacey makes her first visit to London with her parents it is during this visit Elinor de Lacey encounters her first sight of Elizabeth, where she is being held in the Tower for a while during the reign of Mary Tudor.

Elinor de Lacey lives with her parents in the English countryside and after the death of her father Elinor de Lacey travels to London to serve at Elizabeth's court much to her mothers dismay (her adoptive mother).

I won't reveal too much about the storyline and I don't think this book would be for everyone it could be quite controversial, could a future Queen of England really have covered up having a child? The jury is still out for me, the romantic in me would love this story to be true but, I'm not so sure. And it is a good read and makes you wonder if it really was true, this story definitely makes it believable.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson

Pretty, flirtatious, and ambitious. Nan Bassett hopes that an appointment at the court of King Henry VIII will bring her a grand marriage. But soon after she becomes a maid of honor to Queen Jane, the queen dies in childbirth. As the court plunges into mourning, Nan sets her sights on the greatest match in the land...for the king has noticed her. After all, it wouldn't be the first time King Henry has chosen to wed a maid of honor. And in newly Protestant England, where plots to restore the old religion abound, Nan may be the only one who can reassure a suspicious king of her family's loyalty. But the favor of a king can be dangerous and chancy, not just for Nan, but for her family as well...and passionate Nan is guarding a secret, one that could put her future -- and her life -- in grave jeopardy should anyone discover the truth.

Based on the life of the real Anne Bassett and her family, and drawing extensively from letters and diaries of the time, Between Two Queens is an enthralling picture of the dangers and delights of England's most passionate era.


I wasn't overly impressed with Kate Emerson's first book from Secrets of the Tudor Court so almost didn't get this but, I am glad I did this was a huge, huge improvement on the last book.

Another character I hadn't come across before just like Kate Emerson's previous book, I think its good thatshes bases these books on true people rather than creating a fictional character. Hopw much of this book is true in relation to Anne Bassett I don't know as I couldn't find a huge amount of information about her, only that she was a mistress of Henry VIII's for a short time, as she was in this book.

Overall the story was good but, the character of Anne "Nan" Bassett was not an overall pleasant one don't get me wrong she wasn't horrible or anything but, I just felt I couldn't warm to her or feel sympathy for her.

This is not for someone who is looking for some really good Tudor fiction a la Jean Plaidy this is fluffy Bunny compared to some of Ms Plaidys novels so I could compare it to Philippa Gregorys books but, I feel Philippas are hugely better, just great for a light read I feel.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Lost Dogs & Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

When the abandoned strays from a local dogs’ home are matched with brand new owners, it turns out it might not just be the dogs who need rescuing.

Rachel’s aunt has left her a house, a Border Collie and, despite knowing nothing about dogs, a crowded kennels. But since her life has collapsed she’s not sure she can deal with any more lost souls.

Zoe’s ex-husband has given their children a puppy. The kids are in love, but she’s the one stuck training Toffee the impossible Labrador. She’s nearly at the end of her tether – until Toffee leads her to a handsome doctor...

Meanwhile Natalie and Johnny’s marriage hasn’t been easy since they started trying for a baby. But is a fridge-raiding, sofa-stealing Basset hound like Bertie really the child substitute they’re looking for?

As the new owners’ paths cross on the town’s dog-walking circuits, their lives become interwoven. And they – and their dogs – learn some important lessons about loyalty, companionship and unconditional love . . .

I am an absolute dog lover which helps with this book, if your not you might not quite get it or be able to identify with it.

The story revolves around the character of Rachel who has just arrived from London having split from her married (not to her!) lover, she finds the responsibility of the kennel on her hands, after her aunt who ran the kennels has passed away.

There are a great mix of characters here - Natalie & Johnny who are trying for a family (without much luck!), Zoe who has two children and recently split from her husband and Megan who is working at the kennels and originally from Australia just to mention a few.

This is a great chick lit with a twist of course, there is romance what good chick lit book would be without that? It meanders along nicely - its not hugely action packed and in some places is slower than others but, its just a cute read to while away a wet afternoon with a dog sat at your feet of course :-))

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen

Spring 1540 I am afraid. You are in grave danger. Mother, will you run away with me if I can free you? The servants call it the Lady Tower: the isolated part of the castle where Eleanor's mother is imprisoned after a terrible accusation. For four years Eleanor's only comfort has been their secret notes to one another. A chance discovery reveals a plot to murder her mother. Now Eleanor must free her before it is too late. But with danger and betrayal at every turn, she can trust no one. Especially not her father. Eleanor must use all her cunning to survive. For she soon realises that it is not just her mother she needs to save . . . but also herself.

I actually thought this book was based on Anne Boleyn, I never read the description beforehand and if I had I would have known but, that matters not this was really good and a surprisingly good read.

Four years after Eleanor's mother was locked in the tower, Eleanor is betrothed to a man she does not want, or does she? Whilst Eleanors mother is locked away she is still trying to be harmed as poisoned food is brought to her but, Eleanor smuggles poison-free food in to her and also goes to great lengths to try and get her away from the tower.

A little different to your bog standard Tudor novels and apparently this book is based on a true story but, loosely. Eleanor is a great character the only drawback is I think you can pretty much predict the ending but, thats no bad thing, this is a Young Adult book too so a fairly easy read.