Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I eagerly awaited the arrival of Hush, Hush. I read several reviews that I found through Twitter, calling ‘fallen angels’ the new vampire. As far as this is concerned, the jury is still out.

Nora Grey is not quite your average teenager, but she is pretty close. Very focused and surprisingly trustworthy (in the beginning), she is instantly attracted to and resents the new bad boy in class, Patch. As the story unfolds, Nora bends more and more rules and takes a walk on the wild side, getting in trouble with the police, her school counselor (who is not what she seems) and her friends, all while her mother remains safely in the dark and often conveniently away from home.

Nora’s friend, Vee is definitely left of centre, but Nora is only vaguely left – almost more by association than design, until she starts to get involved with Patch. New to the school, he instantly fascinates and scares Nora, who can’t seem to help following him around and asking strange questions of all the wrong people and getting very confused in the process. Vee’s new friends, Elliot and James are not all they seem to be, but no one except Nora seems to notice or care.

I did enjoy this book, but found myself questioning the characters and especially Nora. Patch makes an interesting bad boy. He glowers and avoids answering personal questions. He hangs out at questionable bars and seems determined to follow, protect and terrify Nora all at the same time!

Becca Fitzpatrick’s website is:

http://beccafitzpatrick.com/

Book Trailers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UsDkZ1Ej5I

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3217801/hush_hush_becca_fitzpatrick_book_trailer/

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Left on the shelf at 27, Alexia Tarabotti is not your average Victorian miss (I hope I have the era right!). Thank to her Italian father, she has olive skin (read tanned), an overly noticeable nose, a forthright almost abrupt manner and no soul. The Victorian society she lives in just happens to include vampire hives and werewolf packs as well as the usual silly misses and overanxious Mamas, trying to marry them off!

I was instantly captivated by the blurb for this book and was not disappointed! Vampires attacking without permission! Roves (solitary vampires) and Loners (werewolves without a pack) are disappearing. Strange wax faced individuals trying to kidnap Alexia using chloroform… Feisty Alexia Tarabotti with her trusty parasol and her very varied friends, including an irascible werewolf lord who just happens to be in charge of the  supernatural constabulary, a foppish but very well informed vampire and a young lady who has appalling taste in hats, take on these mysteries with flair and a wonderful sense of humour, with just enough energy left over for a courtship of most unusual and amusing dimensions! Even Queen Victoria gets in on the act!

I love this book! Alexia is highly entertaining and very identifiable for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in, or is a little bit left of centre. She has a will of her own and a habit of saying what she thinks, which is quite refreshing! I fell for Lord Maccon with his obvious rough around the edges, but soft heart and excellent musculature! What is not to love?

Gail Carriger’s website can be found at:

http://www.gailcarriger.com/

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

What would you do if your father came home a day late… as a zombie intent on killing you? How would you deal with flaming dogs and slavering werwulfs came hunting you in an empty Mall at some ungodly hour of the morning?

Not sure – neither was I. Dru Anderson, a 16 year old orphan, after she kills her zombie father, has to deal with this and much more as she struggles to come to terms with the death of her father, her comfortable ability to sense the supernatural escalating and expanding, her only friend, Graves, being bitten by a werwulf and turning into a loup-garou and a strange vampire hunter, who is stunningly good looking and has fangs of his own giving her orders and interfering.

I found Dru to be a bit whiny, as she continually stopped to have inner debates about the deep meaning of events and what she should do. Then again, I can understand  her attitude though – I would definitely not cope well with the situation! Graves seems to be very willing to go along with whatever…

I’m not sure that I will read the next installment. I enjoyed the book, but would not rave about it!

Book Trailer can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQPXGh7YYaw

Lilith St Crow’s official website/journal:

http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I waited for this book with great anticipation. I had read reviews from other blogs – lucky people who had previews or were in America where it was available earlier…

I was not disappointed. Being a fantasy buff from early days, I have always had a soft spot for wolves, even loving White Fang by Jack London and crazy about Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver. This story takes a different tack. Not your standard Werewolf howling at the full moon, not even remotely, these wolves change with the weather, not the moon. The lower the temperature, the more likely they are to become wolves for the duration of winter and early spring.

I was particularly taken with the main characters, Grace and Sam. Over the course of 12 years (give or take) both Grace and Sam are almost obsessive in their connection to each other, she as the young girl who was bitten but did not change into a wolf, and the golden eyed wolf who saved her from the pack. She watches the wolves, especially her golden eyed wolf as they live in the fringes of the woods that backs onto her yard. The golden eyed wolf, in his turn watches and occasionally makes contact with the girl who often leaves meat out for him.

Of course there are problems – when he is in human form over spring and summer, she does not see him. When he is in wolf form, he does not actually remember who she is, just that she is important. And when they finally meet – he is shot in wolf form and she finds him bleeding in human form on her back porch, she only needs to see his eyes to know the truth. But the weather is getting colder and it is getting harder and harder for Sam to hold onto his human form. All of the wolves have only a limited number of changes back to human form… is this Sam’s last chance?

Then there is the rich kid who was bitten and ‘died’ – hence the hunters with guns, and whose body then mysteriously disappears from the morgue. The rest of the pack are in wolf shape, including Shelby, who wants Sam for herself.

I found the characters very sympathetic. I loved the fact that Sam was the one who wanted to be careful and not rush things or spoil them. The two characters are very different and yet so connected. Grace is very logical and linear in her thinking. She needs order and to be in control and reads non fiction almost religiously. Sam is more of an artistic soul, composing songs and devouring novels and poetry and corny old sci fi movies. Together they round each other out and under the influence of Sam, Grace begins to see the beauty in the world around her.

Loved this book. Highly recommend it!

Check out Maggie Stiefvater’s website, which includes a book trailer she made herself (including the music)!

http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/shiver.php

Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I want to state right now – I have not seen ‘True Blood’. Not yet. I don’t have Foxtel at home and I wanted to read the book first.

So I did. Thoroughly enjoyed it! I know – there is so much Vampire literature out there at the moment… you think I’d be sick of it. I’m not!!! I’ve done the Twilight thing and thoroughly enjoyed it. Have actually read Dracula (years ago) and found it hard going and not necessarily enjoyable. As you can see from a previous post, I’ve read the first of the Vampire Diaries and enjoyed that… so there must be something serioulsy wrong with me! I like vampires – but then I also love reading all the latest ‘Fairy’ literature and anything involving dragons and skeletons… especially if there is just a touch of romance thrown in!

Dead until Dark doesn’t have just a touch of romance… it has the whole enchilada and then some! Not necessarily over graphic, but definitely a central part to the story. It must be something to do with forbidden love – everyone loves a bad boy and wants what they can’t have…

Sooky Stackhouse is far from your average bar waitress in a small town. Yes she gorgeous and slim, blonde and tanned, all the cliches, but she is also a psychic who struggles to NOT hear what people around her are thinking. Her mind reading abilities are among the worst kept secrets in her life. Everyone sort of knows but doesn’t actually admit it. Along comes Bill Compton, vampire looking to ‘mainstream’, to live among humans. At the same time there are a series of murders making life difficult, especially when one of the victims is Sooky’s beloved Grandmother and the prime suspect just happens to be her brother! Plenty of twists and turns. Some moralising, but not too much and just enough sex to keep your heart jumping!

Can’t wait to watch the video!! (which just arrived on my desk!)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman Chris RiddellI had been waiting impatiently for this book to be published and then after I had bought it, cataloged and processed so that I could read it. I had previously read a short story by Neil Gaiman, I think it was in his collection of stories, M is for magic, and was intrigued with the idea of life in a graveyard.

Through a series of misfortunes and good luck a baby finds itself alone in the graveyard at night. His family is dead and the murderer is now seeking to kill him. Lucky for the baby, the ghostly inhabitants of the graveyard take him under their protection. After much debate the baby is adopted and given the name Nobody Owens, Bod for short.

Growing up in a Graveyard has distinct possibilities for adventures and unusual friends. Neil Gaiman does have some fun with his characters, but I’m not sure that he fully explores some of his ideas. I sometimes felt the book was a bit disjointed, almost reading more like a collection of short stories than a novel in it’s own right. I think this was due to the book covering so many years, from Bod’s babyhood to the moment he is ready to go out into the world on his own as a young adult.

I enjoyed the book immensely, although I would have liked to know more about Silas, Bod’s brooding-not-dead-but-not-alive-either guardian! The book won the Newbery Medal 2009 and is very different to anything else on the market at the moment. I recommend the book for youngish readers who are looking for something different but with a bit of a chill factor – not too scary, but a definite chill.