Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler

Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler

Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler

This book contains 2 novellas about two girls who are haunted by the past  and destined to relive it. Legacy of Lies deals with Megan who is bundled of to stay with an uptight Grandmother she has nothing to do with in the ancestral home, where strange things begin to happen. Megan finds herself dealing with the secret past of her Grandmother’s sister and her lover. A past littered with dark mysterious and a mysterious death.

Don’t Tell sees Lauren returning  to the place where her mother drowned seven years before in an atempt to deal with her demons, only to find even more demons and mysteries waiting for her as as series of events seems to mimic the days leading up to her mother’s death.

In each story the characters are very sympathetic, trying to deal with their issues and the ghosts if past events and lives as best they can. The families in each story are largely disfunctional, but then most families are these days! And of course there is the obligatory romantic interest!

I enjoyed these stories and am interested in reading more of Elizabeth Chandlers work!

Just a few adult books thrown in for good measure!

I am finding more and more that I don’t enjoy adult books as much… I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading very complex or demanding books. I do read some occasionally, but as my main love is fantasy – some of them aren’t quite so complex or demanding!

For the purposes of this blog – which is largely dedicated to Children’s Literature – I’ll just make a few quick statements about the adult books I have been reading…

A Girl’s Guide to Vampires by Katie McAllister

I found this book q bit irritating at first, trying too hard to be clever, but eventually got into the spirit of things and by about half way – quite enjoyed the story! If you like quirky humour with a bit of bite and a wise cracking heroine who doesn’t always make sense, but her side kick makes even less sense – go for it!

Blameless by Gail Carriger

I eagerly awaited this novel – the sequel to Soulless and Changeless – and was not disappointed! Alexia Tarabotti has got herself into quite a fix and it takes a lot of dashing about with derigables, ornithopters and clockwork ladybugs, with a touch of panache and swashbuckling parasols to get her through her latest adventure!

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

I have developed a particular fondness for Patricia Briggs’ werewolves and this book, while not a Mercedes Thompson novel, contains many of the same characters and I loved it!!! So of course I went out and got the next book:

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Charles and Anna, Alpha and Omega wolves fight for their survival against witches, vampires, other werewolves and of course the Fae!

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Just to make my holidays complete – I found the latest Mercedes Thompson novel (in hard cover)! Love this one too!

Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Weres, dark hunters and a touch of mythology thrown in for good measure. Enjoyable, but I won’t be rushing out to read more of the series!

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

I quite enjoyed this journey to the dark side. Demons, succubus, vampires… the main character is feisty and quick tongued, but I found her a bit annoying after a while.

Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance

Fast paced and action packed, the main character is conflicted and deadly. Through in a family which includes Dracula out for revenge after years stuck in a prison and a gorgeous master vampire as a reluctant romantic interest… I enjoyed this book, but found it very stressful to read!

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

In a world where the Supreme Court has granted the undead equal rights, Anita Blake hunts down the ghosts ghouls and vampires who break the rules. Lots of blood, gore and politics in this one. Not convinced enough to read another in the series though!

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

I have to say I enjoyed her Lady Julia Grey books much more, but this romp through the depths of Rumania and the Carpathian mountains, with it’s traditions of vampires and the walking dead, was still very enjoyable!

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

This book is thoroughly enjoyable! I loved the characters and the situations described in the book.

The Girl Who Could Fly

The Girl Who Could Fly

Piper McCloud is a young girl who isn’t quite what her parents expected… or what anyone else expected for that matter. From the time she was born, strange things happened, and when she finally takes the unusual step of flying in front of the whole town, she is whisked away to a top secret, maximum security school for kids with exceptional abilities… except all is not as it seems.

Piper is such an upbeat, caring and responsive child, you can’t help liking her. She is naive at times and yet oddly perceptive for a young person with such a sheltered background at others.

Of course, the students rebel with devastating results, but you can’t keep a good girl down (on the ground)…

There is quite a bit of thought provoking delving into the characters, especially Piper, Conrad (a super genius) and the Director of the school, Dr Hellion (a surprisingly suitable name). I found the book to flow well, especially once Piper is banned from flying and takes matters into her own hands.

Love the characters and the whole idea of ‘exceptional abilities’. Great book!

Apologies

It’s been a long time between visits… and it’s not as if I haven’t been reading!!!

So this post is going to be quite long. I’m not going to go into as much detail as usual, but I am going to use this as an opportunity to share my readings (briefly)!

The Battle of the Sun

The Battle of the Sun

The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson.

Took a little bit of reading to get into – a very different style of writing. Not a lot of description and tends to be abrupt (in my opinion), but once I got the hang of it, thoroughly enjoyable.

Very different characters, with one character, Silver, crossing over from a previous book. I liked Jack’s never give up attitude, and of course… the dragon!

Twilight the graphic novel - volume 1

Twilight the graphic novel - volume 1

Twilight the graphic novel, volume 1 by Stephanie Meyer, Art and Adaptation by Young Kim.

Loved this – especially since the characters are closer to my imaginings than the actors!

Of course it is shorter than the original novel (being volume 1)and leaves out some things, however the emotion and underlying themes of the novel are beautifully captured.

Looking forward to volume 2!

Worm in the blood

Worm in the blood

Worm in the Blood by Thomas Bloor

An unusual book. I was sucked in from the beginning, but took a while to be able to predict the course of events. I was mystified and intrigued.

Sam is fantastic! His curse is an unusual take on dragons – love it!

ghostgirl

ghostgirl

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

I found this book very hard to get into – the main character, Charlotte Usher, is not likable nor sympathetic. Not a character I could relate to, or wanted to relate to. I had many other books screaming for my attention that I would rather have been reading…

I was a bit naughty and kept putting Ghostgirl down to read other books, but eventually I found something in there to relate to! I’m not saying it’s not a good book – it is, but not my cup of tea!

Wolven

Wolven

Wolven by Di Toft

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Wolves have always been a favourite of mine, along with dragons (and more recently vampires and fallen angels). Wolven are different again!

A cross between family dog and werewolf, Nat Carver’s new dog, Woody, turns out to be more than anyone bargained for.

The characters are well drawn and enjoyable and the villain is deliciously revolting – very easy to dislike intensely!

I recommend this for boys!

When you reach me

When you reach me

When you reach me by Rebecca Stead

Newbery Medal winner for 2010, this book is delightful, bringing back memories of my own adventures with Madeleine L’Engle and a wrinkle in time (as well as all her other books).

Time travel is alive and well and just as confusing and abstract as it ever was.

Miranda is the main character and totally likable. Her struggles with friendships and understanding the world around her, her mother’s obsession with a TV game show and the crazy homeless guy who lives uner the postbox on the corner are believable and entertaining. I loved this book!

Tantalize

Tantalize

Tantalize – predator or prey? by Cynthia Leitich Smith

I got this book to read after thoroughly enjoying Eternal by the same author.

This book involves werewolves, vampires, cooking and evil.

I didn’t get the same kick out of this book as Eternal, but still an enjoyable read.

Need

Need

Need by Carrie Jones

Pixies are alive and well in Maine. Zara White is shipped off to live with her Grandmother in Maine, when she doesn’t cope with her fathers death. Things do not go smoothly. Boys are disappearing, blizzards keep blowing up out of nowhere and her new best friends are werewolves…

My kind of book!

Peeps

Peeps

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I loved this book – couldn’t put it down!

A very unusual take on vampires, with great characters and plenty of action!

The story follows Cal, who has been infected by the parasite, but is only a carrier… this means he has infected all his girlfriends, who he now must track down and neutralise.  Full of informative and totally gross facts about parasites, the book is highly enjoyable!

Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods

Masquerade

Masquerade

Blue Bloods and Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

Gossip girl just went vamp!

Schuyler Van Allen attends an exclusive Manhattan school. She never quite fit in, but wasn’t too fazed, until one of her schoolmates dies and the most popular boy in school starts to show a sudden interest in her.

Of course there is much more to the story – the vampires are actually angels fallen from heaven…. two of my new favourite themes in one!

Grave Sight

Grave Sight

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Harper Connolly can see dead people.  She was struck by lightening when she was young and ever since has been able to locate dead bodies by following their ghosts.

Not as enjoyable as the Sookie Stackhouse books, but still not a bad read.

A Kiss of Shadows

A Kiss of Shadows

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Faeries are real and living amongst us. Meredith Gentry (Merry for short) is not what she seems. Working for a detective agency in LA, she deals with the abnormal – until she is outed for what she really is… a faerie princess.

Now her identity is revealed, she has to go home and deal with her Aunt – the Queen of the Dark Sithe, with a thirst for pain and an appetite for the erotic…

Moon Called

Moon Called

Blood Bound

Blood Bound

Iron Kissed

Iron Kissed

Bone Crossed

Bone Crossed

Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed and Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

I enjoyed these books so much, I read the whole set!!!

Werewolves, vampires and the Fey – what more could you ask for? Mercedes Thompson (Mercy) is actually a shifter – changing at will into a coyote. Called a Walker, her special talent protects her form some magic and her gumption, loyalty and caring nature make her a very likable character. Being pursued by two gorgeous werewolves is just an added bonus!

Changeless

Changeless

Changeless by Gail Carriger

A novel of vampires, werewolves and dirigibles!

The sequel to Souless follows the adventures of Alexia Maccon, the Lady of Woolsey and her husband as they investigate and upend exorcised ghosts, vampire politics and werewolf pack dynamics.

I loved this book as much as the first in the series, and given the shock ending – can’t wait for the next installment!!

My pile is now down to just 3 book – and I’m starving! I’ll try to make sure I don’t leave things as long this time!!!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Harry Pottera nd the Deathly Hallows

Harry Pottera nd the Deathly Hallows

I’m not going to say too much about Deathly Hallows – I reread this when not feeling to well, which would probably affect how I did or didn’t enjoy the book.

The last installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Deathly Hallows pulls everything together, eventually, and after an epic battle, where Harry finally works out what Dumbledore has been trying to get him to work out for himself, the happy ending everyone wanted, sort of arrives. There are, however some notable absences at the end of the book. I won’t detail them – just in case you haven’t read the book yourself yet, but the deaths of some characters do dampen the triumph somewhat, which I believe was deliberate on the part of J.K. Rowling. Yes, Harry won, but at what cost?!

Often slow moving – the book does cover a lot of ground and angst as well as a lot of soul searching and agonising.

I did enjoy the book, despite what my comments above may sound like, and I’m definitely looking forward to the movie in November!

Arrival by Charlotte McConaghy

Arrival

Arrival

The author, Charlotte McConaghy began writing Arrival when when was just 14.. She set out to write a fantasy that was complex and exciting, with a bit of romance thrown in!

Arrival is high fantasy, set in another world where magic, elves, dragons, sword fights and adventure are the order of the day.

Six friends, here on Earth, discover a portal which transports them to Paragor, another world where they are welcomed  as the Strangers foretold in prophesy. The friends do not all land together and much of the book skips from ‘stranger’ to ‘stranger’ following their individual trials as they adjust to their new situation and try to find each other. By the end of the book, two of the friends have still not been found, but the others are closely involved in a battle to save Paragor…

I did enjoy this book, but was constantly reminded of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry – the story of five men and women transported to another world to battle the forces of evil.

I found the book tended to skip around as it traced the adventures of the different characters. The chapters were short and I would have liked a bit more characterization of some of the central characters. I found it very hard to settle with any one character before being whisked off to another.

This is an enjoyable book, but I’m not sure that I will continue with the series when the next book comes out.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I actually read this book along time ago, but wanted to see the movie before I reviewed the book.

Percy Jackson is a misfit. Dyslexic. ADHD. You think of a label – Percy Jackson had it! He has spent his school life moving from school to school as his problems with authority, inability to sit still and keep his mouth shut and his less than stellar academic record get him kicked out of school after school until he ends up at Yancy Academy, under the tutelage of Mr Brunner, a Latin teacher with a difference. Together with his friend, Grover, Percy trails along behind the class as they visit  the Metropolitan Museum in search of Greek Gods.

Things go seriously down hill from there. Percy’s Mum has hooked up with a dead beat loser who rules her life with an iron fist and doesn’t like Percy. His father is not around – in fact, Percy knows almost nothing about him, except that he loved the beach and left suddenly for some unknown reason.

Percy has no idea, but his problems all stem from the fact that he is a half blood. The son of a God. As such, he is in constant danger from monsters, fureys and other mythological dangers. As Percy comes of age, his ‘talents’ also begin to manifest and Percy can no longer hide in plain sight. With his world crumbling around him, his mother and Grover try to get him to Camp Half-Blood – with a minotaur hot on their heels.

Of course this is just the beginning as Percy has to adjust to life a s a half blood at camp, discover who his father is and face a task way beyond his comprehension and his fledgling powers.

I enjoyed both the book and the movie. Percy doesn’t spend too much time feeling sorry for himself. In fact he has a tendency to react physically without too much forethought – although his mouth often gets him into more trouble than not!

With Grover and one other half blood, Annabeth who is a daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest to recover Zeus’ Lightning Bolt (which the Gods think he has stolen – but he has no idea what is going on – of course).

As usual, they changed quite a bit of the book to make the film more visually effective, but they did keep to the spirit of the book, if not the sequence. In fact I found it very interesting the parts they did change – The hydra in the film is a great alternative to the chihuahua in Atlanta, but I would have thought the Tunnel of Love at the Fun Park would have worked beautifully on film!

Altogether I really enjoyed the book and can see why it is very popular with the boys at school!

The Nostradamus Prophecy by Theresa Breslin

The Nostradamus Prophecy

The Nostradamus Prophecy

Set in France during the reign of King Charles and his mother, Catherine de’ Medici, this is the story of a young musician, Melisande who not only witnesses Nostradamus’ prophecy of massacre and death, but becomes caught up in court politics and espionage.

Melisande is the youngest of two daughters who travel with their father, a talented itinerant minstrel, who spends time with the French Court during King Charles’ his Royal Procession through the countryside. She  is very close to her father and particularly her sister Chantelle, spending most of her spare time playing her mandolin and helping to embroider her trousseau.

Nostradamus is largely ignored, however he chances to meet Melisande and allows himself to be pressured into a personal prophecy of doom and connection, telling her to seek him out in her hour of need. Her need comes sooner than she expected, however she is not without friends.

One of the King’s courtiers has ‘lent’ him a leopard and his handler, a boy called Malchior. When Malchior is whipped by the evil Count de Ferignay, she helps him and in return, when her sister is murdered by Ferignay and she herself is under threat, Melchior helps her to escape.

This is just the first quarter of the book!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Melisande is a feisty yet vulnerable character who is largely unaware of her own charms and also just happens to be a dedicated and talented musician. Melchior is only present for a small part of the story, however he definitely caught my imagination.

I know that the intrigues of the French Court are only vaguely covered in the book, but I don’t think any more time or detail needed to be spent on the machinations of the courtiers and especially the King’s mother, a member of the famous de’ Medici family – famous for their use of poison to dispose of their rivals…

A great read!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

This book has been around for a while now, ans was on my list of books to read… but not a high priority. I wish I had made the effort to read it early as it is a thoroughly entertaining book!

Reality TV has taken a turn for the bizzare! Set in a bleak future where the city dwellers have it all and the residents of District 12 have little to live on and even less to look forward to, The Hunger games follows the fortunes of Katniss Everdeen. She illegally hunts for food in the Meadow, a restricted woodland surrounding District 12, keeping her sister and mother fed after the death of her beloved father.

Each year the names of all 12 – 18 year olds are put into a barrel with 2 names pulled out to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised competition where to lose is to die an often horrible death and to win is to gain riches beyond your wildest dreams.

Katniss’ sweet younger sister’s name is pulled out of the barrel, so Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place. Peter is the other contestant and things go down hill from there. The games are quite complex and political – strength and ability are not enough. It’s all about the ratings.

Katniss is often abrasive and rude. She is a survivor who has given up almost everything to keep her family alive. She is also stunningly naive about the relationships of those around her. In the games she must kill or be killed, even taking the life of her District 12 partner…

This book reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s The Running Man, which he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Reality TV shows that pit contestants against each other in a battle / race to the end where winning is the only option other than death.

I think Suzanne Collins has written a fantastic novel. The action is almost non stop. The characters are continually thrown into new and unsettling situations, while still keeping faith to the underlying beliefs of the story. Katniss is very empathetic. She does her best to deal with the situation while trying to stay true to herself. Manipulated and attacked from all sides, she never gives up and in the end outwits the situation, to a degree. Gripping reading – I couldn’t put the book down!

‘Living Dead in Dallas’, ‘Club Dead’ and ‘Dead to the world’ by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas

Living Dead in Dallas

Club Dead

Club Dead

Dead to the World

Dead to the World

I know I have already posted a review of the first book in the series, but since I have now officially become a True Blood devotee – the TV series as well as the books – I thought I’d share my thoughts… just this one last time. I promise, I won’t post any more reviews for this series… unless someone asks for it!

Since I read the first book, Dead Until Dark, I have watched the DVD of the first series – slavishly – and continued to read the books. Love the show – HBO have done a great job, and though there are marked deviations from the story, I don’t think these detracted at all from the shows or the books. Who can resist Ryan Kwanton, right?!

As for the books – I don’t think they have tapered off at all. I thoroughly enjoyed each book, and I feel that the characters have developed and the relationships in particular have changed in very believable ways – given that half the characters are dead and many of the others can shape shift!

I have the next book on my shelf waiting to be read, and Season 2 of True Blood is out on DVD soon… can’t wait!