Friday, 31 October 2014

The Legacy has Begun!

Legacy of the Claw - C.R.Grey
Available - November 2014

I rarely liken books to the wonder and benchmark that is Harry Potter but that’s the only way I can describe the delightful tingle I got while reading this series debut. 

With certain similarities in the beautifully detailed world, strong friendships, a mysterious prophecy and boarding school excitement it defiantly feels familiar but still with plenty of unique qualities - an almost steampunk feel, a lost King and at the core of the story is the Animas bond between Man and animal ‘Kin’which has been beautifully designed and well explained. There is a great balance between the extraordinary powers that people posses to bond with their familiars and the practical balance of nature that gives the story a credibility that will have everyone wanting their own Animas bond (if only a thing really were so).

Bailey isn't your average 13 yr old as he has an absence of Animas, adopted when he was only an infant he shares neither his Mum's Animae Horse or his Dad's Animae Hare and not only does he feel completely isolated but has also been labelled a freak in his home town, a situation he cant see improving with his move to the prestigious Fairmount Academy but things are about to get very interesting for young Bailey and his new found friends.

The story is engrossing, fast paced and well realised. I really think this could be the start of something very special so grab a copy today and tell me if I'm right!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Archaeologist turned Writer uncovers thrilling new series

The Book of Storms - Ruth Hatfield
Available - November 2014

It's just so refreshing to read a great book for the younger market (9-12yrs) that still feels advanced while pitched perfectly for that audience, with a story you can say is original and exciting while using the tried and tested theme of a young boy embarking on a grand adventure!

Danny has been left alone at home while his parents go out in the dead of night to chase a fearsome storm - parent of the year material huh? when Danny wakes the next morning he finds plenty of signs that the storm has been there, but none of his parents so of course brave 11 yr old Danny with the help of Mitzy the next door neighbours cat decides to go and find them.

The story is filled with Earth based magic, talking animals and elements and of course a whole lot of adventure. Also delving into the passions that easily turn to obsessions and the selfishness that can result. In a wonderful twist the bad guy is an unusual take on the Sandman, a malevolent being who is tired of humanity taking all the credit for his brilliance, a character who's actions make him very easy to hate.  Over all this is a captivating and exciting story for kids of all ages and the best part? its part of a new series so watch this space!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Contemporary Irish Teen Thriller

Shiver the Whole Night Through - Darragh McManus
Available - November 2014

Originally found on the slush pile at Hot Key HQ, truly making it a Diamond in the Rough!

While this is Darragh's debut in teen fiction this Irish author brings all of the finesse of his previous adult Crime novels paired with a unique younger voice creating a thrilling murder mystery with a supernatural edge….

Aidan as a main character is intelligent, witty and relatable, there is an obvious change in him throughout the novel and its interesting to see how that change effects the characters around him.There are some pretty heavy themes of suicide, bullying and hooking up or 'Shifting' (a term used in Irish slang that can mean anything from kissing to full carnal knowledge. I love it!) not to mention he pretty much chain smokes throughout the entire book. But its these darker aspects that make it real and compelling, I mean don't we all want to read about someone with grit, integrity and a bit of familiarity? Besides these 'themes' are sadly just a part of life and reading about a character who overcomes his fears and limitations can only help the rest of us right?

There is also a fantastic exploration of history, where the whole town has a grim backstory, a sordid past that when examined closely is just down right scary, giving a glimpse of the mythical Ireland I love most. Darragh links the past and the present with an ancient evil that Aidan must confront or risk loosing the entire town to its frigid clutches.

As a stand alone novel it works perfectly well but thats not to say that I don't want more because I do - I think theres a lot more to come in Aidan and Sláine's story. 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Q&A with the Amazing Laini Taylor!

I met my Literary Hero Last week!!!!

Today I have a different kind of Blog post for you… If you have skipped through my blog then you would very well know of my love for one author in particular, in fact, it was she who starred in my very first review ever! Her writing was so emotive that I just had to share my adoration with everyone. Who might it be you ask? The one and only author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy - Laini Taylor!! Last week I was insanely lucky to actually meet her during her Australian Tour at my old store Galaxy Books and got the privileged task of interviewer where I could ask some of the burning questions that have plagued me since finishing the final in the stunning series Dreams of Gods and Monsters. 

I have transcribed that interview for you below, here Laini tells what we can anticipate next and answers questions about the mythology of the series, giving plenty of her personal insight and inspirations. Please beware *spoiler alert* for those living under a rock that haven't already finished the series!

Here we go…

AMBER - What authors or books would you say have influenced you most as the writer you’ve become?
LAINI – Well, there are so many books but there’s one easy answer… because when I was in Uni or even High school I had really stopped reading the kind of books that made me a reader initially and I was reading only ‘literature’ and so when I started to write I was trying to write you know, Literary Fiction and it really wasn’t very much fun, I hadn’t found my voice as a writer and I didn’t have many interesting life experiences to write about I guess at 21, so I didn’t write very much and I ended up going to art school as a sort of “its hard to make a living as a writer so I think ill go to art school”
A - Good plan!
L - Great back up plan right? But it ended up being a really good decision (laughs) so while I was in Art School Harry Potter came out and it didn’t happen overnight but over the next few years continuing to read it (Harry Potter Series) and other young adult fantasy,  I didn’t get back into Epic or Adult Fantasy for while but eventually I did and when I started writing again it was like I remembered what I loved as a reader and it just became that much more fun and easier, so, JK Rowling and Harry Potter.
A - Your stories are wonderfully original and I often have trouble placing them in just one genre especially when I'm describing them to customers, how would you describe them and where would you like them to be homed? Romance, YA, Fantasy, Urban?
L - In the states they’re easily YA and that’s one of the great things I think, about YA is that they don’t have to fall into a genre category as I guess now the genre’s gotten big enough that they are starting to sub categorise it but I don’t know ..I mean that’s not my job (laughs) but I remember the difficulty as a bookseller though and I know it’s a huge concern. I love seeing it in fantasy but I think the correct answer would be face out by the register! (This elicits many laughs from those gathered, smart cookie!)
A - How do you balance what you’re reading with what you’re writing? Are you a voracious reader as well as a writer?
L - Well I do what I can, I don’t read as much as I used too because I have a five year old, so I can’t like read at meal times the way I used to but I have managed to be reading a lot recently and I always find time. There have been times in the past where I was really struggling with (writing) a book where I found that I was not in the mood to write and if I was reading something good it would be calling to me when I was struggling with whatever I was writing and I would just be like ‘oh fine, I'm just going to let myself finish this book first’! So there have been times when I could only read short stories or non-fiction I can’t like..
A - Be in both worlds at the same time?
L - Yeah, I can’t risk falling into a novel right now, but that hasn’t happened in a while which I guess is a good sign that my own books have been engaging and I haven’t had a difficult stretch for a while…
A - Speaking of your engaging books and your writing, what are you writing at the moment? We need to know! Are there any follow-ons from Dreams of Gods and Monsters? Are there going to be any spin offs?
L - There is the possibility, while I was writing DOGAM there was a point where something had started to happen that I hadn’t really planned and then it became the book that it did and it grew in the way that it did and I thought, you know, I could see a fourth book that could happen but I don’t think that it would be Karou and Akiva. I just don’t know but I'm not working on that now as I think that would have to really grow in the back of my mind for a while and each book has just gotten bigger and bigger in terms of the world and now this one is gonna be like Oh God (laughs), it’s a big undertaking so I hope that ill write that next book sometime but right now I'm working on a couple of books, mostly my next YA which is really different, its Science Fiction set in Civil War era New York City and I'm also working on the side on an adult book which is much more contemporary with a magical element but is much more grounded and less high fantasy.
A - Well that all sounds very exciting!
L - I also have an anthology coming out in the next few months and that’s fun too..
A - They’re always good, you can dabble a little bit..
L – Yeah.
A - OK, what is the dream season in the Far Isles, exactly?
L - (laughs) No ones ever asked me that!
A - I need it explained!
L - I don’t know, its one of those things that if I were to write a short story about it then it would be very steamy I imagine and I would figure it out, but I have not made myself decide exactly what it is, you know about as much as I do..
A - Oh great (laughs) ill fill in the blanks..
L - It’s what you think it is I guess…
A - I have an idea..
L - (laughs) and that was the section I was talking about when I said the book started to grow, I had never really made myself figure out who Scarab was, when she appeared in Days of Blood and Starlight she only appeared briefly not yet with a name and I didn’t know exactly who she would be. I knew she was Queen but I didn’t know what she would be like and I didn’t make myself decide ahead of time, it didn’t write her CV, I just waited until she appeared in the scene to see what would develop - that’s when she’s standing behind Akiva in the cave, I was curious to see what would emerge and it was one of the most memorable parts of writing the book cause most of what happened in that chapter I hadn’t planned and so all of that – the Dream Season, the Harp strung of taken lives just came to me and I was like ‘what is that?!’ as well as her sense of mission was all what really guided the book from there on out and it was really the sort of thing that I'm always hoping will happen where the story takes over…
A - Mmm it was really cool and you really got a sense of her growing into her own, and becoming the kind of Queen she wanted to be.
L – Yeah, so I thought at that point that the next piece would be hers, the other thing that I didn’t know was going to happen until it happened, on like, the last page was what happened with her at the very end with Eliza, that was surprise.
A - So, the war that we thought we were fighting the entire time, and we weren’t… that’s a pretty big major bomb to just drop at the end of the series! Is that where you would go with Scarabs book?
L - (laughs) Yes I think it would be that book but I don’t know, it’s not in my head yet. I think that all along I knew that with Jael I didn’t want him to have that sort of weight, that he was the only problem in the world – even with all the forces that he marshalled he didn’t seem to be that big of a threat. And I did think for a while that he could have been out of the story really early – I just didn’t want him to be that important.
A - Yeah he’s just so creepy.
L - Yes but I knew there would be some greater context, even when I was writing DOSAB and the creation myths, I didn’t plan for them to come back around the way they did with the Godstars like that but, when things started to come together it was all really fun and I just went with it.
A - Well my mind was utterly blown, so thank you for that!
L - Oh thank you! Well mine kind of was too..
A - (laughs) I just didn’t see that coming!
L - Well I didn’t really either..
A - I'm glad we were both surprised!
L - I always hope that will happen, with myself as a writer I feel that if I know exactly what’s going to happen then it feels kind of dead from the beginning.
A - Right. We all loved Zuzana and Mik and of course the little story that you did for them was wonderful, is there going to be anything more on them or are you leaving that world alone for now?
L - There are so many different little areas that would be fun to explore with short fiction but I also think that fan fiction could fill that niche pretty well.
A - True, outsource to the masses, good plan!
L - Like Liraz and Ziri, I’d really like to see somebody write that.
A - Ok one last question that my colleague Chrissi really wants to know, how exactly does Brimstone make the wishes? Like how does the pain thithe work when you amplify it into wishes? The technical question for the day!
L - Honestly I didn’t really work out all the technicalities. There were times when I was trying to be more concrete about it and when I felt like I understood it but they really slowed down the narrative so much, the mechanics of the magic, that I would always end up taking it back out. So the answer is, he does it Very Well (more group laughs)
Chrissi – Is it something that solely Brimstone is able to do? And that knowledge has been possibly lost?
L - I guess the back story in my mind is that in DOSAB you find out that he was a slave to the Magi 1000 years ago and he would have been believed to be a dumb beast and so in that time he was able to learn magic, to glean magic from his masters before starting the slave uprising in which they were all killed so whatever was left of Magic he had it, he alone.
A - Right, so he just tacked it together as he could?
L - Yes and they burned the libraries archives but maybe he kept what he wanted… that’s another piece that would be interesting to write and a lot of people would like me to write the prequel, Brimstones story and the slave uprising. But again it’s very daunting, it would be a big story!
A - That’s the great thing about your writing, there are all these fantastic elements that come off the sides…
L - Well the other thing I’ve wondered is about the Seraphim Faerers – Razgut and Elazael?
A - Yes!
L - And all the other ones that never came back, where are they?
A – Yes! what happened to them?
L - Well who knows, maybe someday…
A - Thank you very much Laini, you certainly have our curiosity piqued for the moment!

L - Thank you.

For more information on Laini's books please see my reviews here for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Interview with Laini Taylor Author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy.
Interviewed by Amber Gilchrist with Galaxy Books, Sydney 2/9/2014. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Reluctant Rebel in a Politically Charged Thriller

Land - Alex Campbell
Available - September 2014

With elements of Ally Condie's Matched and a social structure of coloured factions similar to that of Divergent Alex weaves these familiar threads into something new, exciting and above all relevant to the Global Warming issues we are currently facing. The prologue sets the scene in our current day (year 2014) with a freak unexpected rise in sea levels that wipes out most of the worlds populace excepting those lucky enough to have access to a boat. Naturally the horror doesn't stop there as several months at sea with limited provisions will take its toll leaving only a lucky few - the strongest survive. 

Fast forward a couple of generations and we see that this Darwinian mantra has shaped a new society that rose from the Sea. In the scrabble to rebuild society the strongest members who would make the hard decisions were chosen to lead and create law, the result? an enforced heartlessness in a factioned society…

Our unwitting heroine Christabelle is forced to see injustice everyday and told to ignore it by the woman she trusts most in the world, her Grandmother Constantine however as Con's selection date nears (I won't tell you what that means other than a certain type of goodbye) she is entrusted with the beginnings of the truth and the part she must play in brining down the corrupt government, from the inside no less. There is a no holds barred darkness to this book, a gritty and menacing cautionary tale showing the darker side of society and how delicate the balance with our natural world can be, but there is great heart and Christy is an interesting and complex character that I loved getting to know.

This brilliantly complex Debut as far as I am aware is a stand alone novel which I find so refreshing, knowing that I don't need to wait around a year to find out what happens next made me more able to enjoy the present. I am very excited to see what will come next for Alex, as Hers is a writing style I hope to enjoy for many years to come. 

Isn't this Jacket awesome? For a sneak peek of the book you can find the first few chapters Here. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Delicious Dates and Distant Locals…

Men on the Menu - Bambi Smyth
Available - October 2014

Bambi will take you on a culinary adventure like no other…

Nearing 50 and determined to find 'The One' that has thus far eluded her in Australia she makes a daring plan to travel an alphabet of countries to sample the local cuisine and the men to match! This is a highly ambitious undertaking as she blind dates no less than 75 men from all corners of the Globe - this woman has nerves of steel as I honestly don't think I would make it past date numero uno. I have to say that I greatly admire Bambi's strength as she not only rocks through each date with confidence and a smile but she also bravely bares her soul on each page, giving the Reader great insight to the men she describes while making each situation relatable and honest.

Bambi's adventurous spirit demands that she dive head first into each new experience and her eloquence transports you there, in the moment - wether it be set high above Rome's twilight dancing lights or in a sultry Cuban bar, it really is a journey of the senses and one you don't need to leave your living room for. 
Bambi's tour of Men and Menus is fun, frank and insightful and I don't believe I have ever meet a woman more deserving of finding true happiness, whether it be in Australia or Ireland! Bisous Bambi xx 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Worlds Collide, Magic Reigns, Love Burns…

Trial by Fire - Josephine Angelini
Available - September 2014

In this trans-dimensional magical thriller we see a version of what could have been, had the witches of Salem been fuelled by the very pyre's that consumed them. Crucibles made of human flesh that can turn the raw power of flame and the heat of combustion into energy…

The story begins in our ordinary version of Salem, Massachusetts where we are introduced to Lily Proctor, a sweet 16 year old plagued by allergies to pretty much anything and everything. She is also in love with her best friend Tristan who sadly, happens to be the town bike (to put it bluntly). We round off Lily's entourage with a beautiful and caring sister Juliet who is mostly away at college, a mentally unstable Mum and finally a Dad who decided it was all too much and has for all intents and purposes run away. The best thing about Lily's character? She's a fighter, she's constantly and terribly sick and her home life is far from perfect but she never complains or chucks in the towel and this strength of spirit is what propels her through everything to come. After a disastrous night out Lily hits an all time low and is faced with a choice that seems to be too good to be true - an escape from the place and people that have hurt her. What she thinks is just her subconscious tempting her to leave everything behind turns out to be her powerful doppleganger who drags her unknowingly to another plane, a world where witchcraft rules and she is their Queen. This Queen who seems so much like her hides a dark secret, pushing her to root out every source of science in her Kingdoms resulting in the deaths of so many seemingly innocent people - is what she's doing for a greater good or has she become dangerously delusional?

Combining beautifully clever magic and the dawn of the nuclear age this tale has it all, action, suspense, lust and even a little romance…beware the massive cliffhanger ending though because like me you will end up practically salivating with the need to know what happens next! Sadly it's still a month off being published here but worry not! I have just read on Josephine's Blog (check it out here its pretty epic) that her rough draft for book 2 Trail of Tears has been finalised… 

I'm opening up the voting lines…which cover do you like most? And which will we be getting??

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vivian Apple and the End of Days

Vivian Versus the Apocalypse - Katie Coyle
Available Now - Book 2 Vivian V's America due out this month! 

Vivian Apple is an ordinary teenager in an extraordinary time. The story is set in our present day America with a few marked differences, it has all of our times trade mark natural disasters but on steroids - earthquakes, floods and fires and social landslides with shootings and terrorists. The other difference is a new bastardised brand of Christianity known as the Church of Frick, combining the worst parts of religion like bigotry and tunnel vision with a consumer capitalist element that America does so well. The leader of the Church Beaton Frick has prophesied a Rapture for the true believers and six months later the Apocalypse for those who remain! 

Our story begins on Raptures Night Eve, Vivian and her wild best friend Harp, both non believers who's parents have been swept up in the push to be the best believers they can be to assure their ascension to the Heavens - strangely the fact that their atheist children will remain behind doesn't seem to be a priority at all. To everyones shock and awe the Rapture actually happens, the remaining believers left behind are confused and distraught wondering why they weren't sucked up into God's good graces and looking to lay the blame on anyone else. Viv and Harp now find themselves all alone in a pre-apocalyptic count down as the country goes crazy anticipating the end of the world and having nothing else better to do they follow some very tenuous leads on a cross country road trip with a vague hope of finding their parents in the heart of the church. 

They meet some great characters along the way and even join up with a hippie commune along the way and what they find at the end is the biggest surprise of all. This is a coming of age story like no other and Viv is going to discover the true meaning of family - they are who you choose them to be.

Monday, 11 August 2014

You don't have to be GOOD to be PERFECT

The Perfectionists - Sara Shepard
Available - October 2014
Sara Shepard, the author of the bestselling series Pretty Little Liars, has written a new YA thriller series that's sure to grab some excitement. Guest Blogging today is my Cousin Jemmima, she's my go to girl for a second opinion and all reading related goss…heres what she thinks (keeping in mind I forgot to tell her it was a series, oops!)
'The Perfectionists' is a new novel following five girls - Ava, Julie, Caitlin, Parker and Mackenzie - and their hate for the same rich, arrogant bully, Nolan Hotchkiss, who's put them all through hell. After being put together for a class assignment, the  girls discover their mutual hate for Nolan and talk about the ways that they would kill him. Of course they're only kidding, but then... Nolan turns up dead exactly how the girls would have done it. The girls realise they need to find Nolan's real killer - before they get charged for his murder themselves.
This is one of those intriguing YA books that makes you curious from the very beginning. It was interesting getting to know the girls via their back-stories - although at  first it was a little difficult trying to keep up with who was who. Overall the book was a great read that kept me hanging on wanting to know what was next, however there are a few parts that if not dealt with in a sequel, would have become completely useless and irrelevant. I like the idea of there being a sequel, just to be able to prolong the story a bit more. Another thought was that it's already quite similar to Pretty Little Liars, which I can deal with for two books but no more. I think it would be so disappointing if Shepard tries to drag this series on for too long without resolving any of the story lines just like PLL.
Well looks like it will be a sure hit with PLL fans and I have heard mention that it has already been scooped up for a TV adaptation! Lets just hope that Sara can pull off something that is still unique and exciting in its own right. Thanks Mima!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Are your Dreams Fierce?

Fearsome Dreamer - Laure Eve 
Available Now and the final book in this Duology is available in August 2014! 

Welcome to the two very different countries where this tale resides - each has a completely different structure, belief system and most importantly technological understanding.

Pictured - Laure Eve being awesome
The dominant country known as 'World' is a conglomerate comprised of many separate countries we know today like America, China and parts of Europe to name a few. In World technology reigns supreme and all World citizens are implanted with a chip at birth allowing them to effortlessly jack into 'LIFE' the virtual reality accessible 24 hours a day. This is where everyone lives, they work, meet for coffee, travel, play games and hang out in Life. This online existence rules out any need to ever leave your home/city/country… public transportation no longer exists, there are no more outbreaks of disease or plane crashes and it's controlled easily through it's insularity. However the bulk of the story is set in the quaint and almost defiantly backwards realm of Angle Tar, Rue's home and where White has recently fled.

While World feels a little like the cautionary whale on the flip side there is Angle Tar, a small island compared to the vastness of World that seems a bastardised mix of old world London and Paris with a charming vocabulary to match. Here technology has been dismissed except for the most rudimentary creature comforts and in the face of such conformity feels wild and free, even a little dangerous. The 'when' of which this novel is set is hard to say, both of these new countries have an erie timelessness and they are both the future and the past in one alarming present. 

So Worlder's never leave their houses and Angle Tarians never leave their Island and at the heart of this story we have White and Rue and the gift of dreaming they share, one that very few others know anything about and a mysterious Castle that exists somewhere beyond these two realms but could hold the devastating end for them both.  My favourite of the immaculate details in this novel would have to be the nuances of language used, Laure creates such a strong image of characters and country. A great example of this is White's dialogue which, as a foreigner is noticeably stiff and formal where Rue as a commoner, is raw and honest, full of opinions and lust - Reading her as a YA character is a bit of a revelation really, a moment of "Ah this is what I've been missing". It's these wonderfully authentic details that set her writing apart and why I am so keen for Book 2 (the final of the series) even though I have a plethora of new books it ill jump to the top of my mountainous to-read pile!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Steampunk Success

Take Back the Skies - Lucy Saxon
Available - June 2014

Debut author Lucy Saxon has delivered an exciting and distinct YA steampunk adventure. Soaring skyships, a runaway cross-dressing teen and political intrigue abound! 

For Catherine Hunter growing up in the lap of luxury as daughter to one of the most influential men in Government has been a constant thorn in her side, forced to be compliant and dutiful while all around her people suffer. Children over the age of 13 are taken in 'collections' to fight in the endless war of the Empire, the poor are starved beyond breaking point and even the city itself is crumbling under the misery of it all. The final insult to Catherine is being betrothed, bartered off by her father like a prize cow, that is until she decides to take her fate into her own hands and herself out of the equation by stealing away on a small skyship disguised as a boy. On the Storm Dancer as Cat she finally feels at peace but this is merely the beginning of the tale.

While the pitch of the writing starts out quite young (say 14+) Lucy soon finds her feet and as her writing matures so does Cat as a character, all of a sudden there are gruesome revelations and heartbreaking consequences that you just don't see coming! The tale has plenty of excitement and has a rare quality making it accessible to both guys and girls, I have been told by a reliable source that Lucy has an entire series all mapped out and I'm looking forward to finding out what comes next!

I am absolutely loving all things Lucy, the more I learn about this awesome chick the more I wanna be her bestie and while working at Galaxy Bookshop I was lucky enough to submit a Q&A to this amazing young Cosplaying author and I'm so happy to be able to post her responses, some of which you may find surprising *Beware spoiler alert*

Lucy Saxon – Take Back the Skies Q&A  

What inspired you to write in the Steampunk genre? 
The fact that there isn’t that much modern steampunk fiction out there. It’s an aesthetic I really love, and something I thought I could have a lot of fun exploring. 

Do you ever base characters on people you know/have known? 
Not intentionally! Traits of people probably slip in here and there, but I’ve never purposely written a character based on someone I know in real life 

I found the Skyships and their Ports fascinating - how did you do your research on these? Or are they purely from your own imagination? 
The skyships and all surrounding them are from my imagination! I didn’t want to go with the typical zeppelin-style airship, so I started imagining something a little different, and it all went from there. 

How did you start out writing? Did you work your way up to a full novel with short stories or did the plot ideas come to you fully formed? 
I actually started out with fanfiction; short fics that got progressively longer, and then I eventually started trading fanfiction for original fiction once I was confident in my ability to write a full novel-length piece. 

Do you have any other stories in other worlds or genres in mind? 
So many! I have a lot of other novels and series’ planned for the future, but they’re all within the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I can’t wait to write them! 

Like all of us you must have authors you find inspiring and just Love, if you could co-write a novel with another author who would it be and why? 
Oooh, that’s a hard one. I think co-writing with Sarah J Maas would be pretty great; I really love her writing style, and I think it would mesh pretty well with mine. I’d also love to write with John Green, but considering we’re two different genres I can’t think of what we’d write! 

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but you drop a major bomb on us with that ending! Was it a tough decision to end it how you did? And what can we expect next for Cat??
It wasn’t too tough a decision; it was one of those things where I wrote to a certain point and then it hit me like ‘of course, it has to end that way’. I feel bad about it, of course, but some things are necessary! As for Cat’s future, it’s fairly set after the epilogue with exactly what that would imply. The second book isn’t actually about her, but a Siberene boy called Aleks. There will be mentions of Cat and what she’s up to, considering the position she’s now put herself in, but for the most part her adventuring days are over. 

Thanks Lucy and keep them coming!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Feel like something a bit…'Other'?

Written in Red (The Others Bk1) - Anne Bishop
Available Now and thankfully Book 2 has just hit the shelves!

Vampires, Shifters, elementals and magic but not like you know them, Anne writes a much darker depiction of these supernatural beasts. While in other stories things that are 'Other' are often depicted as dangerous yet somehow always end up just being misunderstood and gooey as caramel fudge deep down, right before becoming the perfect boyfriend, sigh, however in the world of Namid they only want to eat you, humans are literally seen as prey… trespass on their land - they tear you apart and eat you, swindle or trick them - they eat you, displease them - they eat you, really piss them off? they will turn your entire town into an underwater attraction…well I think you get the idea, just don't mess with the Others.

Our leading lady Meg Corbyn is a Cassandra Sangue or blood prophet, one of the rare girls who when cut can see a vision of the possible future pertaining to particular person willing to pay the exorbitant fee for such a service. These girls are kept tightly under lock and key while it is explained to the public as a kindness due to the nature of cutting which is so pleasurable the vast majority of girls get addicted and as with all addictions there can be dire consequences, in this case the possibility of bleeding out for example. Heavy stuff I know. So Meg makes the life changing decision to run away (thank goodness) and finds herself at the gates of the Lakeside Courtyard and at the mercy of the Others who watch over and govern the town of Lakeside from within.

What transpires next is a look into a fantastic new urban fantasy world, Anne sets a cracking pace for her characters who are endearing in their own quirky way and as more details are brought to light the plot thickens revealing a deep undercurrent of menace that follows through to book 2. As a new fan of Anne's I feel this is a perfect introduction to her work, it portrays her scope of world building and character design yet isn't quite as dark as her previous work. I am very much looking forward to diving into her extensive backlist. 

Also look out for Book 2 Murder of Crows also available. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The BEST book you'll read this year!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor
Available Now in Aus, April 17 2014 in the UK

Wow…I…..…It was……sigh. Simply, amazing and honestly the most magical experience I have had to date as a reader.

The emotions portrayed by Laini in this final installment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (learn more about Book 1 here) are beautifully raw and as deep as an ocean, and I believe this is what elevates this novel into something truly special. Whether it was sorrow or joy they resonated so strongly in my very soul that I would stop reading and just breathe it in, let the tears fall or a smile take hold.

As it turns out this isn't just the story of the Seraphim and Chimera's survival as there are a few new and pivotal strings added to the tapestry, woven expertly together with the old elements and characters we love then played out on both Earth and Ertez. You won't believe where this story will end, I'm still trying to piece my mind back together after it was thoroughly blown! Without giving any spoilers all I can say is that you will not be disappointed, this final leg of Karou's tale has all of the magic, romance, action and heart shattering twists of the first two. 

This series has been an absolute stand out in my favorites of all time and I am beyond depressed to see it end, my only advice to those of you who haven't enjoyed it yet would be to reread books one and two - I really wish that I had refreshed my memory and postponed this bittersweet ending as long as possible.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Aren't we all just….

In celebration of the almost nearness of Wednesday I want to share what I'm currently devouring with you…..

I can hardly wait to post my review of this absolutely amazing book, it will surely be a bitter sweet moment for me as it will mean that Ive finished and this world will be closed to me forever. As I'm sure you can appreciate I am taking as long as I possibly can and savouring every chapter. Godstars, I just never want it to end!

Stay tuned…. x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

All you need is a Spark

Amazingly Requiem For Readers has just cracked 5000 page views!!! I want to give a MASSIVE Thank you to all of my readers out there and to celebrate here is a special preview post for you… This little gem is due out next month, enjoy and thanks a million!xx

Moth & Spark - Anne Leonard
Available - April 2014

This is an adventurous fantasy debut for Anne Leonard and it sits quite comfortably in the traditional/historical fantasy camp with a medieval-esk world; swords, spies and intrigue, a great battle of empires and of course dragons!

What is not so traditional is the duel dialogue making both the male and female lead characters equally important even in a somewhat patriarchal society. The female protagonist Tam while being pegged as a commoner is clever, resourceful and practically minded, age both gives and receives strength from our Hero Prince Corin and effortlessly earns her place beside him. The dragons thankfully have a pivotal role, they aren't just a superfluous addition but a beautiful and rather complex layer that ties the story together. 

What I have to say I loved most however is the fact that it's a stand alone novel - in a domain that is fatigued with long winded series that often seem to have no end in sight this is a refreshing escape and a very promising introduction from Anne. 

Which cover do you prefer?….

Monday, 10 March 2014

Not Half Bad...

Half Bad - Sally Green
Available - Now!

Nathan is a witch, born from a long line of witches but where Nathan's story differs to his brethren is that he is the only half white/half bad 'mixed breed' witch on the scene. Begot of a charming white witch mother and a dangerous black warlock father Nathan has lived his entire life knowing neither of them and facing persecution from both sides - I mean this kid has had it ROUGH.

When the story starts we know as little about his heritage as he does and we share in his horror and pain as he grows, learning the dark secrets of his past and the hatred of a society that is to be his future. I really enjoyed getting to know this character, and while life has genuinely been tough on him he just keeps going, getting through it a day at a time and I applaud this kind of storytelling  - its raw and uncomfortable with not a hint of sugar coating making it stand out amongst the YA "overcoming adversity while crushing on a really hot guy" realm. That's not to say the love interest doesn't occur but is only a small element of the tale and takes a back seat in the plot, even throwing in an occasional curve ball to keep you guessing.

Even though I can't see Nathan's situation improving any in the next instalment I'm looking forward to getting back into the action!