Review + Giveaway: Knightfall by R. Jackson-Lawrence


https://i0.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1364979546l/17727838.jpg

Lord of the Rings for the Call of Duty generation.

When his world changing experiment is sabotaged, fifteen year old genius Benjamin Knight is cast into another world where an uneasy peace hangs in the balance. Saved from near death by a band of traders, he joins the Road Trains on their journey north as he struggles to understand what’s happened to him.

However, Ben soon realises that everyone has their secrets and that no one is safe, especially when one man has the power to realise his ambitions.

Friends are lost, plots revealed and battles fought as the unlikely companions seek to prevent war.

Will appeal to fans of Anthony Horowitz, Suzanne Collins, Michael Grant, Garth Nix etc

Rating:

https://thatartsygirlsbookblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/72b80-4-out-of-5-stars1.jpg

Review:

I was very skeptical going into this book because I had read a string of really good books and I was sure this book was going to suck because I’m never that lucky.

But turns out Lady Luck was on my side this time because this was a fascinating read. I was hooked into the story right at the beginning when an explosion happens in the lab where Ben works. At first, it seemed like pure sci/fi to me, but as I read more, it sort of evolved into a dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi kind of book. I’ve never read sci/fi before, but I can say this – this book seriously worked. I loved reading about the intense new world the author had created. I felt that it was believable and real. The future (or it might be an alternate universe) that Ben gets transported into is a dangerous world where warfare can happen at the blink of an eye. And I loved reading about the Road Trains and the people on it – they were all likeable characters I could really relate to.

I have very few complaints about the book. One of them is the POVs. At first, it seemed like the story was told from Ben’s POV. It continued to be so for a few dozen pages. Then, it started switching to different people instead of just Ben. I realize when a book is written in third person, the author has the liberty to switch POVs. But it’s just that when I started reading the book, the prose was so well written that I felt like it was written in first person. So, when it switched POVs, it was a bit jarring for me. I don’t know to how many people this makes sense. Maybe it’s just me.

Also, I expected a lot of action from the way the story began, but the action started only about half-way into the book. The non-action parts were not dragging or anything. They were interesting parts – about the people in the Road Trains, about the Regent and more about the dystopian world. But I would have liked the book more if there had been more action.

So, if you like dystopian or sci-fi or fantasy, I would definitely recommend this book to you. A brilliant start to a series. 🙂

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Knightfall-Chronicle-Benjamin-Knight-ebook/dp/B00C5RWRDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376427381&sr=8-1&keywords=knightfall+robert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When he lost his job in 2012, Robert resurrected a novel he had last touched in the 1990’s and finally brought his vision to reality.  With this new series, he hopes to draw attention away from teen vampires, and bring action and adventure to anyone from ages 9 to 90 in an entirely new setting.

Robert Jackson-Lawrence lives in Lincoln with his two children.  He would really like a dog, but so far his wife won’t let him!

Author links:

Website: http://www.jackson-lawrence.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/R-Jackson-Lawrence/430581967031802

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RJLbooks

**GIVEAWAY**

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6da88e10/

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


https://i2.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1324782984l/7488244.jpg

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Rating:

http://booksnooks.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/star-four-11-jpg.png

Review:

This is the third book I’ve read that deals with angels, the other two being ‘Hush Hush’ and ‘Angelfall’. Without a doubt, Angelfall is the best of the three. Unearthly falls somewhere in between, much better than ‘Hush Hush’ but not quite equal to ‘Angelfall’. Unearthly puts a unique twist on angel lore. In Cynthia Hand’s world, angels are born on earth to satisfy a purpose and Clara, being an angel blood, has to fulfill her purpose. Before that, she has to figure out what her purpose is. The clues come in the form of dreams or flashes of the future and Clara has to use these clues to figure out her purpose.

When I started the book, I had high expectations because of all the good reviews this book had received on Goodreads. But about 25% into the book, I realized that though this was a solid YA book, this would not turn out to be one of my favorites. And the reason for that was… well, Clara. Clara is beautiful, fast and there is almost nothing that she can’t do. At least, that was the impression that I got when I read the book. Which instantly put me off because I love my protagonists to be a bit flawed and Clara seemed a little too perfect for my taste. Secondly, what is the deal with her obsession with Christian? I get that she keeps getting visions of him and that her purpose has something to do with him. But she automatically assumes that it means that she and Christian should “be together”. She starts obsessing over him, about whether he is looking her way, whether he is talking about her etc. It gets a bit annoying when she does this.

Except for Clara, I liked all the other characters including her mother, her brother, Christian, Tucker, Wendy and even the mean girl whose name I have now forgotten. If not for the romance aspect of this book, I would have given this only 3 stars. But as it happens, I really, really dug the romance in Unearthly. It was sweet and believable and good news – no insta-love. And there is a twist in the romance part which most of the readers will be able to predict after 50% of the book. But still, I’m thankful it was there. I would have hated the book if it was not.

Now, moving on to the ending, I loved it. Maybe it could have been a little less rushed, but still, I loved it. Plus, there is another twist at the end which even I, with all my supernatural abilities, didn’t expect.

So, I will probably read the sequel if only because I am craving a good dose of a certain character from the book.

Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett


https://i0.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1358468998l/12411635.jpg

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Rating:

http://booksnooks.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/star-four-11-jpg.png

Review:

Going into this book, I was fully expecting a romance with maybe a touch of paranormal. But guess what? This book has an actual plot, you guys! Yay! Also, the heroine of this book, Dusty is really, really likeable. She is not popular but she doesn’t whine about her unpopular status every five pages or so. Double yay!

The Nightmare Affair was very enjoyable for me, but I had to take away one star because some portions of the book sort of reminded me of Harry Potter. Like the boarding school that Dusty goes to, the teachers, some of the secondary characters. Even the murders happening in the book were sort of reminiscent of the second book from the HP series. But that said, the mystery surrounding the murders is one of the reasons I liked this book. It is so nicely done with just the right amount of suspense, whodunnit and whoisnext. Although I guessed one of the villains the minute he was introduced, I was still a bit surprised by the main baddie of the book.

Coming to the romance aspect, again I have to give credits to the author because she has managed to pull off a sweet romance that doesn’t ruin the flow of the story. Even though it’s obvious Dusty feels an attraction towards the guy Eli, that doesn’t make her act like a complete idiot in front of him. She is strong and independent and fierce just the way I like my heroines.

So, this is a well-written book with an amazing set of characters. I think a lot of people would enjoy this book if they managed to stay oblivious to a few HP similarities. 🙂

Review: 10 Ways To Kill A Cupid by Leigh Parker


https://i0.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1310937666l/12060929.jpg
Three years after becoming a Cupid, the normally cheeky and cheerful Leigh has to question her work ethics when her next assignment happens to be the woman who killed her.

Meet Natalie McIntyre, actually, no, you wouldn’t want to meet Natalie McIntyre, the foul mouthed, anti social Senior Manager at her father’s cardboard box factory who really isn’t in the mood to spend the next 7 days with a weird blonde haired girl who just will not go away.

Over the course of a week Leigh has her work cut out when she learns that not only is Natalie hell bent on being stubborn, cranky and incredibly hard to pair but the appearance of the blue spark puts everything she’s ever learnt as a Cupid in jeopardy.

Rating:

https://i2.wp.com/blakehall.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/3-stars-out-of-5.png

Review:

I read glowing reviews of this book on Goodreads and I was really excited about reading this book. I’ve found that when a book is too hyped up by other readers, then the book will most probably let me down. That is what happened with this book. I tried to like this book. Every time I lost interest in the story, I told myself that it will get better and forced myself to read it. Even though I did get to the end of this book, it was a definite struggle.

The book started out fine. There was a likeable lead heroine who is a Cupid of all things. Unique premise, right? There were a lot of unique things about this book. I could tell that the author had put a lot of thought into each scene, but the problem was it didn’t work out too well. Often, I found myself questioning what kind of person would react that way in a particular situation. The interactions between the characters seemed a bit forced and unrealistic to me.

But that doesn’t mean this book is bad. It really isn’t. There are a lot of funny parts in the book. The growth in the relationship between Natalie and Leigh is oh so adorable. Sure, they cuss like sailors at times, but it only adds to the charm of the story.

Overall, I found the book to be moderately good if not amazing. Worth a read.

Review + Giveaway: Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian


I’m really sorry I haven’t updated my blog in quite a while, but I broke my laptop a week back and now it’s display is shattered to smithereens. Hopefully, it will be back in good condition by next week in which case I will be able to post more often. In the meantime, I’ll be using my friend’s laptop, so please go easy on me if the posts are sporadic.

So, anyway, today I bring to you a book that will appeal to all fantasy fans. Plus, there are TWO awesome giveaways. The first is blog specific and is for five ebook copies of Cobweb Bride. And the other giveaway is for paperback and hardback copies of the same.

https://i2.wp.com/d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367195799l/17727308.jpg

Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books 

Imprint: Leda 

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6

$24.95 US / 20.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4

$14.95 US / 12.00 UK 

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2

$5.99

Many are called…
She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father … Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Rating:

four-stars

Review:

I received a free copy of this book from Fiction Addiction Blog Tours and I’m so glad I did.

I have read many books to date but none like this. The best word I can think of to describe this book is unique. Everything about this book is unique – the story telling, the characters, the plot, everything. When I first started this book, the language seemed a little too flowery for my taste but as I delved deeper, I realized the language was just setting the tone for the book. The story is every bit as beautiful as the language in which it is written. The characters are far from flat. They jump out of the pages. They are very, very real. They are neither good, neither bad. They are gray, as are all humans. The descriptions and world building are important elements of the story as they add the necessary magical touch to the book. Plus, unlike many books that are coming out now, romance is kept on the backseat while plot develops at a slow but steady pace. If you are looking for a good fantasy book with awesome characters and close to no cliches, I would definitely recommend this book for you.

As for cons, the only thing that bothered me about this book was the pace. In some parts, I wished the story would move a little fatser but that didn’t make me lose interest in the story in any way.

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2