Win Cleopatra's Daughter or The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Here's the trailer:
Does it look good to any of you?
And does anyone here have an ARC? Is it any good?
I think Candor sounds really interesting, so I'll definitely read it when I get a chance.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Author – Lucienne Diver
Genre(s) – Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Pages - 240
Publisher – Flux
Publication Date - May 1, 2009
Plot - 24/30
Writing – 18/20
Characters - 19/20
Creativity - 18/20
The *Wow* Factor - 8/10
Grand Total - 87/100
Grade – B+
Summary (From Amazon) -
Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me. I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.
First of all, Vamped was not what I expected it to be. I was expecting it to be set in a high school with a “mean girls” vs. protagonist plot, but with vampires. That has been done before, but Vamped definitely hasn’t. It mixes a lot of more traditional fantasy themes (such as prophecies) with the modern urban vampire story. This book and its upcoming sequel have a lot of potential to be a great vampire series, but there is some room for improvement.
The plot of Vamped where I had the most problems, but none were unforgivable, and loose ends can definitely be tied up in a future book. I was immediately drawn into Gina’s story and her emotions, but I also found myself feeling confused, especially since so many things about the different vampires and their motives were never fully explained. Everything seemed a bit rushed, and there was a distinct feeling that there was a lot going on in the background. My problem isn’t with the complicated world of vampires, which I actually found fascinating, but with the fact that, for the most part, Gina was cloistered away from it. I think Vamped could have been much better if Gina’s could have seen more than just a few locations in her town and Mellisande’s hideout, and if the book had been a bit longer than 240 pages. I would like to see more of the hidden vampire society in future books, as well as have some secrets revealed about Gina and Bobby’s fate. There is a prophecy and glowing stone involved, so this could get epic!
My favorite things about Vamped were the characters and writing style of the book. Gina narrated the novel, and I loved her voice and funny commentary. I often found myself laughing out loud at her thoughts and words. She was a lot of fun, and was a very original character. I also loved her habit of nicknaming people. And Mellisande was definitely a character I loved to hate. Besides being evil, she was also annoying because she was never generous when it came to revealing information about her plans, and those of other vampires. Bobby was also an interesting character; very kind, but somehow a part of Mellisande’s scheme. And the man-eating psychic completely creeped me out, and was definitely something I’d never seen before. Some minor characters seemed less developed and more disposable, but the main characters were very well done!
In conclusion, Vamped was a fun beginning to a promising series, and I can’t wait for the next book, which I believe will be called Revamped. I think that any lover of vampire stories or urban fantasy will love Vamped, as well as those who love reading about a snarky heroine. And isn’t the cover awesome?!
Book From (Review Group, Bought, Library, Publisher, Author, Contest, Etc.) - Author
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Soooo... Congratulations on your release, Lisa Mantchev!!!
In addition, a promise: I promise here to make a fan cover for Eyes Like Stars when I have completed it. If you want an example of what these look like, scroll down a few entries to see my Prophecy of the Sisters fan cover.
Here's the awesome cover of Eyes Like Stars:
Here's the blurb from Amazon:
All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.Open Curtain
P.S. - If you are interested, yes, this is contest-related. But Eyes Like Stars is really a great book, from what I've read of it and the rave reviews I've seen. In fact, I haven't come across a single bad review for it.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Author - Patricia C. Wrede
Genre(s) – Fantasy, Alternate History
Pages - 320
Publisher – Scholastic Press
Publication Date - April 15, 2009
Plot - 27/30
Writing - 19/20
Characters - 18/20
Creativity - 19/20
The *Wow* Factor - 9/10
Grand Total - 92/100
Grade – A-
Summary (From Amazon) -
Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.
With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews with varying reactions to this book, but I really enjoyed Thirteenth Child! I found it to be original, and it appealed to my interest in parallel worlds and alternate histories. It may be a bit slow for some readers, but I think that it will appeal to those who like books with this pacing, as well as fantasy lovers.
The world building for Thirteenth Child was incredible, and I enjoyed learning about this alternate version of 19th century America and the many types of magic and creatures. There were mentions of many historical figures from our world, but many events and people in power were different due to the existence of magic, and many country names were different. North America (or at least the US) was known as Columbia, and Europe was Avrupa. Many of these changes were fairly small, but they were different enough to draw my interest. The setting of Thirteenth Child was one of my favorite parts of the book. Some things weren’t perfectly explained, but Thirteenth Child is only the first book in a series, so it is likely that more will be revealed later.
I enjoyed the characters, who were mostly three-dimensional and interesting to read about, but sometimes I felt that there were too many to keep track of. Eff, the main character, had such a huge family and met so many people that it became confusing at times. But I suppose this is due to the fact that the book takes place over many years, from the time Eff is 4 to when she turns 18. I especially liked reading about Eff’s struggles to accept herself despite her extended family’s prejudice against “unlucky/evil” thirteenth children. Some of Eff’s relatives were infuriating, but that was the point. They were the characters that readers love to hate.
The plot was a bit hard to pin down, which is why this book didn’t get an A. The first half of the book is mainly about Eff growing up, and is very episodic. This is the part that may be considered slow, especially since Eff does not cross the magical barrier until she is 18. It is after this that Eff is challenged to use all that she has learned growing up to solve a problem that is the climax of the book. Perhaps the next book will have a tighter plot.
There is some controversy over this book because it has no mention of Native Americans, and while this is a bit disturbing, I found some evidence in the book that they might be introduced later in some form or another. In one part of the book, a character who had gone west mentioned seeing smoke come from beyond the mountains (the Rockies.) And while there are three main systems of magic in the book (Avrupan, Aphrikan, and Hijero-Cathayan), it is mentioned that there are numerous other types, including some that are unknown to the Columbian settlers. SPOILER: Also, Eff is given a magical necklace by the same person who saw the smoke (a traveling magician), which supposedly has spells from unknown magic systems woven into it. So it is likely that this world’s version of Native Americans will show up in the next books, and if they do, they probably have their own systems of magic.
This book has been compared to Harry Potter, the Little House books (it did have a similar feel to them,) and the Monster Blood Tattoo books, but I’m going to add another comparison. I see lots of similarities to the Worldweavers books by Alma Alexander, which is set in the present time, but in a world that has always had magic. I’d recommend Thirteenth Child to anyone who likes these books.
Book From (Review Group, Bought, Library, Publisher, Author, Contest, Etc.) - Library
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Here is the fan cover (click the cover to see it full size; it's worth it):
Here is the real cover:
Pre-order the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316027421/
So, do you like it?
EDIT: I just realized I forgot to remove a street light that was in one of the photos I used. Oops. :s
I have to include some stuff because of copyrights. Some images used in making the cover were released under these licenses, and derivative works (like the cover) must be released with the same licenses. They are:
- GNU Free Documentation License (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License)
- Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.