Saturday, 17 September 2011

Spider's Bite- Jennifer Estep

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked most of the book, the concept was good and I liked the mix of supernaturals. The world is reasonably believable, although it is set in a very shady town. It had a bit of a 'noir' feel to it.

Gin was feisty and strong, but perhaps a bit too unemotional. We got glimpses of her past which was interesting, but there was a lot of repetition of the same themes. For example, not relying on her magic because of what she had done with it on the past.

Speaking of repetition, if I ever see the phrase 'grey on gold' again it will be too soon. Which brings me to another pet peeve- who the hell has grey or gold eyes? I have never met anyone whose eyes were not brown, blue or green. Only in paranormal fiction have I heard of such a thing! I could understand it if we were talking about supernaturals, but it's often the humans with these crazy eye colours.

Ranting aside, the story was fast paced enough to keep me interested and I will read the next one in the series to see if it improves. Definitely the beginnings of a good UF series, but not one my favourites yet.

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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Kim Harrison's Madison Avery Trilogy- Audiobook Review

I have just finished listening to the Madison Avery trilogy back to back on audiobook, narrated by Mandy Seigfried. My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1)Early to Death, Early to Rise (Madison Avery)Something Deadly This Way Comes (Madison Avery)

Madison Avery is your average, rebellious 17 year old. She just also happens to be dead. How she got that way is explained in the prequel Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper contained in Prom Nights from Hell Prom Nights from Hell I seriously recommend you read this first. I didn't, and although the back story is *eventually* explained, it's pretty disjointed and fairly annoying not to know what's going on.

Madison died in a car accident set up by a 'dark reaper'. Reapers are either Light or Dark, and are a type of angel. Dark Reapers are sent to collect souls of teenagers who are going to make bad choices that tarnish their souls. Light Reapers try to get there first and provide the 'mark' with a guardian angel. Once they have a guardian angel, the Dark Reaper can't touch them and they will live until their natural death.

Madison was part of a reap gone awry, when she managed to steal the reaper's amulet and it kept her soul bound to earth. So, although she's dead, the amulet gives the illusion of a body and she can continue an almost normal life inbetween dodging dark reapers. Barnabas is her friend, and the Light Reaper who was sent to save her. Over the course of the series, the way we view Light and Dark changes with the main themes being fate, choice and the ability of humans to change their destiny.

Madison soon learns that she was not just a 'mark', but the victim of a nefarious plot to prevent her from her true destiny- becoming the Dark Timekeeper (the Dark Reapers' boss. Over the course of the series, she starts to come to terms with this and learns more about her powers, and her ability to change the current system for the better.

The series is YA, and is a quick, fun listen/read. I enjoyed the stories, and the world building was adequate although not as detailed as I would have liked. Madison is perhaps not the most likeable heroine at first, but I did warm to her quite quickly.

My absolute biggest pet peeve with this series was the continued and, quite frankly, disturbing overuse of the word 'puppy' as an alternative swear word- e.g. 'Puppy presents on the rug', 'son of a puppy' etc. Every time it was used I cringed.

Other than that, the books were interesting enough to keep my attention and it was nice to hear a story about something a little bit different to weres, vamps and fey. If you are a fan of YA paranormal series, I would certainly recommend them.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Shadowing: Hunted- Adam Slater

The Shadowing: Hunted

This is the first in a YA horror series, and what a start to the series! I just couldn't put this book down. Luckily it is a fairly quick read so it didn't interfere with my sleep!

Callum is a chime child- born between sunset Friday and dawn Saturday when there is a full moon. he doesn't know it yet, but he's the only thing standing between the world and a whole bunch of scary creatures. He's always been able to see ghosts, but suddenly he finds that he has other abilities too.

I enjoyed reading from the male perspective. I tend to read PNR and UF and they are generally from the female point of view. I found Callum's perspective to be interesting, and refreshingly uncomplicated by various bouts of becoming 'weak kneed' or swooning at the sight of an attractive person of the opposite sex. Not that there isn't a possible love interest going on- there is- it's just barely there with the potential to grow into a little more over the series.

The characters are believable, and it was nice to see the character development for Callum and Melissa over the book. I suspect that Gran has a few more secrets to share, and I also hope that we will learn more about Callum's dad as the series goes on.

Hunted is fast paced, gripping and pretty scary too. It's certainly not for younger teens, or the squeamish amongst us. The scene is pretty well set for the next in the series which I can't wait to get my hands on.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Kiss of Midnight- Lara Adrian

Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed,  #1)Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There was just something missing for me. I nearly abandoned this book halfway through and the only reason I finished it was because I hate to leave books unfinished.

I thought that the concept of the Breed and the vampire mythology in the world of the Breed was original and new. Not my favourite take on the vampire theme but definitely interesting.

I didn't like Lucan, to be honest he got on my nerves for the whole book. Whiny, self absorbed, self pitying and shallow. Not exactly my ideal alpha male! I think he was supposed to be 'brooding' but it just didn't come across well to me at all.

Gabrielle was equally irritating to me, lacking the wit and snark that I like in my female lead characters. Her decisions often seemed irrational to me and I seriously struggled to identify with her.

Humour was seriously lacking and the storyline failed to hold my interest. I found my mind wandering off several times throughout the book. There was one good twist to the plot, when the traitor was revealed, and other than that the action was so-so.

It's the first book in a fairly popular series, and I have often come to love series where the first book just didn't do it for me, so I am likely to give the next 2 books in the series a go to see if this is the case with Midnight Breed.

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Saturday, 3 September 2011


This is my second post about Audiobooks. My first experience of them was not the best, as you can see from my original post:

I've been giving audiobooks another chance recently and have listened to several books from genres other than UF and PNR.

So far I have listened to His Other Lover The Secret Shopper's Revenge and Life and Laughing: My Story. Michael McIntyre

I have enjoyed all of these immensely. Lucy Dawson's His Other Lover was a brilliant cross between chick lit and a psychological thriller that I found myself listening to at every opportunity. The Secret Shopper's revenge was a longer listen, and kept me interested. I liked that there were several narrators to keep it interesting. Michael McIntyre's autobiography was great, narrated by the man himself and had me laughing out loud walking round the supermarket!

One thing these all have in common are British narrators. I think I find them easier to listen to as they are a bit more like my inner 'reading voice' in my head.

I have also listened to Darkling (Sisters of the Moon, Book 3) which is an American narrator but after the first hour or so, I had gotten past the accent and still enjoyed the book.

I'm glad I gave audiobooks another chance and am determined to keep listening to American narrators as well as British so I can listen to mix of genres. I've just signed up to an Open University course, so will have very little time for pleasure reading. Audiobooks are a great way to sneak books in when doing other tasks that you can't read a real book whilst doing- eg shopping, walking to work, housework.....

I'm listening to Kiss of Midnight (The Midnight Breed, Book 1) right now, so watch this space for a review!