Thursday, 29 November 2012

Shadows and Voices (Holly Silverstone #1)

Shadows & Voices (Holly Silverstone, #1)
By Jason Ellis  

These past few days I have become a very active facebook fan of many different awesome groups, one in particular has enabled me to meet a group of lovely, semi-crazy people, and so I feel right at home! (:

If it wasn't enough for me to get to know such a lovely group of people, I also get to review books for these talented authors, which is why you will soon see more and more reviews from me on my blog.

I have just finished reading 'Shadow & Voices' by the very talented Jason Ellis. 'Shadow' is a trending book title but I stress now that you Must remember Shadows & Voices, because this book is definitely worth a good read.

I could review this book from various perspectives as there are a few vital characters, all with their own individual stories but I think I will start with Holly.

Holly Silverstone has been accepted at The Highlands Academy of Truth and Excellence, which is only 15 minutes away from her home. Yet, Holly nor her family, have ever known of its existence before Holly received her interview letter, if you can call it that. The letter was written in ink that just appeared. And only Holly could read it. What's even more strange is that when Holly visits this Academy, it has the same blue door that she dreamt about. And they know about the butterflies. How can they know about the butterflies?

Packed with adventure, mystery and thought provoking ideas, this book involves you into Obscura (the 'hidden world'), mysteries surrounding the shadows and the most entertaining masked Geography teacher, Miss Ovissa Slater.

Shadow & Voices had me engaged right from the first chapter and I am disappointed in myself for finishing the story already. I want to know more about the shadows, the doors, the different worlds and most of all, I want to read more scenes with Ovissa and her unfortunate luck in attracting trouble!

Everyone, listen carefully. Jason Ellis is of the few that can create a bright spark in a mundane world. Watch out for him and give Shadow & Voices a read .You will see the world with a different eye.

Zed (:

Monday, 26 November 2012

Audio books: Yes or No.

Audiobooks: Yes or No

Driving on my way home from work. The radio in the background blasting out the same songs I'd heard for the past week, or had it been two weeks? How can the radio be so draining? Surely people must get bored listening to the same 'top' songs every day.

I love music but either I am getting old at 23 or I need to switch to a new radio station. Problem is, they all seem the same! And I kept thinking about the books I could have been reading if I could do the following: secure the steering wheel, change the gears, drink my chai latte and hold my ereader with both hands. I would also need to programme my eyes so one reads the book whilst the other looks out for obstacles I may crash into whilst driving. A lovely thought but I guess it wouldn't be very practical, or safe *sigh*. And so, my kindle had to be sacrificed :(

A mind-boggling thought occurred (quote: Roald Dahl) ...why don't I play an audiobook instead of listening to the radio where 9/10 of songs are not to my taste, and the news just depresses me? That way I get the best of both worlds!

Thanks to my local library, which provide a variety of free audio and ebooks available to download I added a few I would like to hear so when I am driving alone I would be kept entertained and not miss my kindle toooo much. 

Alas, my excitement was shortlived because....I am British. Which means that although I read many US/Canadian/Australian books, I always imagine the characters to have British accents! So you can picture my surprise when I hear a high pitched girly voice with an American accent! Please don't get me wrong I have nothing against other accents, in fact my favourite series are all american, such as Vampire Diaries (Damien *sigh*), 90210, Hart of Dixie etc etc.
But it is completely different to listen to the voices without having faces to match. 

It amazes me how one person can portray so many characters just by adapting their voice.
I have finished listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and am now listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, read by Stephen Fry. Seriously, that guy has some talent if he can change his voice to speak for Hagrid, Hermione and Ron in the one scene! What a Legend.

So overall, my experience is that audio books are great fun to listen to.... however...if I could have my way, I'd read my books on my Kindle all the way!

Zed (:

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Assembly Room by Bryony Allen

The Assembly Room

By Bryony Allen
I won this book in a rafflecopter giveaway on one of the many, many blogs I follow. I guess I'm one of those people that enter all the giveaways there are for fun but I never expect to win, yet this time I did! A free read from a British author, yay me!

Now, I have read a zillion books from fantastic American/Canadian/Australian authors but I always feel a little disappointed in the lack of British authors from my home country publishing in the YA fiction/paranormal/fantasy genre. Thankfully, we have J.K.Rowling, Roald Dahl (and I can't think of any others at the moment :S ). However, it was refreshing to read an ebook written by a British Author in the form of 'The Assembly Room'.

Whilst studying for an exam in the library I had that great feeling. You know, when you feel like you've worked sooo productively for the past hour, haven't checked your phone once (apart from when you look at the time) and think you deserve a well-earned break? Well, that's the feeling I had and so out came my Kindle with my newest addition; The Assembly Room.

I thought I would have a quick read for about 15minutes and then return to the books but somehow I could not stop reading. 15 minutes were over. Just another chapter, and another, and it continued like this until I completed the book by the end of the day.

This was quite strange for me since I read plenty of books but I have a tendency to begin a book, don't feel drawn into the story, so I then read another and forget to complete the last. Which, I know is very bad but I have a saying that if I don't enjoy a book, it is better to leave it than hate it. If the characters and story can't involve me into their world then I would prefer to visit someone elses. Furthermore, I don't read 'spooky' books, but this was The exception... 
*Spoiler Alert*
The story is about Merryn, a 14 year old who moves to the countryside and is haunted by the past of the town, particularly by the eerie feeling she gets around the Assembly Room. Mixed with Jamie, the cute and very attractive boy next door, her strange dreams, medieval witchcraft trials and the ghosts of the assembly room, this book has so much going on in it you will not want to put it down. I fear that if I keep going I will tell you the whole story, so I will let you decide what you think of it.
Give it a try, I'm sure you won't regret it!


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Days of Blood and Starlight review

Days of Blood and Starlight

By Laini Taylor

Overall, this book was Absolutely Amazing. Yes, with two capital 'A's.
I read the first book in this series (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) not long ago although it definitely feels like it has been a very long time, and to be honest I was surprised at such innovative ideas. I liked how it hooked the reader on, and usually I don't particularly like the heroines of paranormal/fantasy/YA fiction books because the girl tends to be portrayed as the fragile, damsel-in-distress type but Karou was definitely anything but. A character of her own, not to mention her blue hair. 

After Book 1 I knew that Book 2 had a lot of expectations to live up to and I am glad to say it most certainly did. I seemed to fly through the book, which was good in that it did not distract me in my revision toooo much. However, it did mean that the book ended that much sooner. So now, I need to fill my time with other books (and revision) and try not to think too much about what the next book will hold...

*Spoiler Alert*
The only part I must say I was a leeetle bit disappointed in was that Brimstone did not return. Yes, I know what happened at the end of Book 1 but I still expected him to somehow (magicly?) reappear :(
But no worries, perhaps in book 3 he may do so, atleast that's what I'm hoping on...

Definitely well worth reading. If there is just one more book you intend to read in 2012 make sure it's this one!