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Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

April 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Clariel by Garth Nix

Title: Clariel (The Old Kingdom Series, 4)
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (2nd October 2014)
Blurb:

The beautiful royal city of Belisaere is the jewel in the crown of the Old Kingdom. Its citizens are wealthy, refined and noble. They are also dangerous, cruel and riddled with corruption . . .

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to city life. She yearns to be roaming free in the forest, not continually making mistakes in this new city filled with courtiers, false flattery, secrets and endless rules of propriety.

Then Clariel’s destiny takes an unexpected turn. A dangerous Free Magic creature is stalking Belisaere. Is it coincidence that the creature has arrived at the same time as her family? Or is this a warning that the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr are crumbling? Clariel aches to escape this dangerous, cloistered world, and the burden of responsibility that comes with it – but when your path calls, can you disobey?

The highly anticipated prequel to Garth Nix’s bestselling Old Kingdom trilogy.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

Set within the same world as Garth Nix’s OLD KINGDOM trilogy, CLARIEL tells the story of a  seventeen-year-old girl whose family moves from Estwael and the Great Forest to the capital of The Old Kingdom, Belisaere. Clariel is not happy with the move to help further her mother’s career, and longs to return home but events within Belisaere are coming to a head, and Clariel finds herself caught up in them.

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Review: The Sleeper And The Spindle by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

February 5, 2015 Leave a comment

The Sleeper And The Spindle by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Title: The Sleeper And The Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Genre: Fairy Tale, Re-Telling, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury (23rd October 2014)
Blurb:

IT WAS THE CLOSEST KINGDOM TO THE QUEEN’S, AS THE CROW FLIES, BUT NOT EVEN CROWS FLEW IT.

You may think you know this story. There’s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumour has it, to sleep forever.

But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE is a beautifully illustrated adaptation of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It combines the talents of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell to create a haunting and beautiful world and story, with Riddell’s illustrations adding an extra dimension to Gaiman’s words. Together, Gaiman and Riddle create a rich and enchanting fairy tale. Beware, there’s no Disneyfication here!

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Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

January 15, 2015 Leave a comment
Isla and the Happily Ever After Book Cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne (14th August 2014)
Blurb:

The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!” His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER brings Stephanie Perkins trilogy of interweaving stories to its conclusion. First we meet Anna in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (review), and then we meet Lola in LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR (review), and now, finally, we are introduced to Isla in ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. We have already met Isla briefly in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, but now she gets her own story. Isla has had a crush on Josh for a long time; now in her senior year, after a chance encounter, she might finally have a chance. But will she get her happily-ever-after?

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Review: Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

January 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Title: Black Dog
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (6th February 2014)
Blurb:

Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic and protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs.

Before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them and their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.

They must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

BLACK DOG tells the story of Natividad, a Pure, and her two brothers – Alejandro and Miguel – as they flee their home after the death of their parents to try and find sanctuary with the Dimilioc. But Dimilioc is not welcoming of strangers, and only desperation and their father’s words drives Natividad and her brothers there. All the while their enemies continue pursuing them.

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Review: Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs

December 27, 2014 1 comment

Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs

Title: Autumn Rose (The Dark Heroine, 2)
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperVoyager (30th January 2014)
Blurb:

Her fate is set in stone . . .

Autumn Rose lives in a sleepy seaside town in the south-west of England, but buried deep under the surface of her quiet life are dark secrets. Swirling marks on her skin mark her out as having extraordinary power, but at school she is shunned and condemned by the very people she is sworn to protect.

The appearance of a handsome young man at her school – who has the same curious markings as Autumn Rose – sends her world into turmoil. Plus, there is the fact that Autumn keeps dreaming of a human girl who is about to be seduced by a very dark Prince . . . and Autumn must figure out how to save her before it is too late.

The exhilarating sequel to The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire, the incredible online sensation.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

AUTUMN ROSE by Abigail Gibbs is the second book in THE DARK HEROINE series. It narrates the story of Autumn Rose a Sage who lives in a sleepy seaside town in south-west England but attends school in London, where she acts as a guardian to protect the pupils and teachers of the school.

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Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

December 13, 2014 Leave a comment

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (7th August 2014)
Source: Won on Twitter from @ScholasticUK
Blurb:

Lara Jean’s love life is about to go from imaginary to out of control.

Laura Jean Song keeps love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her – one for every boy she’s ever loved. She can say anything she wants, because the letters are for her eyes only. Until the day they’re sent out . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han is a standalone novel, which follows the story of Lara Jean Song. Lara Jean is the middle sister of three sisters who live with their Dad, their mother died when they were younger. In a hat box gifted to her by her mother, Lara Jean keeps a collection of love letters to boys that she has loved. Then one day the letters that were meant for her eyes only get posted.

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Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

December 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Title: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, 5)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (29th July 2014)
Blurb:

TWO LOVERS, TORN APART . . .

THEIR WORLD HAS BEEN DESTROYED . NOW SYDNEY AND ADRIAN ARE STRUGGLING TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO EACH OTHER. BUT, FIRST, THEY MUST SURVIVE.

Sydney is trapped and surrounded by enemies. Every day is a struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian is told to forget Sydney, but he won’t give up hope – though old demons and temptations are beginning to taunt him.

Their worst fears have become a chilling reality. Sydney and Adrian are facing their darkest hour yet . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

SILVER SHADOWS is the fifth book in Richelle Mead’s epic BLOODLINES series. It continues the story of Alchemist Sydney Sage and Moroi Adrian Ivashkov as they fight to be together in a world that wants to pull them apart.

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