Review: Rags & Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Rags & Bones ed. by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

Title: Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Editors: Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
Genre: Re-telling, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Headline (13th March 2014)
Blurb:

A unique short-story collection from the most unique imaginations.

There are some stories as timeless as they are involving.

There are some authors who can tell any story.

In RAGS & BONES, award-winning and bestselling authors retell classic fairytales and twisted tales in the way that only they can. With magic and passion they bring these stories – whether much loved or forgotten – back to life.

Read ‘Sleeping Beauty‘ as only Neil Gaiman can tell it. See ‘Rumpelstiltskin‘ through the eyes of Kami Garcia. And hear of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would Be King‘ from the inimitable Garth Nix.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

RAGS & BONES is a collection of short stories that are retellings of works which mean something to the author. The collection contains re-imaginings of fairy tales as well as stories inspired by works of literature like Kipling’s THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING or Spenser’s THE FAERIE QUEENE. Each contributor adds an interesting twist to the work that inspired them. Contributors include the editors Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, as well as Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, and Kami Garcia.

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ICYMI Sunday 8 – The One Where The Book Ban Imploded

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

This week has been both a fun and sucky week. The first couple of days of the week I didn’t feel partiuclarly well, so I didn’t get a lot of reading or blogging done. On the Wednesday I travelled down to London for The London Book Fair, and had a fantastic time – I got to say hi to Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, and I had a little wander of London itself and I may have stopped off at a few bookshops. After the London trip I have been exhausted, and I also have myself a nice little rash which I have to have a blood test for *sigh*. So yeah, this week has been both sucky and fun 🙂

On the blog this week:

What else is going on?

  • Rosamund Hodge author of CRUEL BEAUTY announced a new book deal – a two book retelling of ROMEO AND JULIET. You can find more info here.
  • On YA Interrobang Nicole Brinkley talks about the importance of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel SPEAK almost fifteen years after its publication.
  • Penguin Books UK has been nominated in the Social: Arts & Culture category of the Webby Awards. You can find out more (and vote) here.
  • Gollancz has secured the World Rights to publish illustrated diaries celebrating Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD. You can find out more and see the gorgeous cover here.
  • The Guardian has teamed up with Legend Times to offer an all-new monthly literary prize for self-published novels. For more information and how to enter follow the linkie.
  • TED and Simon & Shuster have agreed to co-publish a 12-book collection of TED books with one book published every one-to-two months from September 2014. For more info click here.
  • The Guardian in their Children’s books section has an interview with Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury author and illustrator of WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT which has been in publication for 25 years.
  • Anthony Horowitz is again writing in the world, of the world’s great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes in his new book MORIARTY set to be published on October 23rd. You can find more info here.
  • Nominations are now open for the Queen of Teen Award, you can find out more info and how to nominate here. Nominations must be in by April 29th.
  • BBC Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour will feature J. K. Rowling as a guest editor – the first in 60 years – during “takeover week”. You can find out more info here.
  • Scholastic have launched The Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing which is open to unpublished authors of books for children aged between 7 and 12. For more info and how to enter follow the linkie.
  • The Independent reports that forty leading writers have sent the UK’s Secretary of State for Justice protest postcards with the names of the book that they would most like to send to a prisoner. You can find out more and the suggested titles here.
  • Sue Townsend the author of THE DIARIES OF ADRIAN MOLE has died you can find The Guardian’s obituary for her here.

There are a couple of new awards that were announced this week which I think sound potentially interesting for those who write. I loved the WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT interview, I have fond memories of my Mum reading me that book as a child. J. K. Rowling being a guest editor on Woman’s Hour also sounds like it could be interesting, so I will have to keep an ear out for that. I was sad to hear about the death of Sue Townsend, although I have to confess I’ve never read any of her books.

As the title of this post suggests, my book buying ban has kind of imploded…

London and its gorgeous wonderful bookstores got to me. I visited Waterstones Piccadilly, Foyles, and Forbidden Planet. I promised myself I would only buy five books max… I came home with fourteen. Oops!

  • NIGHT BROKEN (A MERCY THOMPSON NOVEL, 8) by Patricia Briggs
  • RISING DARKNESS (A GAME OF SHADOWS NOVEL, 1) by Thea Harrison
  • KINKED (AN ELDER RACES NOVEL, 6) by Thea Harrison
  • FANTASY LOVER (DARK HUNDER 0.5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • DARK LOVER (A BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD NOVEL, 1) by J. R. Ward

  • MURDER OF CROWS (A NOVEL OF THE OTHERS, 2) by Anne Bishop
  • DARK VISION by Debbie Johnson
  • RAGS & BONES edited by Melissa Marr & Tim Pratt
  • STOLEN SONGBIRD (THE MALEDICTION TRILOGY, 1) by Danielle L. Jensen {review}

  • BATTLE MAGIC (THE CIRCLE REFORGED, 3) by Tamora Pierce
  • INTO THE STILL BLUE (UNDER THE NEVER SKY, 3) by Veronica Rossi
  • THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE (THE THRONE OF GLASS, 0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
  • SEA OF SHADOWS (AGE OF LEGENDS, 1) by Kelley Armstrong
  • FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

What can I say?! They all looked so pretty, and most of them were continuations of series that I’m reading. The few that aren’t I got because I had heard a LOT of good things about them on a lot of blogs, and I wanted to see for myself if they lived up to the hype.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

Top Ten Tuesday (24)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

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This weeks Top Ten topic is …

Top Ten Nine Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

My list includes books that are coming out between June and August, as well as books that I want to read during the summer. The list is made up of a mixture of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books. As always blurbs are taken from Goodreads.com and the release dates are according to Amazon.co.uk.

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun [Goodreads]

A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD

A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED

Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

I’m actually currently reading this book as I managed to get a copy via NetGalley 🙂 I think the cover is gorgeous, and the concept of the book is really interesting. It’s released in the UK on 5th July 2013.

Doll Bones by Holly Black [Goodreads]

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

This book is already released, and there is in fact a copy of it sitting in my TBR pile. I really liked some of Holly Black’s books so I thought I would give this one a try as it sounds quite spooky.

Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton [Goodreads]

Micah is called back home by his estranged family, because his father, a county sheriff, has been attacked and is terribly injured. Anita and Nathaniel are going with him for moral support and to meet his family under very trying circumstances.

Micah has been estranged from his family for a decade, deliberately turning his back on them to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led his leopard pack. But now Micah’s father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita—who understands zombies better than anyone—knows there’s more to it than that. While zombies have unlovable traits, being one doesn’t cause human beings to rot in agony. She needs to solve that mystery—but now a more immediate issue is pressing: Micah’s father may have only five days to live.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to reading this Anita book. I think it will be interesting to finally know a little more about Micah’s family and actually get to see them. It’s released in the UK on 2nd July 2013.

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr [Goodreads]

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

I already own a copy of this, but I am looking forward to diving into this. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and I really enjoyed Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series so I thought it might be fun to try this book written by both of them.

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan and as she has recently finished her brilliant Women of the Otherworld series I thought I would try her new one. Oh, and I really love the cover It is released in the UK on 20th August 2013.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smitih [Goodreads]

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.

I have a copy of this already sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. I’ve heard some really good things about both the author and the book itself, so I’m interested to see if it lives up to the hype.

US cover

Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill [Goodreads]

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

I’m really loving this series. Merit is a brilliant character, and I love the way vampires and politics are handled in this series. It comes out in the UK on 8th August 2013.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein [Goodreads]

Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp, Rose’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

This is already out and sitting on my shelf. I loved Code Name Verity when it came out, so I’m hoping that this book will live up to my expectations!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas [Goodreads]

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass when it came out last year, and thought Celaena was a kick-ass character. I cannot wait to see what Mass has done with this book. I also think the cover looks gorgeous. It comes out in the UK on 15th August 2013.

I cannot believe that I have come up with a list of just nine again – sorry!

What are the top ten books on your summer TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below, or link back to your Top Ten post so I can see what makes your list.

Review: Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Title: Faery Tales & Nightmares
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher:  HarperCollins (1st March 2012)
Blurb:

Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments, light and dark.

Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from under the seas, or manifest for seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention – amorous or sinister intent – relentlessly.

Takes of favourite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with . . . or fear.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review:

Faery Tales & Nightmares is a collection of short stories by Melissa Marr, some of which are set in her Wicked Lovelyuniverse – answering questions that weren’t answered in the books – whilst others are of new characters and places. There are twelve stories in total in the collection.

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Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Graveminder by Melissa Marr, UK edition cover.

Title: Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Harper (2nd February 2012)
Blurb:

Claysville.
Normal towns don’t lure you back.

Maylene Barrow and William Montgomery have for years borne special responsibilities in the town of Claysville. Duties to the newly departed that help keep their living loved ones safe.

Rebekkah Barrow, Maylene’s granddaughter, left Claysville a decade ago, trying to put painful memories behind her. But evil has been let loose in Claysville and now Maylene is dead. It falls to Rebekkah to return to the town – and the man – she left behind to stop a monster and keep the dead in their place.

Byron Montgomery, following in his father’s footsteps, is the town’s new undertaker, and the man now bears his own special responsibility – to help Rebekkah. He is also the man she left behind.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Review:

Graveminder is Melissa Marr’s first adult book; she wrote the fantastic Wicked Lovely series of YA novels. It is the first stand-alone novel I have had the pleasure of reading for a while – and I really enjoyed the fact that there is a complete story told from beginning to end in three hundred and twenty-four pages.

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Melissa Marr – Faery Tales, Nightmares, & Graveminders Competition

Graveminder by Melissa Marr, UK edition cover.

In case you didn’t know, on her LiveJournal Melissa Marr is holding a give-away of 6 books – Graveminder US and UK paperbacks are up for grabs, as well as Faery Tales & Nightmaresis US hardback.

Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

If you are interested in taking part in the contest, or just want to find out more, then follow the link: http://melissa-writing.livejournal.com/413823.html

Graveminder was published 2nd February 2012 in the UK.
Faery Tales & Nightmares will be published 1st March 2012 in the UK.

You can find out more about both book my visiting Melissa Marr’s website.