Upcoming book releases Autumn 2017
Miscellaneous / August 20, 2017

Hello, now that summer is drawing to a close, we’re coming into prime book release time.  As usual, I have a metric tonne of books about whose release I am super excited.  Some of these are continuations of series in which I am already invested, some are new series from authors I love and some are reissues of old favourites.  So, let’s get into it, shall we? To kick off, I was really excited by the recent news that Raymond E.Feist has managed to resolve the ebook rights issue for North America.  While most of his newer works have been released in ebook, his earlier novels have so far been unavailable in my preferred format.  This will all change on August 22nd when his Riftwar saga as well as his Empire trilogy with Janny Wurts will be released as ebooks.  I understand audiobook format will follow later this year.  Although I have read all of these, I am very happy to add them to my collection.  I consider Feist a true master storyteller and if you are not familiar with his work, this is a great opportunity to get started.  Be aware, though,that the series does have a somewhat slow…

Reading roundup – November 12th 2016
Audiobook reviews , Reading Roundup / November 13, 2016

Hello and welcome to another reading roundup.  Since my last roundup I have read two pretty good books which I’d like to share with you. [book-info]I received an Advance Reader Copy of The Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott at BEA.  It’s been on my TBR for a while, but it’s only recently I read it.  The Poisoned Blade is the second book in a planned trilogy (I believe) and continues the story of Jessamy, a young woman caught between two cultures whose passion in life is playing the game of Fives.  In this second book, Jes is drawn into court politics and has to deal with the fallout of her decisions in book one.  I listened to The Poisoned Blade in audiobook format and very much enjoyed Georgia Dolenz’s narration. What I liked The characters.  I really liked our protagonist, Jessamy.  Her conflicts between her love for the Fives, her need to protect her family, the limitations placed on her by her heritage and her affection for Kal were expertly written.   The pacing.  The Poisoned Blade didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome at all.  There were enough conficts and resolutions to keep me well satisfied.  I will certainly be…

Back home from Chicago and Book Expo America!
Miscellaneous / May 15, 2016

So, as I’ve mentioned in my blog before, this year I attended BEA (Book Expo America) in Chicago.  As my books are being shipped, this is not my official BEA book haul – expect that one in a week to ten days! This was the first time I have attended, and I was both a little nervous and excited.  Although I’ve heard it described as San Diego Comic Con for booklovers, it is a trade show for those in the publishing industry as well as those involved in promoting books through blogs.  Now, I’m passionate about books, but this blog is pretty small fish compared to some and at first, I admit I felt somewhat overwhelmed and, to be honest, a bit of a fraud.  I found myself thinking, I don’t work in publishing should I really be here getting all these free books?  That lasted for about two hours! It was a great experience meeting some fantastic authors, checking out all the awesome upcoming releases and chatting with like minded bookworms.  Note to self: when waiting in line to meet famous authors, take the time to Wiki their last book if it’s been more than a few months since I…

Most anticipated reads of 2016 and other news
Miscellaneous / January 3, 2016

My last entry talked about my favourite books of 2015, so now it’s time to talk about my most anticipated books of 2016. Passenger is the latest book by Alexandra Bracken.  it is the start of a new YA series and is billed as a YA treasure hunt through time.  I really loved Bracken’s Darkest Minds series, so this sounds like a real winner to me.  The publisher has released a sampler, which I encourage you to check out.  Passenger is officially released in just a few days on January 5th 2016. This is the first book in a new series by Mortal Instruments writer Cassandra Clare.  It is set in the same world of the Shadowhunters but the action takes place in Los Angeles.  At first, I’d been a little sceptical of the setting; the older cities of London and New York seemed a more natural fit for vampires and demons than sunny Los Angeles.  However, the last book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, functioned as much as a setup for this new series, introducing characters, locations and possible plotlines in the new series, and I am 100% convinced now.  I will certainly be devouring Lady…

Reading catchup part 3 – December 5th 2015
Reading Roundup / November 19, 2015

The final part of my reading catchup series in which I discuss Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Winter by Marissa Meyer and Soundless by Richelle Mead. [book-info]Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a new series set in the same world as her Grisha Trilogy, which I loved.  One of Bardugo’s strengths as a writer is her worldbuilding – and that continues in this new outing.  Instead of a Russianesque setting, the action moves to a place reminiscent of Amsterdam in its Golden Age.  The characters were interesting, but in an ensemble book like this, they aren’t always given the time to be as fully developed as a single protagonist novel.  I look forward to seeing where the series goes and will certainly keep up with it. I gave Six of Crows four stars out of five. [book-info number=1]Winter by Marissa Meyer is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series and was one of my most anticipated reads of the year.  This final book was loosely based on the Snow White fairytale and tells the story of Princess Winter of Luna as well as continuing the stories of Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and their attempt to…

Fairest – Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer – Review
Audiobook reviews , Book Reviews / February 3, 2015

Fairest – Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer is a prequel to her fairytale reimagining series The Lunar Chronicles.  It provides the backstory to series antagonist Queen Levana Blackburn of Luna.  If you are new to The Lunar Chronicles, PLEASE don’t start with this book – go read Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and then come back to it.  It will be more engaging in that way. This book is a very focussed character study of Queen Levana and how she turned from a naive, self absorbed young girl into the tyrant our heroines are trying to depose.  There is little in the way of worldbuilding or major plot development.  It remains mostly confined to the Lunar Royal Palace. What I liked Character development.  This is the focus of the book and is excellently done.  We follow Levana’s progression from a self absorbed, naive young girl to the vicious despot of the later books. I appreciated how each step and decision she took along that path was small and logical at the time but each developed her character as it turned out to be.  I found her an interesting character, and at many points she gained my sympathy for what she went…

Reading Roundup – January 30th 2015
Uncategorized / January 30, 2015

The big news this week is that I have finally managed to track down a Kindle Voyage to purchase – yay!  It’s not available in Canada, and it’s been out of stock on Amazon.com for weeks.  I managed to order one from Best Buy so this weekend I will be making my yearly pilgrimage across the border to pick it up.  It does really annoy me that Amazon always delays selling it to Canada when the UK and German markets get it at the same time as the US.  Anyway, that’s my rant this week.   I have chosen to pay extra this time and include 3G connectivity.  The main reason I’m doing this is because I read on my Kindle a lot away from home – busses, cafes, the break room at lunch – and I’m missing the fact that it doesn’t then update my reading progress.  This means that Whispersync for Voice doesn’t always update and work the way it should.  I’m hoping that the 3g always on connectivity will help with that.  Yes, I know, I could always connect to a WiFi network but I don’t always bother if I”m just having a quick 10 minute read….

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Audiobook reviews , Book Reviews / February 12, 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer is the third in the Lunar Chronicles series and is loosely based on the Rapunzel fairytale.  It also continues the stories of Cinder and Scarlet, the heroines of the first two novels based on Cinderella and Red Riding Hood respectively.   Cress is quite a different kind of protagonist to Cinder and Scarlet who are both rather feisty and capable.  This fits very well with the Rapunzel backstory; like her fairytale counterpart, Cress has spent the majority of her life isolated from human contact and the world in general and when the girls and their guys break her out she is naturally very uncertain and rather naive.  One of the themes of the fairytale is leaving parental (over)protection and going out into the world despite all its dangers and this is seen in Cress.  Once again Meyer has woven in the main storybeats of the original fairytale – maiden, trapped in a tower, wicked witch, prince blinded – but has given them a very original twist in her retelling. What I liked Cress’s characterisation.  Despite being less kickass than Cress or Scarlet, Cress still has her strengths more so as she gains in confidence.  Certainly, she…

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Review
Audiobook reviews , Book Reviews / December 23, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second in The Lunar Chronicles series and is loosely based on the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood.  The narrative is split between continuing the story of Cinder from the first book and following Scarlet as she attempts to find and rescue her kidnapped grandmother. What I liked Strong, intelligent protagonist.  Scarlet, like the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, is a spirited, feisty young heroine and a lot of fun to read.  I enjoyed her story and watching her learn about her grandmother’s secrets.  I was amused that at the end both of the male protagonists were out of commission and it was up to the ladies to save the day. Intriguing love interest.  The character of Wolf was very well written.  Meyer deliberately keeps the character’s motivations unclear right until the very end and the way Meyer fulfilled the fairytale’s wolf role was masterfully done. There are probably fewer iconic moments to bring over from Little Red Riding Hood – the red cape of course, “what big eyes you have, grandma” and both of those do make an appearance.  I loved the way Meyer brought those and the wolves into her narrative –…

Reading Roundup – Friday 13th December 2013
Reading Roundup / December 13, 2013

One book I added to my library recently was The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith.  This is the book on which the movie Philomena is based; it’s the story of a middle aged Irish woman who is looking for her son having been forced to give him up for adoption as a teenager.  The film stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and is excellent.  Indeed, Dench has been nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for her role as the titular Philomena.  For me though, the real surprise was Coogan – who not only starred in the movie as but co-wrote the screenplay.  In Philomena, Coogan plays Sixsmith, the journalist who helps Philomena trace what happened to her son. In general, I’m not a fan of Coogan in comic mode, but he played excellently against Judi Dench and their growing friendship was one of the real highlights of the movie. Although I’ve not read the book, the first few chapters I have read were very interesting and well written.  That is hardly surprising as Sixsmith is a former BBC journalist. As I’m starting three weeks of nightshifts next week I have been…