Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong - Review

Hi all.

As the title suggests, this is a review for The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I have been wanting to read the Darkest Powers trilogy for a while now, and after downloading the first chapter onto my Kindle and giving it a quick read, I made the investment to my sanity by downloading all three at once. I know how difficult it can be to wait for new books to be released in a series so I thought I would just bite the bullet and buy them all, and I am so glad I did!

(I have done something a bit different here, by including a summary of the book so you can know what I am talking about. Let me know if you like this, or if I should stick to just my review.)

Summary courtesy of Amazon:

"The first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy - a brand new series by bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager - the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be normal again. Soon ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she's admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients - charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek; obnoxious Tori; and Rae, who has a 'thing' for fire - Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn't your usual 'problem kid' behaviour. And they're about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either ..."

So what did I think of it?: It was good!

With a much younger protagonist than the books of the Women of the Otherworld series, I had my reservations if I would enjoy it as much. But they were defiantly not founded. Armstrong has a talent for creating well rounded characters, and this was no exception. It encapsulates a confused teenage mind in such a well articulated way it was a pleasure to read. 

At times I did find myself guessing what made each character unique within the book, and 99% of the time my guesses were correct. Without giving too much away, Armstrong is a fantasy writer and she doesn't fail to provide that familiar supernatural flair.

This book really does get better towards the middle, the first half can be a little tedious with Chloe, the protagonist, explaining her predicament and her surroundings. Yet as I always, after a few too many late nights thanks to not being able to prise my Kindle from my hands, the book came to a gob-smacking conclusion. 

I want to be able to say I saw it coming, and it was predictable, but to be honest it was a really nice surprise ending. 

I am gagging to get reading the next book, The Awakening but with other reading commitments and a mountain of university work I am saving it for a treat. But one I will be tempted to start everyday!


Thanks for reading,

Rie xx

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Cornerstone by Nick Spalding Review

Hey all,

Just wanted to do a super short review on the first ever full length book I have read on my Kindle.

I downloaded the book out of a gift card I got for my birthday - as it was it was recommend for me by Amazon, and was a bargain at 99p.

I struggled to identify with the main character, being a young teenage boy, and found his humour, well, rather young teen! But I soon fell in love with Max's wit and charm as I kept reading and it turned into a real little page turner towards the end.

It also really made me think about the power of books and knowledge, and how lucky we are to have the skills to read and write. I loved the apt irony of the stories narrative whilst only being released as an eBook - and the accessibility of its writting style. I wonder what the Cornerstone would make of the book in terms of power?

Overall despite a shaky start with the book, I really immersed myself into the Chapter Lands and finished the book in a button clicking fury to reach the end. I think I will keep an eye out for any other books by Nick Spalding, as I learned to enjoy his humour.

4/5 (lost a mark because it was not for my age group)

Thanks for reading,

Rie xx

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Kindle Review

I know that Kindle’s have been out for a while now, but I received mine as a birthday present at the end of October and wanted to play around with it for a few weeks to let you know what I thought.

I initially asked for the original Kindle, now called Kindle Keyboard, for my birthday present before the new one came out. I have been umming and ahhing about e-readers for quite some time and finally decided to have a go. However when it came to my parents ordering it, they got me the new Kindle and I am so glad they did. 

I won’t bore you with the stats of the reader as they are easily available on the Amazon website. But I just wanted to let you know what I think of its features, and also what my friends and family have said about it when having a quick play.

The look and feel of the reader is lovely! It fits easily in one hand and is super light making it easy to read and hold. Whenever people have seen me using it they always go “is that a Kindle… its sooo small!” and it surprising how compact it really is.

In terms of usability it did take a little longer than I expected to really get to grips with all the controls. The 5 way controller works logically but it can be difficult to use the search features especially the keyboard. Having said this finding and downloading books was really fast, so it was not such a big issue. 

I have to mention here that I have never played with a Kindle before, I had simply read the specs, and heard a lot about them so as a big reader I decided I needed to have one! I found page turning buttons on the sides of the screen are really easy to use, and I picked up their function and how to use the without even thinking, yet when others pick it up and see then struggling to get to grips with the concept. 

Just a soft pull down on the keys turns the page, but nearly every person who has had a look at it attempts to push the button into the side of the kindle exclaiming “these buttons are a bit stiff” and “they don’t even work Marie – have you broken it already!”. A simple demo is all it takes to clear the confusion in 9/10 cases, yet my boyfriend still hasn’t got to grips with it! Whereas I think they are slightly too easy to use, with me accidently skipping pages whilst adjusting my position whilst reading!

The screen has to be my favourite part. It actually does read like paper. Super easy on the eyes I have found myself on more than one occasion reading for hours into the night seamlessly flicking pages. There is a small flash when the pages turn, but I didn’t notice after the first 2 pages. The background images are really cool too. If I didn’t know otherwise I would think they were pencil drawings – really showing of the screens quality. There is so many too! I have been using it every day for 2 weeks and I swear I have just seen one I haven’t seen before.

The paper like quality of the screen is not really
given justice in this photo! This extract is from
 Nick Spalding's 'The Conerstone'

The images appear to be randomly selected,
but this is my favourite one.
I haven’t been taking it out and about much of late; due to the case my brother kindly ordered me a case from Amazon, which was out of stock and has taken over a month to arrive. But I have to have everything in lime green and I hope it will be worth the wait! In the mean time I have been storing it in its box which is equally compact.

The sample feature is also been really good. I have been able to download the first chapter of every book I have wanted to read, but never sure if it was going to be for me. After all it was blurb on the back of a Kelley Armstrong book I read once in Waterstones that lead a whole lot of my friends to purchase (and fall in love with) the entire Women of the Otherworld series. And it was the first chapter I downloaded of Charlaine HarrisDead Until Dark on Kindle for PC that made me go a buy the entire set. I think this might be a costly habit!!

Overall I think I am in love. Heavy books no more I am a reader of a super light, and super stylish Kindle. I don’t think I will ever run out of space, but with cloud storage you never need to worry about losing your books, or even your page.

4.5/5 (it lost a 0.5 because it is fuelling my book worm habit!)

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie xx