Friday, 30 December 2011

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong Review

Being the Christmas break means I have been able to get a lot of reading done of late, and I have devoured the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong rather quickly. The Reckoning is the third and most recently released novel of the collection which follows the adventures of Chloe Saunders and her friends as they discover their supernatural powers.

Summary courtesy of Amazon:

The nail-biting climax to Kelley Armstrong’s bestselling YA series.Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. First of all, she happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are on the run from the evil corporation who created them. To top it all, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf. Definitely not normal...

This series gets better with every instalment. No need for me to rave about Kelley Armstrong, as we all know she is a goddess of supernatural fiction so we know it is superbly written. Yet, if you have read my reviews for the previous two books The Summoning and The Awakening you will know I have struggled with the similarities with her other more adult supernatural series, but I really feel like I really understood this series for the first time. I don't want to give too much away but it really works. 

For newcomers to the series, those who loved the previous two books or worshippers of Armstrong alike will adore this book. It has everything you need I a good narrative, well rounded characters, mystery, romance and action. Albeit for the teen audience, yet this is very well done. 

My only gripe is that I wanted to pick Chloe Saunders out my Kindle and shake her. The confused lust filled mind of a teenager has never promised to work logically, but this girl doesn't half erm and ah. But these things have a way of working out. 

I can finally give this series, and its latest instalment what it deserves... 5/5!

Great integration with other series, written for all audiences to enjoy and a fantastic read. 

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x 

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong Review

This is the second book in the Darkest Powers series that moves seamlessly from the last page of The Summoning to the first page of this engaging teen supernatural novel.

Summary courtesy of Amazon:
“Chloe Saunders used to be a normal teenage girl - or so she thought. Then she learned the shocking truth - she is a walking science experiment. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister group of scientists known as the Edison Group, Chloe is an aberration - a powerful necromancer who can see ghosts and even raise the dead, often with terrifying consequences. Even worse, her growing powers have made her a threat to the surviving members of the Edison Group, who have decided it’s time to end their experiment - permanently . . .Now Chloe is running for her life with three other supernatural teenagers - a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom - but can Chloe trust her new friends?”

As I have said in all my other Kelley Armstrong book reviews, I am a huge fan of this Canadian author. An effortless read and real page turner, well rounded characters and an engaging narrative make this book a must read for all lovers of supernatural fiction. Having said this, as I am very familiar with her work, I saw the conventions of her invented supernatural races much before they may have been obvious to new comers to the author.

Despite this, a number of times whilst reading the book I found myself blaming their challenges on a dramatized metaphor for puberty, but after reading a number of other reviews I have to agree learning that you can bring dead people back to their bodies while you are sleeping are more than the average struggles of a hormone riddled teen.

Overall I do love this series, and this instalment in particular, but it is for a younger audience. I quote my good friend Sam Crossley when talking about the series as a whole: “they are good, a bit teen occasionally, but that is the audience after all”. Despite this, we both finished this book in record time, myself in just under two days and moved straight on to the next one.

I have really struggled not giving this 5/5 but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as other books I have read.

4/5 (lower that the first book for the pure reason I am trying to avoid half marks)

Thanks for reading,

Rie xx

Read my review of the first book 'The Summoning' here.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Kindle All-Stars Presents: Resistance Front

I recently managed to get my hands on a really exciting Kindle book, Resistance Front a little early so I could pre-read and let you all know what I think. 

A creation by Bernard J. Schaffer, Resistance Front is a collection of sci-fi, fiction, fantasy, horror short stories (which he calls "speculative fiction" a term I was unfamiliar with before) all by independent authors. You can find out more on the collections website.

I came across this book relatively blind to its motives and tone but I am so glad I got the chance to tell you guys how great it is! 

Released today this book is a great price at just 86p, with all profits going to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. 

As you will know I love anything fantasy-fiction and this collection has really opened my eyes up to a host of other authors to look out for. So rather than giving you a very long a tedious intro to all the stories I will point out some of the ones to look out for.

The ones I enjoyed reading the most:
  • Color Forest by Robin Reed
    I think this has to be my favourite story in the collection. I have never read anything like this before, and it can be best described as a utopian/dystopian fictional tale of a color changing forest. It may not be the most dramatic or action packed short story, but after I finished the book and began to make notes about what I wanted to say in this post, this was the one story that stuck in my mind despite it being relatively early in the book. Its comments on the nature of relationships, commitment and marriage in particular had me thinking and was a pleasure to read. 
  • A Certain Doorway by Keri Knutson
    This book is very different in comparison to my other choice. Yet I enjoyed it equally, I just really want to read more. I saw the end as a real cliff hanger, defiantly one to look out for. 
  • A Gene Priest by B Throwsnaill
    The topic of this one is defiantly a thorny issue and I think you can tell that by the title. Genetic modification and religion are always a potent mix. Ethical issues up to the hilt and a thoroughly good read. Yet I couldn't help but think: 'I hope this is an accurate prediction of our future'.
The ones I found a bit weird:
  • Wheelchair Fight by Matt Posner
    I didn't really like the action of Fight Club either, so maybe not my cup of tea. This was defiantly a bit weird and I'm sure my face would have been a picture when I finished this short piece. 
  • The Shroudmaker by Angela McConnell
    Really did not see the end of this one coming! I enjoyed reading about the skills of Shroudmaker's but the ending really threw me.
  • Burden of an Innocent Lady by Dwaipayan Regmi
    This was one of the only ones where the writing style was my only hang-up. I felt that the style was just really impersonal and I didn't really connect with it despite its powerful narrative. 

Overall I give the book 4/5 - it is a great collection of short stories for a very reasonable price by I have to admit I did skip some whilst reading.

Don't have a Kindle? Details of the paperback release will be given on Facebook and Twitter soon. 

Thanks for reading, 

Love Rie x