Monday, 30 January 2012

City of the Falling Sky by Joseph Evans - Book Review

I began reading this book last Tuesday and stayed up a lot longer than anticipated. Four hours of reading later the only thing that stopped me from going on was falling asleep with a Kindle on my face, and I knew this was going to be a good book.

Summary Courtesy of Amazon: When Seckry Sevenstars is forced out of his village by the greedy Endrin Corporation and relocated to the daunting metropolis of Skyfall City, he harbours resentment for the company and vows to get them back one day for taking away his home, his school and his friends.

Fortunately, the marvels of the city do a good job in distracting Seckry from his anger and homesickness, and it isn’t long before he’s competing at Friction (the city’s most popular multiplayer video game), slurping awe-inspiring multicoloured milkshakes, and getting butterflies on his first date.

Then, when a mysterious email asks Seckry to break into the headquarters of the Endrin Corporation and steal a container full of worms for a hefty sum of money, his anger resurfaces, and he can’t resist the revenge he promised himself.

Alone at night, Seckry creeps through the sewers whilst wondering what experiments Endrin might be doing on the worms, and emerges into the silent complex. But the worms aren’t the only thing that he finds. Staring at him through the darkness, with wide, innocent eyes, is something that makes Seckry’s heart almost stop.

A girl.

She’s shaking, petrified, and has no recollection of who she is or what she’s doing there. Floodlights bleach the area and Seckry has no choice but to grab a hold of the girl and escape with her. Suddenly the question of what Endrin were doing with a few worms becomes the last thing on Seckry’s mind. What were Endrin doing with a human?

This book was a suggestion from Amazon, and without even reading the description, I decided to purchase it on a whim for just 99p. 

My first impressions of this book was its recommendations on its cover, in this image it is a little to small to see, but one recommendation says it is "even better than Harry Potter" from one young reader who claims it was the best book they have ever read. This is a big statement to make. One I didn't think much of and read on regardless of this claim.Yet there is a serious similarity to J K Rowlings characters within the book. Snibble, the class bully, for example bears an uncanny resemblance to the character of Draco Malfoy accentuated by his thug-like body guards that follow him around. The headmaster of the school and Mr. Vance & could almost be translated into Professor Dumbledore and Prof. Lupin at a push. 

Despite this, the narrative is surprisingly original. Drawing influences from the bible, (with "for Geddins sake" being my new expletive of choice!), current debates of genetic modification, corporate responsibility and even school budgets it is topical and engaging. It is like a neatly tied braid, with no detail being provided that is not essential to the story line, no complex red herrings are used or for that point needed, but a clean and satisfying narrative that is almost impossible to put down. The only unanswered question which is teased upon the entire book is enough motivation for me to read the next book in the series. 

The need to be creative, and invent new names for things, was a little annoying. God is now Geddin, and Jesus = Sekry (or his nick name anyway). Ellonberrys sound delicious, but was it really necessary to rename blackberry's? I am just not sure it adds much too the book. 

One of the books unique creations on the other hand is something I do wish was real. Friction. A virtual video game that suspends your body in a pod while you play though an avatar in a virtual game of treasure hunt. Sign me up now! This book is set in the future, so I will keep my fingers crossed. 

As a young adult (YA) book, at first I found it a little tedious. These are young protagonists currently in senior school and you can tell that. But when Seckry fell in love, I fell in love with this book. It is beautifully written (some Kindle books feel like they have missed out on the editing process but this is almost perfect) and I was sad to finish it.

From one lover of fantasy fiction to another, I loved this book. This is one of the best YA fictions I have ever read. And one day, with the right publicity maybe it could be as big as Harry Potter. I struggled marking this but as a YA I have to give it:


Since purchasing this book, it has now gone up to £2, but I still think this is great value for a good book. You can download it from Amazon here.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

[since purchasing this book, it has now gone up to £2, but I still think this is great value for a good book!]

Friday, 27 January 2012

Underworld: Awakening - Film Review

On Wednesday I went to see Underworld: Awakening with my boyfriend at the cinema, and really enjoyed it so wanted to let you guys know why.

Summary courtesty of  IMDB: "When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind."
I first learnt about and watched the Underworld films, which there are now four, through my friend Sam after I purchased them for him as a gift. I loved the different interpretation of vampirism and werewolf / lycans that these films portray. They are dark, and also quite sexy.

I was lucky enough to go see this at the Odeon cinema in Southampton that offered the IMAX 3D experience, which I thought was really good. The boyfriend feels that the 3D is a little unnecessary, yet I revelled in the audio that moves you in your seat, and the images that literally at times glitter. It really did add to the cinema experience, which I didn't really understand the hype about before. I would never enjoy that as much on y TV at home.

This is an action movie, it is violent, it is dark.I don't normally like this in a movie (Saw is my worst nightmare!) but I really liked it in this movie, as it works. It has a narrative, it is predictable in parts and surprises you in others which is a mix that I think is hard to achieve. It has been left wide open for another movie with a some big unanswered questions.

I talk more about the movie in this really short vlog:

After filming this video I did a quick search on other reviews. I mentioned in my last video how much I have spoilers and found some classic cases of careless reviewing. I found this one review that comes with a serious spoiler warning from me. But I wanted to include it as I thought the points it made were valid, and quite funny. 

I give this movie 4/5 (it loses a mark for at times being quite scary!!)

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

What should I read next?

I have just stumbled upon (funny enough from a great website for people like me who want introducing to new authors. is a fab little website, where you enter one of your favourite books, and it searches thousands of different titles to find something similar you might like.

I can see myself using this a lot, as I often do get stuck in a rut of serial reading all the books from one author (you only need to look at the number of reviews I have for Kelley Armstrong).

So go have a look, search, and find your new favourite!

Please comment below and let me know what you have discovered and if you enjoyed it.

Thanks as always for reading,

Love Rie x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My First Ever Vlog and Book Review of South of the Border West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

I have been thinking about venturing into the world of vlogging for a while now. I use YouTube like TV whilst I am at university and have become particularly fond of some of my favourite beauty gurus vlogs of late. 

I just didn't really know how this would tie into my love of reading, and this blog until I came across a vlog posted on Girl Who Reads. She was just talking about what she had been doing recently and what books she had been reading, and suddenly it clicked.

So I charged up my camera, and after just a few takes and some editing I had created my first book review vlog. I still have a long way to go in the quality of the filming, sound and content department, but I really hope I can use this as another tool to share my love of authors, books and reading. 

So finally, what the video was all about: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami.

Summary courtesy of Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.
My friend Laura raves about Murakami, her favourite author, and recommended that I took a look at some of his books. He is know for using a pinch of surrealism and fantasy in his novels, which sounds like something I would love to read. She lent me this book, which is the only one she had with her, with the warning it is a bit different to his other works, but still well worth a read. 

It is a relatively small book, only 213 pages but is superbly written. The beauty is in the little details. This quote in particular I really liked:
"Her hand, which up till then had laid on the back of the sofa, she now placed on her knee. I stared vacantly at her fingers tracing the plaid pattern of her skirt. There was something mysterious about it, as if invisbly thread emanating from her fingertips spun together an entirely new concept of time." (pg: 15)
If I am honest, this isn't a book I would choose to read, but I am really grateful that I have had an introduction to a fantastic author. There is a lot of buzz about him online, and some of his other books sound a lot more my style. 

You can watch my video about it here:

Regretfully I have to give this book only a 3/5 

Thanks for reading [& watching],

Love Rie x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris - Review

I have just joined a book reviewing website that I still don't really know much about.

So as I explore its functionality I wanted to post a review of a book I finished a long while ago, but still one of my all time favourites.

Consider these little bite size reviews written by me, which I have imported from this website.

Yet don't feel left out, as always my full length reviews will always be posted here first.

Happy reading!

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is easily my favourite book of the entire series so far.

I make it no secret that I am in love with the character of Eric Northman, and lets just hope he keeps loving our Sookie.

I have a real love-hate relationship with Miss Stackhouse, but I will keep purchasing and devouring these books because of Eric.

Having said all this, I appreciated this book because I knew the character of Eric before he lost his memory, and was all the sweeter for reading it within the series.

For lovers of love, sex, fantasy, supernatural and any fiction.

Thanks for reading

Love Rie x
View all my reviews

Keep Calm.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong Review

This collection of short stories from 14 female supernatural authors has rekindled my love of short stories. Since reading the Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front collection I have gone back to novellas and full length novels and forgotten the magic of reading anthologies such as these.

This one is dedicated to "Smart Chicks everywhere" and defiantly appeals to the young adult (YA) female reader, but no reader will feel alienated by this smart collection of stories that give bite size introductions to necromancers, vampires, were wolves, mind readers, clairvoyants and much more.

Summary courtesy of Amazon:  A collection of fourteen original teen paranormal short stories from some of today’s best selling YA talent, united with the common theme of road trips, and edited by best selling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The theme of road trips I feel is applies lightly to this collection, a theme which I had forgotten until I re-read the introduction of the book before writing this review. Despite this a collection needs a theme and this does work well in a few of the stories. 

Stand out favourites include "Gargouille" by Mary E. Pearson, a supernatural themed love story that is beautifully written, and "Bridge" by Keri Smith-Ready a ghost themed poem that I really enjoyed, and don't be put off as its a poem as it was a great read!

The contributions by the authors where also a real treat. Melissa Marr's "Merely Mortal" appealed to my other interest of business and PR & marketing (which is by no means the main focus of the story but something that stood out for me), and Kelley Armstrong's "Facing Facts" which links in at the end of the latest Darkest Powers book with a really interesting twist that I loved.

Overall this is a great collection that I have enjoyed curling up in bed early every night to read. It has introduced me to some young adult authors that I can't wait to read more from. 


Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Monday, 16 January 2012

Book Cover Love.

One of things I miss the most, now I have my Kindle, is covers. They can be photographic genius, hand drawn art or just intriguing. For this reason I wanted to do a really quick run down of some of my favourite covers of late. So in no particular order...
Re-print of Dead Until Dark does not fail to catch anyone's attention. With one glance we know that this  books genre, tone, and style. Surpasses the first print cover by far!
This cover brings back serious memories, the start of something I obsessed over in my teen years. I love the hand drawn look, and encapsulates the way I see Harry Potter long before Daniel Radcliffe. 

For serious Twilight fans, this limited edition cover is to die for (pun intended)!
I haven't actually read this book yet, but I stumbled on it as a suggestion on Amazon and LOVE the cover. 

I really want to recreate this cover - its so beautiful. The only thing I am lacking is skill!

Possibly the book I am most excited about in 2012, this cover gives away very little, but I still love it. This print style of the series is mysterious and... well... beautiful!
Please link your favourite book covers in the comments. I would love to see them.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong Review

I will repeat the sentiment which is given on Kelley Armstrong's website with every book description, that it is difficult if not impossible to talk about a book series without giving plot lines away for the previous books.

I like each book to be a surprise when I read it, and aim never to give anything away in my reviews which would change how people approach a book. So because of this I will keep this short and sweet.

Released on 31st December 2011 this book instantly became my favourite book of 2011. Read in just three hours this novella is perfectly formed and easy to read. Focussing on Clay and Elena's Christmas break it is a perfect edition to the Women of the Otherworld series.

No quibbles - 5/5

You can get your hands on this as a limited edition signed leather bound copy (1000 printed) or a cloth bound hard cover (5000 printed) yet these are currently being sold upwards of £70 second hand! Or you could simply download on your Kindle which is currently only £3.96 on Amazon!

Thank for reading,

Love Rie x