Thursday, 29 March 2012

Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King - Book Review

This book review is courtesy of my good friend Ross Phillips, a Guild Wars nut who reviewed the first book of the series Ghosts of Ascalon just last week. He enjoyed it so much he decided to jump straight into the the second book, but was somewhat disappointed, but I will let him explain why:

Summary courtesy of Amazon:  Destiny Called - They Answered.In the dark recesses of Tyria, elder dragons have awoken from millennial slumbers. First came Primordus, which stirred in the Depths forcing the asura to flee to the surface. Half a century later, Jormag awoke and drove the norn from the frozen climes of the Northern Shiverpeaks, corrupting sons and brothers along the way. A generation later, Zhaitan arose in a cataclysmic event that reshaped a continent and flooded the capital of the human nation of Kryta.The races of Tyria stand on the edge of destiny. Heroes have battled against dragon minions, only to be corrupted into service of the enemy. Armies have marched on the dragons and been swep aside. The dwarves sacrificed their entire race to defeat a single dragon champion. The age of mortals may soon be over.  This is a time for heroes. While the races of Tyria stand apart, six heroic individuals will come together to fight for their people: Eir, the norn huntress with the soul of an artist; Snaff, the asuran ge­nius, and his ambitious assistant Zojja; Rytlock, the ferocious charr warrior in exile; Caithe, a deadly sylvari with deep secrets; and Logan, the valiant human guardian dealing with divided loyalties. Together they become Destiny’s Edge. Together they answer the call. But will it be enough?

"Having finished Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and really enjoyed alot more than I thought I would I decided to read the second book in the series 'Edge of Destiny'

This book acts as a prequel to Ghosts of Ascalon and deals with the action of the Guild known as Destiny's Edge (something which is mentioned numerous times within Ghosts of Ascalon) as they band together to try and do battle with the evil all consuming Elder Dragons and their respective minions.

Its a good premise but suffers a fatal flaw, its too short.

This isn't like Ghosts of Ascalon which just felt like it could have done with being a chapter or two longer, this book could really do with being at least a third longer than it is, there's just too much plot and too many characters and not enough space.

There are huge holes where it just skips forward a few months between one paragraph and the next and some sub-plot elements are left with so little explanation and follow up that even a hardcore Guild Wars fans like myself are left confused.

It also leaves no room at all to evolve the characters and so they remain 'flat' and one dimensional right up until the end. and for a book with so little space to spare its seem to devote quite alot its word count to its frankly puerile to the point of vomit inducing romance. 

On the plus side though the beginning and the end are very good, and it did have a fair few funny moments and witty verbal stand offs between some of the characters but on the whole it just felt a little lackluster next to Ghosts of Ascalon which had exactly the same and yet so much more.

If I had to rate this book I would give it a 5/10. Quite disappointing"

Found this review intriguing? You can pick up the Kindle version for £3.99 on Amazon. However my recommendation would be to check out a second hand paper back which I have seen under £3 on Amazon private listings.
Thank you as always for reading, and I welcome your comments below on what you thought of this book? What do you think about in in comparison to the first one?

Love Ross & Rie x  

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wild Child by Mike Wells - Book Review

I first found this Author when for some reason I ended up following him on Twitter. When I read the behind the scenes story of how 'Wild Child' came to be published and the story behind its cover art I was intrigued, yet I was never converted to making the purchase. But when I then saw that it had become free on Amazon I downloaded it immediately and it moved faster than anticipated to the top of my TBR pile as I read more and more about the book. I have to admit this was not what I was expecting, but so much more.

Summary courtesy of AmazonBriana Fox is the wildest girl in school. She and Kyle have been close for a long time...almost lovers. But Kyle is afraid that if he pushes her, he'll have his heart broken and lose his best friend. When Briana challenges him to a swim across the lake, she's injured in a horrific accident, but she discovers a mysterious substance in an underwater cave that saves her life. What seems to be a magical yet harmless "power drug" invokes superhuman abilities, and Briana soon becomes dependent on it for her very survival. When two government agents learn of the discovery, they will stop at nothing to find the source and turn Briana into a human experiment. Is Kyle willing to risk everything to protect his love?

When I started reading this I was expecting a novel, but instead I was presented with a perfectly formed short story. Taking me just over 2 hours to read this book sucked me into the murky depths of the lake with Kyle and Brianne (referred to in the book as Brie) and only came up gasping for air once finished. I had read reviews that it was gripping and fast paced but I didn't really understand what this meant until I began reading. The YA themes of teenage defiance of parental rules and awkward romances is over shadowed by a surprisingly thought provoking narrative, that developed into a fantasy science fiction themed focal point that is completly unexpected.

The character of Brie, although essential to the narrative, I felt very little connection to unlike the protagonist Kyle, who is fantastic! With his ability to both panic and stay calm under pressure, his devotion to Brie and the relationship with his Father creating a well developed and interesting character that I only want to know more about. What truly cemented my admiration for this fictional boy was the cliff hanger of an ending that left me with far more question that answers, and possibly the best reason to get my hands on the next book in the series!

The only downside however being the next book in the series. Now being a Kindle lover, I have become accustomed to only paying a certain amount for a eBook. Promising to be as 'lean' as the first one I am finding it difficult to bring myself to pay the £3.65 being asked for the rather unimaginatively named 'Wild Child Book 2' with the world 'Lilith' added on to the end almost as an after thought.

Overall I would give this book a 8/10.

You can book this short story up for free on here, but no promises you wont feel as frustrated as me when you are forced to pay for the second one!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Hunger Games - Film Review

After finishing the book just last weekend, I was fairly late to The Hunger Games hype. However it did have its advantages, I didn't have long to wait for the movie to come out! I booked my tickets early this week, and was at the advance showing at my local Vue cinema in Portsmouth, dragging along the boyfriend, Terry.

As a late comer, but complete nut of the Hunger Games book, I understand that my review will be slightly biased, so I have also asked the Terry (who has not read the book) to add his comments at the end so you can get both perspectives. As always there is NO spoilers of the book or film in this review.

Summary courtesy of IMDbSet in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.  Based on the book by Suzanne Collins.

My first impressions were this was very well done. Anyone who has read the book will know that around 2/3rds of the content is dominated by the main protagonist, Katniss' inner monologue. Going into the movie I did wonder how they would over come this problem, and make the film interesting! It really is Kaniss' thoughts, feelings and knowledge of the wilderness that create the tension and drama within the book. Yet it was the inclusion of the reality television style panel (consisting of the blue haired TV host, Caesar Flickerman & Claudius Templesmith the games announcer) to give commentary and explain events that non-readers of the book would not otherwise recognise, namely what Tracker Jackers are and the symptoms of their stings. Other events are also played out very well, with shaking camera shots, ringing ears sound effects and extreme close ups all provide a great alternative to Katniss' thoughts.

Katniss, Primrose, Peeta & Haymitch

Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job of communicating a thousand words with the smallest facial expression.She brought Katniss' character alive in the most tangible of ways, and was really well cast. Willow Shields who plays Primrose Everdeen was also fantastic and looked exactly how I imagined in the book. Other castings however were a surprise. I had imagined Peeta (who I didn't realise until I saw the trailer of the film was pronounced Peter) to be a round faced and unimposing baker's son but in fact played by the rather attractive Josh Hutcherson. Haymitch was also portrayed as being a lot younger, and some what more civilised character than I had pictured him whilst reading the book. The biggest surprise to myself however was the casting of Clove, the female tribute from district 2, played by Isabelle Fuhrman who also played Esther in possibly the scariest horror movie I have ever seen, Orphan. Something of her previous role stuck with me to make her a truly horrifying character. 

This is a film made about a book however, so naturally I am more critical. Several scenes were shortened to almost extinction, while other aspects of the film, such as the origins of the Mockingjay pin were changed completely. However, this was also done okay! No key scenes were really left out, and the changes made from the book made logical sense to tie the narrative together. Although it is a YA book, there was a certain amount of censorship of the stories true brutality at times to make it a 12A, but we have been promised an extended DVD edition to bring back more of the action which will be bumped up to a 15.

The one thing that really did disappoint me is so small it is barely worth noticing. However the book did do a fantastic job at aiming itself at young girls (and 20 some thing's) by providing details such as hair, and nail art designs that girls could really latch onto and replicate. Although the signature side braid was included, my personal favourite girl on fire nails, which consisted of flames painted on the nails for the opening chariot ride to the games were completely absent! As I said, a very small detail, but disappointing to a nail polish fan like myself.

Picture of me, shamelessly copying Katniss' style with the signature side braid.
This photo was taken after the movie, but still 1hr and 41mins before its official release.... I'm so sad!
Perhaps the one thing I did enjoy about the film more than the book is the flash backs. The back stories of the characters were provided quite freely and frequently within the book, not making you wait for any relevant information. However in the movie these were peppered throughout  in a series of short black and white teaser clips until they built up to reveal the whole story.

Terry's Comments:
"I liked the film. It was alright, if not a little bit predictable. Even though I haven't read the book, I understood everything. Defiantly enjoyed it enough to watch the inevitable sequel, and not just because Marie will force me to come along regardless!"

Overall I felt that this film did a great job of portraying a fantastic book without resorting to 3D or IMAX sound and flashy effects. Instead it relied on good camera angles and minimal special effects to create a more tangible Panem. Terry and I whilst talking the movie on the way home both agree our mark, now out of 10, for this movie without any discussion.


Thanks for reading,

Terry & Rie x

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck & Jeff Grubb - Book Review

This book review has been kindly provided by my friend Ross Phillips. Only recently have I discovered that my old school friend is also a complete fantasy and science fiction book worm and has a real talent for review writing. This book review is for 'Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon' which is based on the computer game Guild Wars. Ross is a self confessed Guild Wars nut, and so this review is from his perspective. I have never even heard of this game, never mind the book (sorry Ross!) but after this review I will be sure to seek it out and give you my comments on it as a 'newbie'. Without further a do: 

Summary courtesy of Amazon250 years ago, Ascalon burned . . .Desperate to defend his land from advancing hordes of bestial charr, King Adelbern summoned the all-powerful Foefire to repel the invaders. But magic can be a double-edged sword—the Foefire burned both charr and human alike. While the charr corpses smoldered, the slain Ascalonians arose again, transformed by their king’s rage into ghostly protectors and charged with guarding the realm . . . forever. The once mighty kingdom became a haunted shadow of its former glory.
Centuries later, the descendants of Ascalon, exiled to the nation of Kryta, are besieged on all sides. To save humankind, Queen Jennah seeks to negotiate a treaty with the hated charr. But one obstacle remains. The charr legions won’t sign the truce until their most prized possession, the Claw of the Khan-Ur,is returned from the ruins of fallen Ascalon.
Now a mismatched band of adventurers, each plagued by ghosts of their own, sets forth into a haunted, war-torn land to retrieve the Claw. Without the artifact, there is no hope for peace between human and charr—but the undead king who rules Ascalon won’t give it up easily, and not everyone wants peace!

'This is a book that was recommended to me a long time ago by a fellow Guild Wars nerd but I have been putting it off for a while, why? Because I have yet to read a single book based on the lore of this computer game that hasn't been utter rubbish, and since I view Guild Wars lore as the best of them all (by a huge margin) I was loath to go and ruin it by reading a half baked attempt by a slightly broke author to make a quick buck out of its success.

But boy was in for a treat.

Now I should kick off by saying as a Guild Wars fan my review will be bias, as I already know a lot of the histories, places and cultures featured and therefore 'get' a lot of the references and little in-jokes but even with that considered I think a newcomer to the lore of Tyria would not find it much of a challenge to keep up as everything that you need to know is explained along the way in a concise and not too intrusive manner. This is helped by a few of the less well informed characters asking the questions themselves that the reader is may be asking, but whether any of this works or not is not really my place to say.

What I can say is this is possibly the most well rounded and enjoyable fantasy book that I have read this year at the very least. It is written from the 3rd person perspective but only from the point of view of the main character, while seeming quite a basic way of doing things at first it becomes more and more engaging throughout, as we truely see not only how he sees the rich and well fleshed world around him but more importantly his companions.

Not only is the world very rich but the supporting characters are as well. Each one having depth and true personality whole still retaining a cultural identity which means you find yourself getting increasingly attached to them as the book goes on.

But nothing is perfect, if I had to find faults with this book I would start with the fact that it is very short. While this means there are no real 'boring segments' it also means that all the history and character back story is a little crammed in. While I had no problems keeping up, a reader not so well aquainted with Guild Wars lore may find it difficult to digest (but as I've said, thats not something I can really judge on). Another thing which slightly irritates me is this book has rather an abrupt ending, at the end of the last chapter you turn the page expecting to find a epilogue but its just not there, which is a shame because it could really do with one.

So if I(as a Guild Wars fan) had to rate this book id give it a 8/10'

Thanks for reading,
Love Ross & Rie x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Book Review

It is fair to say I read a lot of books. I get even more books recommended to me that I never get the chance to read. So when something like the Hunger Games comes along it takes something really special to make me go - Wow. Suzanne Collins did this.

Summary courtesy of Amazon:  A fight to the death - on live TV. The game show where you kill or die, and where the winner's prize is survival. In District 12, where Katniss Everdeen lives, life is harsh and brutal, ruled from afar by the all-powerful leaders of the Capitol. The climax of each year is the savage Hunger Games - where twelve boys and twelve girls from each District face each other in a murderous showdown. When sixteen-year-old Katniss is chosen to represent her district in the Games, everyone thinks it's a death sentence. Only one person can survive the horrors of the arena. But plucky Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature...

I have heard about this book EVERYWHERE. Originally released back in 2008, it has taken a while to build the hype around this book, but with the up coming release of the movie at the end of next week it had reached fever pitch and I couldn't ignore it any longer. No matter where I turned people where talking about it, particularly in the beauty blogging world, and it was finally Corrie, over at DizzyBrunette3 who got me to download it and launch into the arena.

Hunger Games is the first book in the YA (young adult) series by Suzanne Collins set in a fantasy dystopian world ruled by the Captol. To remind the 12 surrounding districts of their place, they get them to sacrifice 2 people from each district to fight to the death for their entertainment. Sounds bad, it gets worse - they are all between the ages of 12 and 18! This book it too good for just teens, no matter what your age you will enjoy this book!

The story follows the protagonist of Katniss, who volunteers for the games to save her 12 year old sister, Prim. Accompanied by fellow District 12 tribute Peeta, they are groomed, trained and flung into the Captol controlled arena. With only 3 days training behind them they must use everything that they have to offer to just stay alive, never mind win. With just the right amount to blood, death and romance this book draws you in and doesn't let you go.

After 2 practically sleepless night I finished this books in a frenzy. This is superbly written to make you think about feel what the characters feel, and you begin to believe you are one of the people sat back at home forced to watch their children fight to the death for other peoples entertainment, and it feels so wrong, but you just keep reading.

Collins is a fantastic author, and Katniss has been crafted into a well rounded a likable character that any one can relate to. I can't wait to see how this is translate on the big screen, and will be the first in line when it is pre-released on Thursday in the UK. I am infamously critical of my favourite books being turned into movies, and there is still some Harry Potter movies I have refused to watch because I feel it would ruin the books for me. This film has a lot to live up to, and I have a feeling it might do very well.

It has taken everything I had not to start reading the next book straight away. I get so absorbed into series, but also get so sad when they end. I have a lot of books I want to read (I have over 50 already downloaded to my Kindle in a folder called 'To Read') but I know they next book in the series, Catching Fire, will find its way to the top sooner rather than later!

I think you can tell by the tone of this review what I am going to give it. It has come to my attention that maybe marking books out of 5 does not give enough distinction between the good books and the fantastic books, so from this review on I am going to bump up my scale to 10.


You can pick The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins up from just £3.59 on Amazon in multiple formats, so if you haven't read it already, what are you waiting for?

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

[Stupid side note: I have been complaining for days that my hands have been aching. The fleshy bits below my thumbs appear bruised and tender to the touch and I just couldn't work out why. It was only last night, whilst finishing this book it dawned on me - I having been gripping my Kindle so tight whilst reading that I have injured my hands. Kind of ironic/ and pathetic/ alongside the theme of this book. When you hurt Katniss, I really do hurt too!!]

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Friday, 16 March 2012

Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George. R. R. Martin - Book Review

This review was written by my friend Sam Crossley. After raving about the TV series, he craved and purchased the whole series on Kindle. But I will let him tell you more:

I first came across Game of Thrones from the season 1 TV series. After the first episode I was hooked and decided to buy the books. So I had a slight advantage when I read the first book, as each book is a TV series.

Summary courtesy of Amazon

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men… all will play the Game of Thrones.
Winter is coming…

The story line is based in a medieval setting on a different world. It follows multiple characters of different high born families. One of the things I love about these books is that the different families have different sayings and sigils for example; The Stark’s sigil is the dire wolf (A different breed of wolf twice the size and only found in the north.) and their motto is “Winter is coming.” And the Lannisters sigil is a golden lion and there motto is “A Lannisters always pays his depts.” You realise as you read through the book that every sigil and motto has been carefully thought out and applies to the families perfectly.

In the same way as the families have been thought out, each character has so many different sides to them and have all been completely well rounded. The author has said that he intends to write seven books so as you might guess the plot twists turns and rolls in ways I could never guess! Despite this is keeps you enthralled with every page. My only minor negative point about this series of books is trying to remember all the house names and who they are in allegiance with. However, you don’t really notice this until you put the book down and eventually you put it down and suddenly realise that you’ve known them all for quite a while.

You will notice a reoccurring theme in this review but something I really credit this book for is its depth of characters and detail. This is again shown in how the author has intertwined each different religion into the story and managed to give you enough information that without knowing it you understand everything about it.

I give this a 5/5.

You can pick up Game of Thrones on Kindle for just £3.99 or if your old school and love you papers back you can grab a bargain at £3.86.

I also advise everyone to watch the TV series, I rate it a better book to TV conversion than the LOTR’s trilogy. 

Thanks for reading, Love Rie & Sam x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hunt for the Phoenix by Emma & Christopher Byford - Book Reivew

I came across this book through Twitter. But before I knew it, It had stolen my heart and I couldn't stop reading until the last page.

[Scroll down to the bottom of my review to read added comments by my friend Ross Phillips.] 
Summary courtesy of AmazonA tale of redemption and duty – Mana Seraph is host to the Spirit of the Phoenix; a creature entwined within her being that is far from human understanding. 

This ghastly process was carried out by the tyrannical Empire of Fusion. However, Mana was not fused with the entire Spirit as a daring escape interrupted the procedure. Offered sanctuary in the forests of Pheo, by a tribe who worship the Phoenix, their survival is now synonymous with her own. 

Fusion retaliates by giving their General, Qwuiff Lavation, the means to hunt her down across the lands of Airone. Soon, Qwuiff starts eradicating any nation who stands in their way, not just for the Empire but for his own glory as well. 

Protected by the Pheo Tribe and her vigilant Guardians, Mana is bound to the servitude of the people. Hidden in the treetops somewhere on Airone, the tribal village had done well to elude those searching for it. 

It isn’t until a failed kidnapping on Pheo brings the entire situation into focus. Blooded and broken, a mercenary employed by Fusion is captured. He reveals himself as Dark, an Angel, once sword of the Holy Sorceress and fallen far from his heavenly duty. Shocked at the depth of corruption by Fusion, Mana encourages Dark to redeem himself and serve by her side as a Guardian to fight against the Empire once and for all.

Reluctantly accepting this proposition, Dark embarks on a path of redemption. This will not only position him against the Fusion Empire but will also inch Mana further towards an uncertain future. 

This is the first book in the Fusion Series which I stumbled across via Twitter when I followed one of the authors and was enticed to download it. Whilst on a long train journey to Plymouth I decided to pick it up and give it ago. The only reason I knew the journey was long because I woke up out of a dream world when I arrived at my station and noticed five hours has passed. The characters Dark and Mana along with the rest of the Pheo tribe had stolen my heart and drew me into their world. I couldn't quite put my finger on where it sat between pure fictional time and place and reality, but the very nature of fallen angels and spirit host fitted right into my genre at the start.

Mana & Dark as illustrated by Kathleen Dent
This book is co-authored by Emma & Chris Byford, and I learnt whilst reading the Byford’s blog about The Fusion Series that the character of Mana is the literary child of Emma, whilst the character of Dark has been developed over time by Chris. This creates a unique and interesting reading experience that is truly great to read. The mysterious past of Dark twinned with the growing relationships between the main characters is made better only by a gripping narrative that left me wanting more. Mana’s struggle with the spirit of the Phoenix within her reminds me of all the best bits I loved from The Host, whilst being infinitely better.

The differing writing styles of both the authors also works very well with the juxtaposition between violent battle scenes and tender moments between father and daughter working really well. Having said this, there does appear to be some unnecessary characters, namely Wyld that I can only assume will hold larger parts in the next books.

The narrative which is at times can be very serious does not lack some humour, my all time favourite quote from the book having to be: “Look at him. So uptight I bet you could break walnuts between his ass cheeks”! Love it!

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was one that I read at every opportunity (with one comical moment at breakfast nearly leaving a bite mark out of my Kindle as it was confused with toast) and I think that it can only mean one thing:


You can download this book to your Kindle here currently just £2.56 - a good price for a great read. I just picked up a copy of the Dark Entity short stories also from the Fusion Series, so check back for a review on these soon!

Thanks as always for reading,

Love Rie x


After sharing this review and recommending it to a my friend Ross, a fellow book worm, he devoured it whole in one night! He has very kindly offered to share a his thoughts on the book, as a male reader and from a different perspective. This does contain a mild spoiler, but nothing that will ruin the book!

I know this book was written by 2 different authors, at first I thought that you would have Christopher Byford witing the parts from the male perspective and Emma Byford doing the female parts but I dont think this is the case as its a book which is clearly in two halves.

The first half I REALLY enjoyed, the war between the alliance of smaller nations againts the all consuming, technologically advanced, militaristic empire of fusion was mostly a background to the relationship of almost mutual dependence of the lead two characters, with Dark seeing Mana as some sort of opportunaity for redemption (although he doesn't quite know how) and Mana seeing Dark as a slice of freedom in her 'bird cage' world.  

In stark contrast the second half seems to bear very little resemblance to the first half, with the plot separating into a (not fantasticly well done) war story and the political inner workings of the Fusion empire whenever the story flits back to Mana. There also seems to come a number of inconsistencies, huge plot holes and places where I just cannot understand the reasoning behind what some characters do/dont do. 

Also the introduction of some of the 'new' characters was almost completly unnecessary (namely Wyld and Leylan). 

. . . and im still not really convinced by the ending . . .  

So there we are, if I had to rate it id give it a 6/10 
I wish I could share more of Ross & I's discussion around this book, however there is far to many spoilers that I have already had to edit out so not to spoil it for the rest of you. I think you will all agree that Ross is a fantastic writer, and has put my book rambles to shame! I hope to be inviting him to do a few more book reviews in the future and you will give him warm welcome.

Thanks for reading, again,

Rie & Ross x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spotted: More Free Kindle Books!!

Over the last week I have been seeing a flurry of great ebooks come up for FREE on Amazon for Kindle download. To celebrate this free book frenzy on wanted to do another Spotted blog post.

If you didn't see my first one you can read it here, but I will repeat the sentiment that these books do not sit around free for long, so download them as soon as you see them! Due to the fast paced nature of free books on Amazon I also haven't had the chance to read any of these books...yet!

  • Dark Entity by Emma & Christoper Byford
    A short story from the Fusion series that you will not want to miss. I have just finished the first book from the series Hunt for the Phoenix and loved it. You will be able to read my review in the next few days, but this is only free until the end of Sunday the 11th of March so move quickly!
  • Invisible Justice by Kim Jewell
    A contemporary take on the YA superhero sub-genre. This look really interesting and I am really looking forward to reading this.
  • Impulse Control by Susan Bischoff
    Short story on teenagers with special powers. Sounds similar to the Kelley Armstong's Darkest Powers books which you can read my reviews of here, and if well written could be a great read!
  • Wild Child by Mike Wells
    This is meant to be a right little page turner and has some great reviews. This will be moving to the top of my reading list very soon.
  • The Golden Acorn: The Adventures of Jack Brenin by Catherine Cooper
    Catherine Cooper has been compared to J.K.Rowling, so this book has a lot to live up to. But with some great reviews on Amazon, mixed with a couple of not so good ones I am really curious to see what this book with be like!
  • Ryan's Return by Barbara Freethy
    This book is described as I quote "emotional and romantic contemporary novel about love, family and a little bit of magic" - as it is free, what do you have to loose!
Hopefully these six are enough to keep you going, but if you want more please follow me on Twitter where I post links to free books on Amazon when ever I find them.

Thanks as always for reading,

Love Rie x

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Chronicle - Film Review

On Thursday night, whilst visiting my best friend Sam in Plymouth, we decided to have a visit to the cinema. The trip to the Vue in Plymouth was organised originally with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in mind, but as you can tell by the title we had a change of heart.

Summary courtesy of IMDbThree high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

I first saw the advert for this film in the cinema and thought it looked right up my street. Teenagers with telekinetic powers sounds like something right out of one of my favourite fantasy fiction books. Yet this movie was more than that. It was weird!

This is a Hollywood feature film, with a predicted $12 million budget, it was not lacking on the special effects department! This wasn't some 3D thriller that jumped out at you and made you scream, but a really cleverly directed narrative with believable special effects inter-spaced with hand-held camera POV shots from one of the protagonists that worked really well. Not once during the movie did I sit back and think "that looked so fake", but this is 2012, and graphics are getting better with every movie.

But what makes it more than any old Hollywood clone, was that it had a narrative. The characters were well rounded, if not stereotypically challenged teenagers (Sam & I both agreed that if every ones teen years were as bad as movies suggest, we would all be psychologically damaged, if not dead). The supernatural aspect of the movie was almost believable. It is not pink, or fluffy, but moody, dark and boarding on the side of bizarre! No real explanation is given for how they get these powers, and the end is satisfyingly ambiguous, which in my opinion is always good.

Overall, I would recommend going to see this movie. It has awesome special effects, a good narrative and well developed characters, but with a warning it is a little dark and weird.


Let me know in the comments below if you have seen Chronicle and what you thought of it?!

Thank you for reading,

Love Rie x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy World Book Day

Being over 18 now World Book Day doesn't really have the same appeal to me any more. I remember from a young age receiving my £1 book token at school, and the excitement of being able to pick out of the specially released titles that year. But I can't help feeling a little left out now...

Yet I still love what World Book Day stands for:
"World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading."
But with the wonders of the internet you can no download or get a copy of all the specially released World Book Day Titles on Amazon. This selection of children's books are still available to all of us over 18 for their promotional price of £1 and with some fantastic authors contributing they have to be worth a look.

You can view the full list of the books available here, but my top picks are:

Roald Dahl's Fantabulous Facts (paperback)
Despite his death in 1990 (the same year I was born) I am a huge fan of Roald Dahl, with James and the Giant Peach being one of my favourite childhood reads. This fun book aimed at children 8+ is illustrated by Quentin Blake.

How to Train Your Dragon: the Day of the Dreader (paperback)
This series of books was used as inspiration for the movie "How to Train Your Dragon", but as we all know 9 times out of 10 the books are always better!

Big Day Out (Kindle ebook)
Jacqueline Wilson was easily my favourite author as a child. I borrows or begged my mum to purchase all of her releases and still appreciate how this very talented author deals with difficult subjects so well. This has to be worth a read even if you are will above 8.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World (Kindle ebook)
I haven't heard of this book, or its author Derek Landy, before but its promise of humour, magic and adventure sounds like a good read.

So, if like me, you feel a little left out of the World Book Day celebrations there is no need to feel glum. Lets find our youth again and get involved in celebrating the love of reading!!