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Waiting on Wednesday – 13

Posted by on February 6, 2013 1:53 am in Book talk | 15 comments

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

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It’s been a few months since I’ve joined the fun of Waiting on Wednesday, but with all these wonderful books coming soon, I couldn’t resist! How not to be excited about a new Gaiman novel? Or intrigued by September Girls’ premise?

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the ocean at the end of the lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 

(June 18th, 2013)

 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

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september girls

September Girls  by Bennett Madison

 

(May 21st, 2013)

 

When Sam’s dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he’s all for it– at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she’s different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he’s going to get her back, he’ll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

 

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What are you waiting on this week?

Filling the Shelf – 89

Posted by on February 4, 2013 12:16 am in Book talk | 9 comments

Filling the Shelf is basically Mailbox Monday or the more recent Stacking the Shelves, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, I invite you to visit the two hosts!

 

Happy Monday readers!

My mailbox was fortunately quite small this week. I know I like to argue that there’s no such thing as too many books, but I love it when a week ends and I read more books from my shelves than I added!

Two long awaited sequels arrived home in the past days and I was so extremely excited. I have already started with Prodigy; I’m not too far in, but it’s already really, really good.

fillingshelf89

Prodigy by Marie Lu (The sequel to Legend which, without being groundbreaking, was an absolutely entertaining action and adventure dystopian novel!)

Asunder by Jodi Meadows  (The sequel to Incarnate, a beautiful, unique fantasy story raising interesting questions on love, gender and identity)

What did you add to your shelves recently? Have you read one of these books? 

Review : The Gypsy King

Posted by on January 31, 2013 10:47 pm in 4 stars reads | 2 comments

the gypsy kingThe Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus
Pages : 400
Genre : Fantasy, YA
Series : The Gypsy King, Book 1
My Rating : 4/5

What it’s about :

There is one thing slave Persephone desires over everything else : her freedom.

When she is surprisingly rescued by a thief in a fancy disguise, Persephone knows this is her chance. She has no desire to follow Azriel around,and no intention to trust him, no matter how tall and handsome he can be.

My Thoughts :

Sometimes you take a chance on a book you know little about, and you quickly live to regret it. Other times, you thank your luck star you took the risk. With The Gypsy King, it is without a doubt a case of the latter, as I had tremendous fun reading and discovering the first in this new series!

First, I have to say that I found Maureen Fergus’ writing to be wonderfully engaging! Her words followed each other so naturally, and even the conversations felt natural. It also felt balanced; without trying too hard to use a language inspired of medieval times and fantasy, it is also not too modern. I really felt I was transposed in another world, in another time, both by the setting and the writing.

Persephone clearly is the star of her story. She is strong but flawed, and her relationship with Azriel was incredibly fun to follow. Their banter had me smiling for a good part of the book, and I loved how her feelings were a bit unclear. She doesn’t like him at the beginning (so no love at first sight here!), but she also doesn’t hate him. Mainly, it is not that she doesn’t appreciate him, but more that she desires her freedom more than anything else.

There were many more characters in the story, and I was amazed to see how rich the cast was. Diversified, complex, mysterious. Azriel, Rachel, Meeta, and many more; they all are worth the time, which isn’t something I can always say about secondary characters!

If there is one thing I enjoyed less, it was how the chapters alternated between Persephone’s view and the court intrigue. It’s sort of weird, because while I absolutely loved the mysterious plot with the king, the throne, the villain and all that, for a long time I didn’t like how the story kept changing – even though it was all written in the third person, and even though it all fit well together. Maybe a clearer explanation will come to me later?

All in all though, The Gypsy King took me by surprise and was a great read. I was a bit disappointed, in fact, that I didn’t have a nice paper copy to put on my shelf! For sure I’ll have to add it to my wishlist!

The Gypsy King hit the shelves on January 22! Thanks to RazOrbill Canada for generously providing a digital copy of the book for this review.

Review : Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

Posted by on January 30, 2013 12:11 pm in 4 stars reads | 1 comment

blood songBlood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Pages : 290
Genre : Fantasy, YA
Series : Lharmell, book 1
My Rating : 4/5

What it’s about :

Princess Zeraphina has an unexplained thirst for blood – something she would not want anyone to know.

When her sister gets promised to a prince in the north, Zeraphina is first excited; she sees the trip there as an occasion to investigate the source of her difference. But things in the north are not always what they seem, and the prince’s advisor, Rodden, is shadowing her every step. Zeraphina only has a limited time to find out the truth without ruining her sister’s wedding, and she has no intention of letting the man get in her way.

My Thoughts :

It’s always both exciting and nerve-wrecking for me to read and review a book by someone I “know”, even if it’s only through blogging (which is probably why I needed a bit of time to write this review after reading the book!) So I was really happy to jump into Blood Song, even though I was a bit worried that I might not like it.

Luckily, Blood Song was a treat to read! Even though the book would be classified in the high fantasy genre, it wasn’t overburden with extremely detailed world-building and complex family trees. Don’t get me wrong, I love an intricate world-building, but I can also enjoy one like Lharmell, which is rich and well done without overtaking every aspect of the book. It was a bit dark in places yet magical, and the atmosphere reminded me of dangerous fairy tales.

I loved the characters, too. I enjoyed Zeraphina’s bonds with her mom and her sister. Considering the setting (arranged marriages and all that!), I felt she had much normal relationships with them, meaning it wasn’t complete love or hate. I loved that they weren’t portrayed as black or white characters , and neither was Zeraphina, whom I connected really quickly with. And certainly I must mention her non-human friends, right? Loved, loved, loved them!

Rodden was a great character too. I honestly wasn’t sure, for a huge part of the book, what was his role in the story. Was he a mysterious love interest? A villain who knows more than he should? A strategist who was trying to use Zeraphina and her family? But even though I wasn’t sure about him, his interactions with Zeraphina were some of the greatest moments in the book (the tournament! I loved the tournament!) They definitely had a spark, whether it was good or evil – and I’m not spoiling this for you!

I liked the plot, too, even though I found the secret source of Zeraphina’s blood thirst to be a bit predictable. This being said, Blood Song offered such an original take on the vampire trend that I could easily forgive its few flaws.

In the end, Blood Song was a more than pleasant reading experience! It was easy to slip into, imaginative, and seasoned with some humor and some scary moments. I adored it, and I can’t wait to get a chance to read the sequel!

Series reading order :

  1. Blood Song
  2. Blood Storm
  3. Blood Queen (coming in 2013)
rhiannonhartAbout the author (from Goodreads) : Rhiannon Hart remembers writing before she could read, puzzling over the strange squiggles in Jeremiah and the Dark Woods by Janet and Alan Ahlberg and putting her own words in their places. Her first love was Jareth the Goblin King at the tender age of eight. She wrote fan fiction in high school but she’d never admit to it out loud, so don’t ask. When she’s not reading or writing she is belly dancing, chasing after other people’s cats, or putting the pedal to the floor at her sewing machine. She grew up in north-western Australia and currently resides in Melbourne, where she works in marketing. Rhiannon has been published in the Australian Book Review, Magpies and Viewpoint and blogs at http://rhiannon-hart.blogspot.com/.

A digital copy of Blood Song has generously been provided for this review.