Book Review- Time Riders

Thursday, 30 August 2012
Title: Time Riders
Author: Alex Scarrow
Publication Date: February 4th 2010
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Series: Time Riders #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel

Rating: 4/5

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand ...’

But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

In this story, 3 teens are recruited from just before death, from 3 different times, to create a team, to fix history. I found this an intriguing idea for a novel, so when I read the blurb, I just had to read the whole novel.
I thought the plot was great, it flowed really well, moving really smoothly. The only part I felt took away from the flow, was the beginning, with the changing of the modern day world, which I felt was a strange thing, and that they had to live the same two days over and over. This point wasn't really explained very well, and looking back, I don't know why that happened. Apart from that, I felt the time travel was explained really well.
The main plot, involves changing the past to save the future. There was a good use of tension, with short sentences adding to the distress and danger the characters were in. I thought there were some real nail biting moments, which kept you on the edge of your seat.
The 3 main characters, which make up the Time Riders team; Liam, Maddy and Sal, are great. They were really diverse, with the differences definitely adding to the enjoyment of the story. I also enjoyed the fact that Liam was from the early 20th century, which meant our technology was alien to him. It was great to see how he reacted to this life that is so different, but also the way he spoke, which was quite archaic. Each character had different strengths which were played out nicely through the story.
I loved the historical references in this story; Titanic, 9/11, Hitler. They all added to the story, with references making it easier to see how these changes in history could affect our lives.
There are 9 novels due to be released in this series, which is a lot, but I think it would be worth reading them all to see how Scarrow will continue the story.

Book Review- Pure

Sunday, 26 August 2012
Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publication Date: February 8th 2012
Publisher: Headline Publishing
Pages: 480 (Paperback)
Series: Pure #1
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic

Rating: 5/5

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost--how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked: Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss--maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

I really really enjoyed this novel. It has got to be my favourite YA novel of the year and one of the best dystopian novels I've ever read.
I know what you're thinking, not another dystopian novel, but I really suggest you read this one. It just feels different to me, different from the others.
This novel is set in a post apocalyptic world, where we meet our main character Pressia. She is sixteen and lives in an old barbershop with her grandfather. We also meet our other main character Partridge, they live in the same world, but live different lives. Partridge lives in the dome, where selected members of humanity went before the Detonations hit. He is safe, fit and healthy. She fears for her life, as all sixteen year olds have to turn themselves into the military where they are either trained, or used as training for others. When these two meet, ewverything they believe in changes.
First of all plot. The plot of this novel is great. I loved the world that Baggott had created. The disfigurements that everyone has, some that are scary, and some that are sad, and the mystery of what actually happened in the Detonations, all made this an excellent read. The plot was fast moving, and kept me on the edge of my seat, as I was afraid for the characters. There were lots of plot twists, some good and some definitely bad.
The main character Pressia is awesome. She is such a brave and strong character, who knows exactly what she thinks. She also showed signs of fear, showing she is human after all. She is also very proud, and tries to hide her disfigurement, not wanting anyone to pity her. The other main character Partridge, I also really liked him, although he took longer to grow on me, as at the start, he came across to me as spoilt but by the end of the novel, I loved him just as much as Pressia.
I would definitely recommend reading this novel if you love YA and dystopian novels as this is a great novel, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

New Release Sunday #3

This weeks new release that I am most looking forward to is The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore. This book was released on the 21st of August by Harper Collins. This is the third book in the Lorien Legacies. The hardback edition has 419 pages.
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first.- Goodreads

Click on this link to read an excerpt from the novel:

UKYA Top Ten

If you live in the UK, then listen up. The website are running a poll looking for the UK's top 10 YA novels. They have been running a top 100 poll, but that has finished. Now you are asked to pick your top 10 from a longlist. There is a huge choice of books to pick from, so you will definitely find a top 10. I'm not sure how long this will be running for, so if you want your opinions to count, you should vote now.
Also check out the rest of the website, as its really interesting, and full of YA news.

Book Review- The Pirate Chase

Friday, 24 August 2012
Title: The Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: The Pirate Chase
Author: Rob Kidd
Publication Date: August 2nd 2006
Publisher: Parragon (UK)
Pages: 119
Series: Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow #3
Genre: Childrens, Advenure, Pirates

Rating: 3/5

Jack and company are hot on the trail of the notorious pirate Left Foot Louis, who they believe is currently in possession of the Sword of Cortes. But chasing down a fierce seafarer is challenging even for Jacks formidable crew. And to top it all off, newly appointed first mate Arabella has a personal score to settle with Louis, but could jeopardize the entire mission!- Goodreads
I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so when I realised my brother owned this book, I thought it would be worth a read. I liked this novel, it was really short, and I got through it in about a day, but it was an enjoyable read none the less.
The plot basically revolves around a young Jack Sparrow and his crew, who are searching for a sword, which they believe holds magical powers. Although I thought this was a tad predictable for a plot, it still made an enjoyable read.
The part with Arabella, the first mate, who has an unexpected score to settle with our baddie, was good. I felt at this point in the story (about 2 thirds through) the story was running a little too smoothly, and it felt a bit cliched (happily ever after, anyone?). This part was written well, you could sense the tension, and hurt through the way Kidd wrote it.
I also enjoyed the cliff hanger ending, as this would really entice children to pick up another edition.
Our main character is, of course, Jack Sparrow. I loved him just as much in this novel as I did in the film. He was written so well that it was just like the Jack Sparow we are used to in the films. Some of my favourite quotes are:
  •  "I'm a mite unclear on that point myself, mate. But let's burn that bridge when we get to it, shall we?"
  • "Well, hello there, mate," he said. "Captain Jack Sparrow. How very nice to meet you."
He sounded and felt just like Johnny Depp portrays him in the movies, which I thought was a crucial part to get right. Jack's sarcasm, even at this young age, added humour to the story, and added to my enjoyment.
The "bad guy" of this novel is Left Foot Louis (called this because, funnily enough, he has two left feet), and I thought he was a pretty good villain. He was quite frightening, threatening to kill our heroes to get the sword, but not too frightning to scare children. The thing I didn't like about him was how stereotypically evil he was, he was all show and very piratey, whereas normally I like my villain with some flaw, something eerie or chilling. But considering this is a children's novel, that would have been a pretty big ask.
The rest of Jack's crew, consisted of; Arabella (first mate and a female!!), Fitzwilliam (posh,very proud boy), Jean (French) and Tumen (Jean's best friend and a bit of a mystery). I loved the diversity of these characters, and the way they made a great bunch of kids, but also grated with each other just a little bit. Another member of the crew is Constance, who is a cat. Jean is convinced that this is his sister, who was cursed into being a cat. There was a lot of witty dialogue concerning this cat, along with a lot of typical Jack sarcasm.
As you can see, this is number 3 in the series, and I haven't read 1 or 2. I don't think this made much difference to the story, as I managed to follow the story without the need of any knowledge of the previous. Although I thought this book was ok, I am undecided as to whether I will read the other book from this series that I own, because I'm just not sure if I want to.

New Release Sunday #2

Sunday, 19 August 2012
This weeks new release book is called The Kill Order by James Dashner. This is a prequel to the popular series The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
This novel is set before the things in The Maze Runner. It is a post apocalyptic novel in which two people called Mark and Trina, who survived the sun flares that hit the earth. A disease of rage and maddness is sweeping through the survivors, which is mutating and could wipe out mankind forever. Mark and Trina are convinced there is a way to save those left living from this fate, and they're determined they can find it, if they can stay alive long enough.
Try this if you like; YA, Dystopian novels, Science Fiction.

Book Review- Artemis Fowl

Title: Artemis Fowl
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publication Date: May 3rd 2001
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 396
Series: Artemis Fowl #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure

Rating: 3/5

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit.

These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.

Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them…but then they stop playing by the rules.

In this novel we meet mastermind Artemis Fowl for the first time. He is a criminal mastermind who has taken over his families business, at the tender age of twelve. In this novel he kidnaps a fairy, with the intent of holding her hostsage and collecting a large ransom in gold. Although Artemis has thought out his plan with military accuracy and made plans to cover his back, things don't go perfectly to plan.
This is essentialy an adventure novel, which I enjoyed. At times I found the plot to be a little slow, with parts dragging out, and not really making me want to pick it back up. The action parts of the novel, were allright, but I did find it quite predictable in parts.
The main character Artemis, is quite an interesting character. For only being 12 years old, he is very intelligent and cunning, and he seems wise beyond his years. I both liked him, his ingenuity, and hated him, his criminal streak, and his kidnapping of the fairy. This made him seem quite unlikeable, but I'm not sure whether that was the aim or whether that was just me.
Overall I thought it was an allright novel, and I liked the action and adventure but it just didn't capture me as much as I wanted. I will continue with the series as I am intrigued by the character of Artemis and I want to know what happens next.

Book Review- Dead Famous

Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Title: Dead Famous
Author: Ben Elton
Publication Date: 2001
Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 382
Genre: Humour, Mystery, Contemporary

Rating: 3/5

One house, ten contestants, thirty cameras, and forty microphones. Everybody knows the rules—total strangers are forced to live together while the rest of the country watches them do it. However, on day 27, one of the housemates is killed on live TV. Who is the murderer? How did they manage to kill under the constant gaze of the television cameras? Why did they do it? And who will be next?- Goodreads

I wanted to read this novel because Ben Elton, co wrote Blackadder which is one of my favourite tv series ever so when I saw he had written a book, I thought I would give it a go. I don't read a lot of contemporary novels as I like to escape when I read, so reading about the *real world* isn't escaping, in my mind.
Like the summary of the book says, the plot is based around a reality tv programme, where ten contestants are constantly on camera, being watched by the public. This is very much like the tv series Big Brother, and in essence this book is taking a swing at reality tv shows like this one.
The plot was alright, the author kept the killer a secret until the very end of the novel, although I  had guessed who did it about two thirds of the way through. There are also enough background information about the different characters, so that anybody could have been the murderer, they all could have had motives to do it. Also Elton doesn't give away who was murdered until about half way through the novel, which was clever, but was a bit annoying as it felt like the novel was written in a secretive way, which took away from the story.
The 10 contestants in the house were all right as characters but I felt they were all a bit cliched and weren't really like people are in the real world. The police detective was a likeable character but his constant moaning about the people in the tv programme was a tad grating at times.
Overall this is an ok novel that I probably won't read again but if you like contemporary detective novls with a reality tv series, this one is for you.  

New Release Sunday!

Sunday, 12 August 2012
This is a new series of posts I'm going to do each Sunday, about a book released in the week previous.
This weeks book is called THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas. This book was published on the Tuesday 7th of August by Bloomsbury (US).
This is the first novel in the Throne of Glass series.
This novel is about an 18 year old assasin called Celaena Sardothien who has been serving out a year of hard labour as punishment for her crimes, when she is offered freedom by the Crown Prince. In return, she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assasin. She has to beat assasins from other Kings in order to be crowned the royal assasin, but when assasins start turning up dead she has to investigate who is killing them before she gets killed herself. As she investigates she discovers a greater destiny than she could ever have imagined.
Try this if you like; Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance.

Book Review- I Am Legend

Saturday, 11 August 2012
Title: I Am Legend
Author: Richard Matheson
Publication Date: 1954
Pages: 162
Genre: Science fiction, post apocalyptic

Rating: 5/5

A terrible plague decimates the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into bloodthirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is somehow the last living man on Earth.- Goodreads

I loved this book! I absolutely loved it, it's one of the best books I've read this year. It is about a man called Robert who is trying to survive as, he believes, the only man on earth, in a world of vampires.
The plot was quick paced, with lots of twists which made it very difficult to put it down, and so I read it in one day.
This book was a refreshing read, with vampires being the evil creatures they were imagined to be and not the brooding love interests they are in YA novels at the moment. I really enjoyed being scared and having the characters in the book being scared, (and not attracted to) the vampires in this novel.
The biological part of the novel was great, with Matheson doing a lot of research into how a virus like this could spread. I also thought this idea was an interesting twist on the usual being bitten is what turns you into a vampire story, and I enjoyed reading and learning about this virus.
The main character is called Robert Neville and we start the novel with him having survived as the only man on earth for around 3 months. He shows great resilience to have survived this far and great inteligence to have defended himself and his house against the vampires. I really liked Robert's character as I found him likeable and someone I could realte to. I also liked that he had some flaws and weaknesses which made sure he was different from the monsters outside. I also liked that we got some background information about Robert, but only in small pieces as we went through the story, not all told to us at the beginning. This meant you weren't sure of things until they were clarified later on in the story.
The story is written in first person terms from Robert Nevile's point of view. This allows you to see exactly what Robert is thinking and increases how you feel about him and how well you know him. I liked this style of writing as I felt like it added more to the novel, with you seeing this crazy vampire infested world through a average human's eyes.
Overall I would definitely recommend this novel for all sci-fi fans, as it is a classic novel that will appeal to fans of dystopian novels and traditional creepy vampires. 

Book Review- The Bad Beginning

Thursday, 9 August 2012
Title: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Publication Date: September 30th 1999
Publisher: Egmont Books
Pages: 162
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Genre: Childrens, Mystery, Middle Grade

Rating: 4/5

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

This is a novel written for younger children but is still an enjoyable read for anybody. This is the second time I have actually read it and we own the whole series so I will re-read the rest too.
In this novel, 3 newly orphaned children go to live with an distant relative Count Olaf. Count Olaf really wants to get his hands on the children's huge wealth. The 3 children have to try and foil his evil plan and save themselves and their fortune.
The plot was quite simple which is understandable as it is written for younger children and on the whole I found it very enjoyable. It is fast paced and interesting, with twists that will keep younger children guessing but which I found rather predictable.
The characters are really interesting, with the three children being my favourites. Violet is the eldest child and loves to invent things. This is rather a strange personality trait which not many characters are given so I enjoyed reading about the things she invented. The middle child is called Klaus and he loves to read. He knows lots, and his knowledge comes in handy during the book. The youngest child is called Sunny and she is still a toddler. She doesn't know any words but she loves to bite things including people. The villain is called Count Olaf, who is a distant relative of the orphans, who wants to get the orphans fortune, which will be Violet's when she comes of age. He was a really great villain, with the right amount of believability and menace to make him seem quite scary.
This novel is written in 3rd person, by someone recounting the children's adventure. Also the author uses a great number of words that some younger children might not recognise, but he puts the meaning of the word after it. For example "...occasionally their parents gave them permission to take a rickety trolley - the word 'rickety,' you probably know, here means 'unsteady' or 'likely to collapse' - alone to the seashore...."
At first I found this jarring and felt it spoilt the flow of the novel but after a chapter or so I got used to it and I didn't really notice it. This would be helpful for people who didn't know what these words meant and it is probably teaching younger children new vocabulary.
Overall I would recommend this book whatever your age as it is enjoyable and different from most books out there at the moment. 

Book Review- The War of the Worlds

Friday, 3 August 2012
Title: The War of the Worlds
Author: H.G. Wells
Publication Date: 1898
Publisher: Modern Library
Pages: 192
Genre: Classic, Science Fiction

Rating: 3/5

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own.” Thus begins one of the most terrifying and morally prescient science fiction novels ever penned. Beginning with a series of strange flashes in the distant night sky, the Martian attack initially causes little concern on Earth. Then the destruction erupts—ten massive aliens roam England and destroy with heat rays everything in their path. Very soon humankind finds itself on the brink of extinction. H. G. Wells raises questions of mortality, man’s place in nature, and the evil lurking in the technological future—questions that remain urgently relevant in the twenty-first century".- Goodreads

I read this book on my Ipod as it was free on an app. I have seen two films of this novel and I was expecting a really great read as I really enjoyed the movies. Also it is a very short novel so it didn't take very long to read.
The story starts just as Martians invade the Earth. The story follows one man as he tries to survive and come to terms with what is happening to Earth. It is a really great idea for a novel that was written long before sci-fi was a common thing to write about.
The plot was good, it had some really good parts like all the description of the martians which must have taken some imagination to design them so fully. There were some parts that were slow because the story was retold by our main character so it wasn't a very exciting read at times.
Our main character is the narrator who never gives his name. We know some things about him but not a lot, which makes it an interesting story. He retells the character, even all the bad decisions he makes.
Overall this was a good story but it was a lot slower than the more modern novels that I normally read. Overall I rated it 3/5.

Book Review- Blood on the Moon

Title: Blood on the Moon
Author: Jennifer Knight
Publication Date: August 30th 2011
Publisher: Perseus Books (US)
Pages: 400
Series: Blood on the Moon #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Werewolves, Vampires

Rating: 2/5

As Faith Reynolds enters her freshman year of college, she is a complete and utter nervous wreck. With her best friend Derek suddenly pulling out the romance card and her dark, mysterious classmate staring her down at every turn, Faith somehow feels stuck in the middle without dating either one. And fortune may or may not be with her when a devilshly sexy stranger offers her a welcome escape.
 Darkness seems to be creeping into every corner of Faith's life, no matter the hour. And when she seeks the truth, danger seems to be the only thing that finds her.
Faith is well aware of the strange currents in the air, particularly when she sets off static sparks with everything she touches. Before long, she finds herself entrenched in the deep-seeded battle between werewolves and vampires. The war has reached the tipping point, and Faith has the power to determine where the scales fall. But the most important question may be with whom does her loyalty lie? - Goodreads

I heard about this book from as they were allowing you to read the ebook free off their website until the 1st of August. I had never heard of this novel nor did I have any idea what it was about but I thought I would give it a go anyway. I finished this novel in 2 days as it wasn't very difficult to read.

The plot basically revolves around a girl called Faith who has just started her first year at college. She only really has one friend, her best friend for basically her whole life, Derek. Things get complicated for Faith when Derek wants to be more than friends and things in Faith's past start to affect her again. Also a mysterious classmate is stirring up emotions in Faith she has tried to smother.
The plot had one major problem and that was that it was an almost carbon copy of the plot to Twilight. To me it felt as if the author just thought that by changing the main focus from vampires to werewolves, we would all look past the major similarities in the novels. Frankly this really annoyed me as I want to read a new novel, not a copy of another one. Some of the similarities were; the mysterious dark love interest Lucas was so similar to Edward, he looked at Faith as if he hated her, he never talked to her, wouldn't even look at her, a vampire sworn enemy sets his eye on Faith to spite Lucas just like James does with Bella, a large chunk of the novel is taken up by Lucas taking Faith to meet his (not really) family and how she is worried about what they will think, Derek is a friend that creates a love triangle (Jacob). Of course there were some differences, the novel is set in college instead of school, the main love interest is a werewolf and the enemy are vampires.
In terms of speed it was quite a fast paced novel, that did an alright job of keeping me interested and the ending was something I wasn't expecting, which is great.

I had mixed feelings about the main character Faith, in some ways I liked her, she could stand her ground, and stand up to people, and she had an interesting back story. She also had a weird thing that she got an electric shock from touching things. I really liked this twist and I was disappointed that this wasn't really focussed on and didn't get explained at all. Faith also seemed a bit naive and this was annoying as I had figured things out miles before her and this frustrated me.
Hr best friend Derek annoyed me too as he didn't seem to understand what no meant. He seemed childish and didn't seem to have any character traits that made him seem like a person you would like to be friends with.
The other main male character is Lucas, who is Faith's main love interest. He was annoyingly similar to Edward in Twilight, which was annoying and just seemed like a waste.

Overall I gave this novel 2/5 stars and this was mainly because of its similarity to Twilight and the fact that I didn't really connect with the characters so it didn't rate very highly.

July Wrap Up

Thursday, 2 August 2012
This is a short review of all the books I read in July.
The first novel I read was The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen. I bought this novel in January on my Kindle as it was free and I thought it sounded good. I finally got round to reading it in early July. I gave this novel 3/5 stars as I thought it was a good enough read but was so similar to many other YA novels that it was a bit predictable.
The next novel I read was Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I read this novel on my Kindle too as it is a classic and classics are free on Kindle. I had been meaning to pick up this book for a while as it is a well known story that I felt like I should have read. Honestly this novel was a disappointment to me as I was expecting so much more. The character of Alice was bossy and mean and very unlikeable, and the story felt disjointed. I gave this novel 2/5 stars.
I also read Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker. I really love everything Doctor Who and I have been missing the TV series so I thought I would check the novels out. I liked this novel and gave it 3/5 stars. I felt the author portrayed the Doctor and Rose exactly as they were in the TV series which was really great.
The next novel I read was The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, which is a YA novel about faeries. I thought this was an interesting idea for a novel, involving a subject I wasn't familiar with. This again was an alright novel, with parts that I really involved but the main character really spoilt it for me. She was a weak character that spent all her time either being saved by others or moaning. I gave this novel 3/5 stars.
I read Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan in July too. I gave this novel 5/5 stars as I really enjoyed it, it was a type of novel that I hadn't read before but I can't wait to read the rest in the series.
I also read Pirates of the Caribbean: Pirate Chase by Rob Kidd. I gave this short story 3/5 stars. This is a short story about a young Jack Sparrow and one of his adventures with his young crew. This was quite an enjoyable story in which the author got Jack Sparrow just right.
The last book I read in July was Blood on the Moon by Jennifer Knight. I gave this book 2/5 stars as I found it to be very similar to Twilight, with a couple of subtle changes to try and make it different. This annoys me when novel are so similar to others, without any originality.
So overall I read 7 books in July, which is a good total for me. Hope you have a good day. :)

July Book Haul

All the books I purchased in July were for my Kindle as I went on holiday and I wanted some summer reading.
The first book I bought was The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. This is a postapocalyptic novel about a father and his son who make their way through America. I've heard a lot about this novel and decided I would buy it for my Kindle. This cost me £2.99 which I thought was a good deal.

The next novel I purchased was True Blood Omnibus: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. This omnibus includes the first 3 novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was really interested to read this series and when I saw the first three novels together in this way I had to buy it. It cost me £7.99.

The next novel I purchased was The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. This is the first novel in The Iron Fey series, a YA series about faeries. I have heard of this novel on Goodreads and I thought I would check it out as there have been mixed reviews. It was £3.19, which is a lot cheaper than in paperback format.

The last book I purchased was Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan. This is the first novel in the Saga of Darren Shan, a younger teenage novel about a boy who gets involved with a Cirque du Freak. This is quite a short novel that I thought would be a great read while I was waiting in the airport. This novel cost me £3.49.

Book Review- The Iron King

Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: February 1st 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (US)
Pages: 363
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 3/5

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.- Goodreads

My Thoughts

I feel a bit undecided about this book as there were parts of it that I liked but parts that frustrated me .

Plot: 3/5

The plot is slightly different to your normal YA books at the moment with the involvement of Fey in the story but it still wasn't amazing. At times the plot moved quickly and was exciting but at times it moved slowly and was full of details that didn't seem necessary to the story. Also I feel there are the beginnings of a love triangle in this series which is a theme in YA that is getting old now.

Characters: 2/5

The main character Meghan is another frustrating female protagonist who spends most of her time needing to be saved by "her knight in shining armour", (the males in the novel). This is a boring character trait that a lot of YA main characters have that I find very annoying. Meghan also spends a lot of the start of the novel whining about things which makes her a bit unlikeable. The two males are a bit two dimensional and we don't know very much about them at this time.

Overall: 3/5

This is an alright YA novel which is based around an interesting idea but which doesn't quite deliver as much as you hope it would. Overall worth a read but I don't think I will bother continuing the series.

Book Review- Alice in Wonderland

Title: Alice in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Publication Date: 1865
Publisher: Gramercy (2004)
Pages: 96
Series: Alice #1
Genre: Classics, Fantasy

Rating: 2/5

Conceived by a shy British don on a golden afternoon to entertain ten-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have delighted generations of readers in more than eighty languages. “The clue to the enduring fascination and greatness of the Alice books,” writes A. S. Byatt in her Introduction, “lies in language. . . . It is play, and word-play, and its endless intriguing puzzles continue to reveal themselves long after we have ceased to be children.”- Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I have been meaning to read this book for a while as it was free on my kindle and I knew I should have read it as it is a classic. Unfortunately I wish I hadn't bothered.

Plot: 2/5

This was a novel which felt like there was no structure or plan to how the plot would go and that Carroll was just making it up as he went with no idea what was coming next. I didn't like this as it made the novel feel jolty and it didn't have any flow to it. Also the ending really annoyed me, I won't say any more but I felt like it just spoilt the world he had created.

Characters: 2/5

My least favourite character in this novel was Alice, the main character, who came across as a bossy know it all, who was very rude to the other characters in the story. She seems like a very mean girl who talks horribly about just about everybody she knows. I liked the Hatter's character but we didn't find out very much about him so I just based my ideas on the Hatter from Tim Burton's movie.

Overall: 2/5

Overall I didn't like this novel. It is only 96 pages long so it won't take you too long if you want to read it but I don't think it's a classic book you need to read.

Book Review- Cirque Du Freak

Title: Cirque du Freak
Author: Darren Shan
Publication Date: June 1st 2000
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers (US)
Pages: 272
Series: The Saga of Darren Shan #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires

Rating: 5/5

In the tradition of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot, Cirque Du Freak is the frightening saga of a young boy whose visit to a mysterious freak show leads him on a journey into a dark world of vampires. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and a petrifying ending, Cirque Du Freak will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more.- Goodreads

My Thoughts

When I went on to Goodreads to choose a novel to buy, I noticed this novel because so many of my friends on Goodreads have given it 5 stars. I had high expectations of this novel and it didn't disappoint.

Plot: 5/5

I really enjoyed the plot of this novel as it was unlike anything I have read before. I have read some vampire novels but I found the plot of this novel to be refreshingly different, it had none of the stereotypical things you expect in a vampire novel. The plot is written in first person which I think is a good move as it adds more detail to the story.

Characters: 5/5

Our main character is called Darren Shan and he is a pretty good main character. He seems like a likeable and realistic main character who is just a normal person thrown into unusual circumstances. The smaller characters are also good, with my favourite being Steve, Darren's best friend. I thought he was a very interesting person and the twist involving him at the end was great and unexpected.

Writing Style: 5/5

I feel like the novel is written in a kind of diary style, with there being lots of thoughts and feelings from our main character Darren Shan. It is written as if Darren is retelling his story for us and it is a different but interesting way to write it.

Overall: 5/5

Although this book is written for younger teenagers it is still an enjoyable book no matter your age. Also don't be put off by the fact there are vampires in it, as they aren't your typical "Twilight" vampires, they are a lot more evil, more Dracula like. I would reccommend this book!


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