Monday, 10 October 2016

Midnight Angel | Book Review

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Midnight Angel, by Tracey A. Wood
Published: June 2016, by Soul Mate Publishing
Length: 292 pages
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance

My Rating: 3 Stars!

Synopsis:

After almost losing her life in a vicious, bloody attack, Kat Shaw, a thirty-something divorcee, discovers that there are such things as monsters. And the predator who attacked her is not human. 
She starts to develop unusual skills that have murderous consequences. And she becomes an unwilling witness to multiple, brutal murders, seen through the eyes of a killer.
Thrown into a battle of Good Vs. Evil, she falls in love with two men who are not what they seem.
While her attacker stalks her and continues to murder the innocent, she has to find the inner strength to take on and fight the demons from hell - to protect her family and friends while also trying to save her own life.

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I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Xpresso Tours in exchange for an honest review.
This in no way influences my opinions. 

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My Review

I must admit, Midnight Angel is probably not the sort of book I'm used to reading. I'm a massive fan of paranormal romance books, however, I do believe this is the first I've read in the 'Adult' genre since I generally prefer to stick to 'Young Adult' when it comes to romance and all things paranormal. However, the synopsis of Midnight Angel really appealed to me, so I thought it was definitely worth a go!

The first thing I noticed when reading Midnight Angel, and apologies for starting with a slight negative, was that it was a little difficult to follow. There wasn't really much of an 'introduction' of sorts to the story, which I did enjoy since it just jumped straight into the action without having to set out who the characters were and how everybody felt about each other. So, I thought that the fast-paced action and quickly-developing plot really worked in the favour of the story to begin with. 
However, I soon began to notice that the rest of the book was just as equally fast-paced, which I didn't appreciate quite as much. It just made it a little hard to grasp at times, since it felt like it was jumping straight from one action sequence to the next. 

I actually thought the characters in the book were great. They had definite dimensions to them and were not just 'empty' characters, with no back-stories or past-experiences. Kat was certainly quite a strong main character, even if there were times where I questioned her motives and choices, which didn't always seem too genuine or smart. I liked the fact that, deep down, she was pretty much a normal person who was simply attempting to deal with the changes that went on around her. 

The other characters within the story were also fairly strong and relatable, and select few were fairly cute, too, which is always wins them points in my books! I'm not sure I liked the idea of the love triangle in the book - if I'm honest, I'm getting a little fed up of love triangles in general as I'm not entirely sure what they add to a story, but this one was certainly interesting. 

Tracey A. Wood's writing in Midnight Angel was another positive within the book. I haven't read anything else by this author before, but I enjoyed how relatable the writing and story-telling was. It was fairly easy to read, and was almost like just reading thoughts in your head, the way it was pulled off. I wouldn't say that it had anything completely special or unique about it, but it did suit the story and gave the book a completely different feel to other paranormal fantasy books, due to this.

Overall, I did enjoy the plot of the novel, even if it did seem slightly confusing and overly fast-paced at times. I really liked the 'mystery' aspect of the story, what with the murders and attacks; I definitely thought this improved the story and for this reason, I gave Midnight Angel 3 stars out of a possible 5.

I would recommend Midnight Angel to fans of a paranormal romance or anyone partial to a modern 'murder mystery' type of novel. The book did contain a great deal of mature content including quite a lot of bad language and sex, therefore, I would only suggest this book to a mature audience (roughly 16-18 plus, depending on maturity) and I would also suggest that the book probably shouldn't be read in public places!

So, despite its faults, I did enjoy the story and hope other people do too!


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You can buy your own copy of Midnight Angel on Amazon through this link!


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I hope you have enjoyed this review and I hope to be back for more soon! 

If you have read Midnight Angel, I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Charlotte xxx



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Friday, 30 September 2016

Sun and Moon | Book Review

Sun and Moon, by Desiree Williams
Published: April 2016, by Createspace
Length: 255 pages
Genres: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Synopsis:

There is nothing in life that eighteen year old Zara craves more than her freedom. Stolen from her home in Cadrebia at the age of eight, Zara has spent more years than she cared to admit as a slave to the Tankadesh courts. Her days are filled with protecting the princess, while she spends nights entertaining the king and his officials with her mastery of weapons. Any spare moment in between, she plots escape.

Yet her hopes for freedom come to a crashing halt when a stranger arrives bearing the mark of her assigned lifemate, and he threatens war if she isn’t turned over into his care. But a lifemate is not part of the plan. Her dreams, of choosing her own path and being the master of her own will, weaken as her Moon seeks to claim his Sun.

Is it possible that this stranger, with gentle blue eyes and a ready smile, didn’t come to be her new master? That there could be more to his tale?

Zara soon finds that neither her captivity nor her parents’ deaths were mere random attacks. And by returning to Cadrebia, she may have put the future of the royal line—and her Moon—in jeopardy. While Zara breathes in her first taste of freedom, her enemies move in, seeking to rob Cadrebia of its blessed prophecy.

To keep what she holds dear, Zara must rise above the pain and uncertainty to claim the lifemate assigned to her, or more than her freedom will be stolen this time.


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I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Xpresso Tours in exchange for an honest review.
This in no way influences my opinions.
 
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My Review
 
I honestly wasn't really sure what to expect when I began to read Sun and Moon. I was a little confused by the synopsis of the book and wasn't too sure that I'd enjoy reading the story...
Oh, but I was wrong!
 
I loved the ideas and plot of this story. It was a fantastic idea and it lead to me being really captivated in the story. I really loved the idea of two people being completely destined to be together, no matter what their age or personality. I also loved the way that this idea was pulled off within the story; it's not a completely original idea for a story, but the way it was written made it feel completely new, which I completely loved! I really liked the idea of each person getting a 'mark' when they and their destined partner came of age, and the idea that they're just drawn towards each other in an incontrollable way.
Needless to say, I loved the way Zara was matched up within the story!
 
Actually, I thought Zara herself was a great character. I appreciated how strong she seemed, particularly considering her past as a prisoner to the royal family with a deceased family. She was a really good and solid main character, and I also really enjoyed how much she developed over the course of the story, it was great to see!
In fact, I liked most of the characters in the story. From what I can recollect, there were no particular characters that irritated me throughout the book. I loved Jaedon as a love-interest and character of his own - he really was just perfect! There was no fault to him whatsoever!
 
The romance in Sun and Moon was swoon-worthy to say the least! It was the kind of romance that just leaves you feeling mushy inside; the kind that really just makes you feel happy with your life. So this book definitely delivered on the romance side of things! I guess you could say it had some issues, but the only issue I found with it was that it seemed too perfect to be real - but in a fiction book, does this really matter? I love a good romance one in a while!!
 
I really enjoyed Desiree Williams' writing over the course of this novel. It made the book really easy to read, and also meant for quite a quick read; great for getting out of a reading slump! If I'm completely honest, I didn't think the writing was particularly anything too special, but it certainly wasn't bad! I quite enjoyed it!
 
I guess the only issue I really had with Sun and Moon was that it just seemed too perfect. There was a perfect, strong, female lead, a perfectly gorgeous love interest who just did everything right, and a perfectly happy ending. Every now and then, I do quite enjoy a book with a 'perfect' romance, like I've already said, but when absolutely everything ends this way, it can just seem a little sickly and false.
I do believe Sun and Moon would have benefited from a little more 'grit' and struggle. I mean, there were definitely aspects of this in the story, but I don't think it was quite prominent enough to balance out the happiness.
It was refreshing to read a happier book in the fantasy genre for a chance, but I just think this story verged on being just too happy. This, however, could just be a fault in my taste of stories rather than within the book itself.
 
I would recommend Sun and Moon to fans of YA Fantasy. The content in this book was probably a little too 'happy' for fans of really raw and gritty fantasy novels, however, if you're in the mood for a lighter read, this is definitely the book for you! Despite it being classed as a book for Young Adults, I do also think that people older than the recommended age could enjoy this story too.
I ended up giving Sun and Moon 4 stars in total, since I really, really enjoyed the idea of the book and the characters, but I do think it could have benefitted from being just a little more gritty with maybe a little more action. Except for that, I did really enjoy the book and would definitely be interested in reading more from this author!
 
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You can purchase Sun and Moon through this link!
 
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I hope you've enjoyed this review! If you've read or want to read Sun and Moon, I'd love to know your thoughts!
 
Until my next review,
 
 
Charlotte xxx



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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Somniare | Book Review

Somniare, by D.T. Dyllin
Published: July 2016, by Tik Tok Press
Length: 270 Pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

My Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:

Remy Novem was murdered…

But she didn’t die.


Forced to escape to Somniare, a dream landscape, Remy must somehow survive living nightmares, and endless torment without using her magic. Her only hope for freedom is to hitch a ride with a human back into reality, tricking the poor creature into believing no harm will befall them.

Remy isn’t troubled by the fact that she must kill to live…

Until love changes everything.


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I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Xpresso Tours in exchange for an honest review.
This in no way influences my opinions.
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My Review
First of all, I would like to begin by saying how amazing I thought the synopsis of Somniare was!
I was immediately entranced by the idea of this book. I can't really think of many books that start out with the main character being murdered and then proceeding to tell the rest of the story, so to me, this aspect was really interesting and appealing!
When I actually began to read Somniare, I must say, the whole plot did suddenly seem a little confusing. I loved the whole idea of Remy, our main character, going to a type of dream-world. It was really interesting and strange as it was almost unpredictable!
I also really liked the murder-mystery feel to the story, as Remy had to work out who had murdered her and why. I'm a massive fan of a good murder-mystery and have been unsuccessful in finding many good ones within the YA genre, so it was nice for this one to come along!
If I'm being honest, I didn't completely bond with Remy as a main character in the same way I usually like to. I mean, she was interesting enough and really fun to read about, but I can't say I really got chance to relate to her which was quite disappointing.
I liked all of the other characters within the novel, but I must say, I was really confused by the gender-changing love interest guardian character, Makoto. S/he really confused me and it just found it to be a little over-the-top strange! I just never really understood the necessity.
I thought the writing in the book was of a fairly good quality. I can't really say that D.T. Dyllin's writing was any more special than that in other books of a similar genre, but it was still good and told the story in a way that did it justice, which is great to find!
In a nutshell, I would describe Somniare as being quite relatable to a Tim Burton film, in the way that it was a little strange and confusing with odd twists and turns that mess with you mind and leave you feeling slightly lost. However, it did have an overall strange sense of intrigue throughout the whole novel that really left me wondering what would happen next, and I really felt for the characters, however strange they were!
I liked the aspect that you really couldn't predict what was going to happen next throughout the book. It's quite refreshing to read a book in which you really have no idea what's going to happen, and with Somniare, this was definitely the case! Pretty much anything could happen within this world and in this book, so it made for a strange but quirky plot!
My main issue with the book was that it was maybe just a little too confusing and strange for me to be able to keep up with. There were many, many twists and turns in the plot of Somniare, which I usually love, however it just seemed too much in this book. For this reason, I found it a little too hard to follow and it just confused me at times!
But other than that I thought it was a good, solid book and I did enjoy it, which is why I gave it 3 stars overall.
I would recommend Somniare  to fans of fantasy and possibly paranormal books. there aren't really an specific age groups for this book in terms of suitability; it's a YA book so it's not for younger readers, but I do feel that older readers could still enjoy it. I would say that Somniare requires a keen mind and ability to keep up with a very fast-paced plot (which apparently I do not have!) but other than that I think it would be suitable for most people!
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You can purchase Somniare on Amazon through this link.
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I hope you have enjoyed this review! Have you read Somniare? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
That's all for now but I'll be back with another review soon!
Charlotte xxx




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Thursday, 15 September 2016

A Mortal Song | Blog Tour & Giveaway!



Hello!!
Welcome to my stage of the Blog Tour for Megan Crewe's new book, A Mortal Song! I received an advanced review copy of A Mortal Song though Xpresso Book Tours, who are running this tour. You can click on the link here to see the whole tour and follow it day by day!

A Mortal Song, by Megan Crewe
Published: September 2016, by Another World Press
Length: 382 pages
Genres: YA, Fantasy

My Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

“Megan Crewe’s A Mortal Song is engrossing from the first chapter. The world of the kami is beautifully fantastic and delicately drawn, and the switched-at-birth scenario made me instantly feel for both of these resilient, brave girls. A Mortal Song has lots of magic, lots of heart, and lots to love.” -Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns

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First of all, I absolutely loved the whole idea of A Mortal Song. The synopsis really set the story out well and it sounded like the type of book that would be perfect for me! Needless to say, I was really excited when I began this story.
I loved the idea that the hero in this story wasn't actually the hero she thought she was, and every power she thought she'd had wasn't her own. I thought this was quite a refreshing plot line for the story to follow, since you really don't get to see many of this type of book within the YA or Fantasy genre.

So, leading on from that, I loved Sora as a character and narrator of the novel. It was an interesting point of view to read from, to say the least! Moreover, not only did we have to deal with ghosts, battles and saving her kingdom, we had to undergo the turmoil that went along with realising that your whole life had been a lie. It was this element of the book that I absolutely loved and found really interesting.

I really loved the setting of the book. This was possibly the first book I've ever read that has been set in Japan, so it was really interesting to read about this different location. It has made me want to read more novels set in this area as the back-drops are gorgeous places to hold stories. The fact that A Mortal Song was set in Japan also set it out from the ever-expanding crowd of Young Adult fantasy novels, which I really appreciated.

If I'm honest, I didn't actually think the overall execution of this book lived up to my expectations. I ended up finding myself fairly detached from the majority of the characters and didn't feel much of a connection with them, including Sora, the main character.
To me, this is probably the most disappointing thing in a novel. Don't get me wrong, I did like most of the characters; it wasn't that they weren't pleasant or well-developed characters to read about, however I didn't feel like they were genuine enough for me to be able to connect with in a way that would allow me to really get to know them.
For this reason, I felt slightly disengaged with the story as a whole. As much as I wanted to really enjoy the story and feel completely hooked to each page, this never actually happened.

Also, I wasn't actually a massive fan of the romance in this book for the most part, either. I'm not completely sure of what put me off of it, but it never really approached a stage where I felt that it was genuine. Even though I thought both of the characters were compatible with each other and I was a fan of them being together, I just didn't think they were presented in a well enough light to make their romance seem genuine.

I was in two minds about the writing in A Mortal Song. On one had, I really enjoyed it because it was simple and so easy to read and understand (which is great when you just want to relax with a book and not have to look into it too deeply) so in that respect it was great and really appropriate to the nature and main audience of the book. However, on the other hand, I thought it was a little too straight to the point. Fantasy books like A Mortal Song can often really benefit from overly descriptive writing that meanders onto tangents from time to time. As odd as it sounds, they can be quite beneficial to the overall story-telling. So even though it was nice that the writing was fairly straight to the point as it made the book easier to read, this may not have been the best style of writing for the story being told.

I actually thought there was a lot more potential story to be told and elaborated on than was written throughout the course of the book. For example, there were many places and sites visited where something else could have happened - the more of the story could have been discovered or there could have been an additional problem to solve - but generally, it suck to the same plot the whole way through and was slightly predictable.

Nevertheless, I did really enjoy A Mortal Song for the most part! Yes, there were a few faults in the book, but every story has its flaws. I really enjoyed the idea and main story of the book and even though I wasn't a massive fan of the style of writing, it still delivered the story well, which was its main purpose anyway.
For these reasons, I gave A Mortal Song 3 out of a possible 5 stars. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but in no way was it bad either.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in fantasy, but who possibly haven't read many of them before. A Mortal Song would be a great 'Fantasy for Beginners' book, and I would say it was probably most appropriate for readers within the ages of 12 to 16, although I definitely think older readers would enjoy it too!
 
 
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You can purchase A Mortal Song from the following links:

Amazon
B&N
IndieBound
Indigo


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About the Author
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH 

 
 
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I have also been given the pleasure of hosting a fantastic giveaway, thanks to Megan Crewe, the author. Enter this giveaway to be in with a chance of winning the Japan Media and Treats Prize Pack!
It is open internationally and will close on 12th October. Good luck!

A MORTAL SONG Japan Extravaganza Giveaway!

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I hope you have enjoyed this blog tour and book review!
I will be back with more soon!


Charlotte xxx



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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Rhodi Saga | Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Welcome to my part of the Blog Tour for Megan Linski's new dystopian YA series, The Rhodi Saga!


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I was given the pleasure of joining this blog tour through Xpresso Book Tours, and received a copy of the book from Gryfyn Publishing for reviewing purposes. You can follow the whole tour by clicking this link!


Displaying R1.jpg Rhodi's Light (The Rhodi Saga, #1), by Megan Linski
Published: September 2016 by Gryfyn Publishing
Length: 204 pages 
Genres: YA, Dystopian

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Synopsis:

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.
 
These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first instalment in the epic fantasy series by bestselling author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.


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On reading the synopsis of Rhodi's Light, I had high expectations of this book. It sounded like the sort of book that I would love to read and, luckily, it did not disappoint me.

From the first few pages of the novel, I had latched myself onto this story and could not wait to devour the whole of the book.
I loved the whole idea of Rhodi's Light. While parts of it were fairly similar to other books within this genre, I thought the story took a fresh perspective on the average literary hero. This book combined the action and adventure of a fantasy book with a sensitive nature usually only found in contemporary fiction and I think this was my favourite aspect of the story as a whole.

I also found myself connect a fair amount with the characters, Dylan in particular. I found it easy to read from her perception of this and understand what she was feeling at particular times, which I did enjoy. I also loved reading about the other characters such as Tavana and Talidin. I thought all their back-stories were really interesting and they gave the story a good level of tension and danger through their exposition.
I really appreciated the wide range of characters within the novel and how different they all were due to what each of them had been through. But I also appreciated how this drew many of them together.

As a novel, I enjoyed Rhodi's Light more than I expected to, and was easily captivated by the characters and their stories. The storyline was a little predictable from time to time, but overall I really enjoyed reading it and uncovering the mysteries held within the plot.


Being completely honest, I don't actually think the execution of this story was the best it could have been. The writing was good and made the book quick and easy to read, but there were times that I thought the dialogue seemed slightly too forced between the characters. There were some parts that felt a little too formal to be appropriate for the situation.

If there was any other slight complaint I would have about the book, it would be that it all progressed a little too quickly for my liking. The first book took place over the course of just under a year, yet it was squeezed into around 200 pages, which is fairly short for a book of this genre. I would have actually appreciated it to have been slightly longer with maybe a little more 'padding' and perhaps a slower progression of the story. I did feel that the story jumped mostly straight from one action sequence to another, and even though these were really enjoyable action scenes, I would have preferred a few other things to occur alongside them.

There were loads of aspects of the story that I really loved, however I felt that they weren't built up to enough, so when they were revealed it all just seemed slightly confusing and made me question the necessity of them. However, this scenario didn't really occur many times so it wasn't that big of a deal and overall, I really enjoyed the book.

Rhodi's Light was not only a great fantasy novel, it also dealt with really delicate topics, and dealt with them well. The book deals with things like depression and self-harm, which I think is one of its best qualities. I think it's really important for books these days to be addressing these situations as there are so many people suffering from mental health issues. I thought that Rhodi's Light dealt with these situations in a sensitive yet constructive way, showing positive help for the victims. So I thought this aspect of the book was important and was dealt with well.

I really, really enjoyed reading Rhodi's Light and ended up giving it 4 out of a possible 5 stars, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequels, Rhodi Rising and Rhodi's Lullaby. I would recommend the saga to anyone over the age of 13 (depending on maturity) who likes fantasy and dystopian books. I thought it was a great read for many ages to enjoy. There was a small warning at the start of the book regarding the aspect of mental illnesses and self-harm, so if you really feel uncomfortable reading about this, The Rhodi Saga probably won't be for you. However, even if you're unsure about how you'll deal with this in a story, I would recommend just giving it a go as I think it's a really important thing to be aware of.


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You can purchase Rhodi's Light through:

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About the Author
Displaying Megan-Linski.jpg
Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she completed her first (short) novel at the age of 6. Her specialisations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for people aged 14-24. When not writing she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, theatre, archery, fishing, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder. She lives in Michigan.

Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.


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I've also been given the opportunity to host the international giveaway for The Rhodi Saga Blog Tour, which includes the following amazing prizes from Gryfyn Publishing:

  • $100 Amazon Gift Card (Grand Prize)
  • Rhodi’s Light by Megan Linski PAPERBACK
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas PAPERBACK
  • A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest PAPERBACK NEW AND LENGTHENED EDITION
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson PAPERBACK
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas PAPERBACK

You can enter the giveaway, which will close on 10th September, using the link below! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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I hope you have enjoyed this post! I hope to be back with more soon!

Charlotte xxx



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Monday, 15 August 2016

Under A Million Stars | Book Blitz - Giveaway, Excerpt and Playlist!


Under A Million Stars, by Rita Branches
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Displaying EBOOKLOW.jpgHer heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realises that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?


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You can buy Under A Million Stars on:


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An Excerpt from Under A Million Stars...


Jacob

These two weeks had been hell for me.

I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.

I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night. 

I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did. 

My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together. 

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This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away. 

I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one. 

I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.


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A Playlist for Under A Million Stars...

I was so excited to receive this playlist that goes along with Under A Million Stars as I love reading to music; it's the best way to read!!



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I'm also really excited to share this $15 Amazon gift card Giveaway with you!! 
It will end on 18th August, and you can enter it below!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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I hope you've enjoyed this post and be sure to check out Under A Million Stars!

I'll be back with another post soon!!

Charlotte xxx



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Sunday, 14 August 2016

StarPassage: The Relic | Book Review

StarPassage: The Relic, by Clark Rich Burbidge
Published: June 2016
Length: 254 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi, Time-Travel
Source: Review copy sent by PR by the Book  (Thank you!!)

My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Tim and Martie are teenagers going through a tough time. Their father is suffering from PTSD, which has evoked their mother's depression, and slowly, their lives are heading in a downward spiral with the family at breaking point.
But, when Tim and Martie come across an ancient Christmas ornament with a spellbinding secret, they find themselves sent centuries into the past in search of a new hope for their family.
They're not the only ones who can hunt through time though; with every movement watched by the fearsome Trackers, there's only so much travelling Tim and Martie can do without evoking a response.
Soon, Tim and Martie find themselves in a deadly race to get back home, but can they save their family in the process?


I think that I should start with a little disclaimer that while this book seems to be targeted towards teens, and in the YA genre, I actually think it would be more appropriate for it to be read by Middle-Grade students. For that reason, I will be writing this review of StarPassage as if it is a Middle-Grade book.

I'm no expert, but in my opinion, this book would be fantastic for children who know someone suffering from a mental illness such as PTSD or depression. I loved the way these illnesses were portrayed throughout the course of the book, and I actually think reading this would be a great alternative to factual books for children as it would allow the readers to have the ability to relate themselves to the characters within StarPassage so they can understand what is normal to feel and can begin to grasp why feelings like this may occur.


I honestly thought the plot of StarPassage was brilliant. I'll admit, the whole idea did seem a little confusing for me to begin with, what with the time travel aspect, but I soon grasped the storyline and I thought it was a really fun and quirky way to tell the story.
The storyline itself was engaging and entertaining and kept me wanting to read the book, which, of course, is a great quality! I do think a younger audience would probably respond better to the story than I did, mainly because I would view this story as one that might engage younger readers more than older ones. Nevertheless, I did truly enjoy the story, and I thought the ending was appropriate, while leaving a good cliff-hanger for the following book in the StarPassage series.


For me, the writing was the part of the book that didn't quite do the story justice. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but at times, it seemed that the author was 'reporting' the story rather than 'telling' the story. I thought that some of the dialogue seemed a tiny bit forced at times, and parts didn't feel appropriate for the characters; personally, I would say that the family spoke to each other in dialogue that just seemed too formal. I felt that this did improve over the course of the book, but this was what stopped me from awarding the book 4 stars.
However, I did enjoy how much factual information was slipped into the story, which often went into a good amount of depth. Particularly in children's books, I enjoy reading factual pieces of history mixed into the fiction, as it gives the readers an opportunity to learn the history, sometimes subconsciously, while reading the main story too.


In terms of the characters, I thought that Tim and Martie were engaging protagonists who nicely balanced each other out. They were good heroes for a novel of this type and I think children would easily be able to relate to one or the other of them. Personally, I would have preferred for Tim and Martie to have been explored in a depth that didn't revolve around their parents' mental illnesses, as most of the back story for them was centred on their reaction to their father's PTSD. It would have been nice to read about another side of them too. However, since I feel that this book was written with a main purpose of addressing PTSD and other mental illnesses, the depth of the characters was probably still an appropriate amount.


Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy reading StarPassage: The Relic, but I would recommend it more for ages 9-14 as I feel that children in that age group would respond in a better way to the story. So, while I did enjoy it, I would only give this novel 3.5 stars as I thought the writing slightly let the book down and there possibly could have also been a little more depth within the characters. However, I still think this book would be a great read for someone in the same situation as Tim and Martie as I think StarPassage would be a really helpful book!


Thanks again to PR by the Book for providing a review copy of this book!

That's all for this post but I hope to be back for more soon,


Charlotte xxx



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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Struggle of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I firmly believe that nobody can or will ever love anything as much as I love Harry Potter. I simply cannot comprehend the thought that anybody else could contain that amount of love for anything at all!
I would go as far as to say that my life revolves around Harry Potter; I live and breathe everything Potter-ish!
So, with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you'd probably think I'd be more excited.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't been excited at all - I've still counted down the days until its release, from ever since its announcement, I've still followed every piece of information going for it, and I still shed a (few) tear(s) when it arrived through my door - but there's just been one tiny problem...

I am unable to actually read it.

I know. The horror!

I was lucky enough to buy tickets to see The Cursed Child as soon as the tickets went on sale. That day still lives on as the most stressful day of my life...
After sitting patiently at my laptop two hours before the ticket release, just so I could get in the queue as soon as it opened, I finally joined the queue at 10am and then waited for the tickets to go on sale at 11am.
When the queue began...
I waited for the 14,912 people ahead of me in the queue to buy their tickets and leave, unable to leave my laptop for even a few seconds, through fear of it being my turn to buy the tickets and me not being there to see it.
Finally, I reached the front of the queue and put the tickets into my basket at 1:30pm, just before my laptop decided to crash and go into shutdown, causing me to lose both my tickets and my sanity.
I was sent straight back to the end of the queue after managing to restart my laptop, and, with a tear streaked face, hoped and hoped that it wouldn't crash again.
I proceeded to wait for another few hours while around 20,000 people happily sat and bought their tickets, all the while still unable to leave my laptop.
Then, without warning, the queue froze, displaying an announcement that the tickets had sold out and that we would have to wait for another set of tickets to be released for a later date - which really broke my heart as I had been dying to go on 1st September!
Finally, the queue reopened and after an hour or so, I was at the front of it once more. I was then given exactly 14 minutes to select and purchase my tickets before the system would send me straight back to the end of the queue.
After 13 minutes and 30 seconds of selecting my tickets and my card being declined for no apparent reason, I finally got it to work and received a confirmation email a few minutes later with my tickets for late October, which is later than I would have liked, but even so, I was beyond ecstatic - well, and also a little tired and hungry from sitting and staring at a laptop screen non-stop for eight hours, but mainly ecstatic!!


But, as if that whole day wasn't stressful enough, I made myself a promise when it was announced that the script would be released. I promised myself that I would not even look at the script until after I had seen the production. After all, it has been designed by the God that is J. K. Rowling to be seen as a play, so I really don't want to spoil it for myself as I feel that it would be better to walk into the theatre knowing virtually nothing about the play.
I still let myself preorder the script, mainly just so the book could be in my arms as soon as possible, but I did this with the vow to not open the book at all.

But this is already proving more difficult than I had imagined.

I've always been so confused as to how people are able to live in this day and age without having read Harry Potter - the whole world has read these books! And now that I myself am deliberately avoiding Harry Potter, I can see how hard it must be for them!

It honestly feels like I am on a battlefield surrounded by people who have already read the script, and who are ready to shoot spoilers at me.
The script has barely been released for two days now and yet the temptation to break my promise and just read the first few pages is unbearable.

While walking through London...
Every time I pass my bookshelves, it seems that the books are just whispering to me to tell me to pick it up. Every time I'm on the Internet, I'm constantly on the lookout for spoilers so that I can avoid them at a moment's glance. Even walking through the streets of London proved too much to handle as I was preparing myself to break into the Palace Theatre and see what secrets were hiding from me!

It probably doesn't help that the physical book of the script is large than practically all of the other books on my shelf, which means it sticks out way too far and also give the impression that it's floating towards me whenever I catch a glance bookshelves, which does not help my self restraint in the slightest!

I have literally had to tie the book up and padlock it shut!

So, I'm at a loose end.
While I'm dying to just pick up the book and start reading, I still want to put it off until after I have seen the production. After all, we've waited 9 years for this to be released, surely another 2 and a half months won't make much difference?!
(Hahaha - yes it will!)

Now all I have to do is avoid the spoilers until the end of October!


Is there anyone else in the same position as me? If there is, please let me know how you're managing to cope!



Charlotte xxx



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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Second Chance Summer | Book Review

Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson
Published: May 2012, by Simon and Schuster
Length: 480 pages
Genre: YA, Contemporary

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Now that it's officially summer, and the weather in Britain is, well, a little less damp than winter, I thought a summery romance was in order! And it was very much appreciated to warm up the miserable summer we've currently been having!!
 
Taylor Edwards' family isn't the most close-knit family to say the least. With everyone busy with their own schedules, there is little time left to spend as a family, but when Taylor's dad gets some devastating news from which he may not recover, the family decide to spend their last summer together in their old lake-house, where they used to share happy memories. However, it's not just family-time they end up with from their getaway, as the old-lake house uncovers and disrupts memories of love and friendship that had long been avoided, and Taylor is forced to recognise what she once left behind at the Lake House.
But with the progression of the summer, the Edwards family become both more of a family, and even more aware of the ticking clock amongst them.


I read Morgan Matson's Since You've Been Gone last summer, and I actually wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be; I didn't think it quite lived up to the hype surrounding it. This made me a little reluctant to go into Second Chance Summer as I didn't really want it to do the same.
Ahh but I was wrong!
I absolutely loved every single page of this book. I couldn't have been more impressed and surprised, as despite my initially low expectations, I grew to love each and every one of the characters.


The 'back-stories' revealed in Second Chance Summer were touching and heart-breaking in the best ways possible. Finding out about Taylor's life before the 'present-day' was really interesting and I loved finding out how much she had changed since then. I completely adore books that show a great deal of character development, but these are generally spread over a longer series, so it was enlightening to discover a standalone novel with as much character development as some series. It was really heart-warming!
I also loved the character development in the other characters, such as Henry and Lucy, since everyone really came a long way from how they acted at the start of the novel, which was touching to see.
I especially loved reading about Taylor's brother, Warren, and his difficulties and awkwardness with his girlfriend - he was hilarious!

There has actually been quite a bit of criticism around Matson's books saying that her characters are "boringly ordinary" and "unimaginative", but if I'm completely honest, that's why I love them. I'll admit, I adore reading about fierce, strong-willed, adventurous characters in novels as it inspires me to have their traits, however, I enjoy reading about "ordinary" characters in books as it shows the reader that they don't have to be supernatural to be the hero or heroine of their own story. All of Matson's characters do have their quirks and flaws, but so does everybody and this is why they're all so relatable. You can't help but relate yourself to those characters and put yourself in their positions, which is why they are just so lovable.


Despite me giving Second Chance Summer a full 5 stars, that does not mean that I thought it was completely perfect. For me, this book wasn't flawed in many ways at all, but one thing that I did notice, which I had also noticed while reading Since You've Been Gone, was the character descriptions, or lack of thereof. Of course, there were character descriptions in there, but I didn't really notice many of them, which made it quite difficult for me to visualise each character. I feel that the character descriptions were only at the start of the novel, but these were not reinforced throughout the novel. So, while the mental states of the characters were described really well, I thought there was a slight lack of the physical descriptions.

However, I do feel that this was the only issue I had with Second Chance Summer. I absolutely loved Matson's style of writing throughout the course of the novel. It made for quite an easy and really enjoyable read, which I loved! There were a few surprises and twists and turns in the plot of the novel, some of which I found to be a little predictable, but I loved the direction this book took; it was a really rewarding read and gave off so many cute and summery vibes! 


Second Chance Summer surprised me in many, many ways, but the most surprising aspect to me was how sad it was. When I went into this book, I was expecting a cute, summer romancey book that would make me happy for the time I was reading it but that wouldn't particularly leave a lasting impression on me. I was not expecting to be sobbing my heart out as quietly as possible in the middle of the night.
Hundreds have books have made me cry - it doesn't really take much to get the tears flowing - but there aren't all that many books that have had me properly sobbing, and by sobbing, I mean the disgusting type where there are millions of tears and your nose starts running and you're hiccoughing and you can't breathe or even tell the difference between your tears and your, erm, 'nose fluids'. But that was the reaction I had to Second Chance Summer! It was not my most glamorous moment, I must say!
I would honestly be amazed if anyone was able to read this book and not cry. If you have read this book and did not cry, I can only assume that you are a robot!!
So if you haven't yet read this book and are thinking about giving it a go, I do warn you, be prepared for many emotions!!


Second Chance Summer was a novel that left me satisfied in so many ways.
I loved the progression of the story and how it evolved from cute and summery to deep, meaningful and moving. I loved each and every one of the characters and how they helped the story itself to progress, and I loved how realistic and relatable everything was.

It was just a lovely, refreshing novel and I would highly recommend it! In terms of suitability, Second Chance Summer would probably be an appropriate read for anyone over the age of 13, since it is a young adult novel, but still does deal with some more mature themes that require a slightly older audience. Nevertheless, I think pretty much everybody would be able to read this book and relate or be able to take something away from it, so I don't think the Young Adult genre should prevent it from being enjoyed by an older audience too.


As for me, Second Chance Summer restored my faith in both original and heart-warming romances, and Morgan Matson's story-telling! After this book, I went on to read and adore Matson's new book, The Unexpected Everything, and I can say that I will definitely be reading any future books that are published. I also think I need to read Matson's debut novel, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, as if it's anything similar to Second Chance Summer I'm sure that I will love it!


I hope you have enjoyed this review and I will be back with another one soon!

Have you read Second Chance Summer? I'd love to know your thoughts on it!


Charlotte xxx



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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Hidden Oracle | Book Review

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1), by Rick Riordan
Published: May 2016, by Puffin
Length: 374 pages
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Mythology

My Rating: 4 Stars

It's been a while since Riordan published a book in the Percy Jackson universe. Well - by a 'while', I mean a year and a half, but that was long enough!

I would like to start out by saying that I am a HUGE fan of Percy Jackson. I was a little late on jumping on the Percy-Band waggon, only picking up the series in 2012, but once I began, I was completely hooked.
Then, along came The Heroes of Olympus, which I didn't love quite as much as Percy Jackson, but still filled the Percy-shaped hole in my heart that had been there since The Last Olympian. You can actually read my review for The Heroes of Olympus by clicking the link here!!

When I heard that Rick Riordan was bringing out a new series with the same characters from Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus, I was excited to say the least! I was sooooo looking forward to hearing from Percy and Annabeth and everybody else. I loved Apollo from the other series, so I was immensely excited to be able to read more about him; he was such a fun character!
But when The Trials of Apollo was actually released back in May, I'd kind-of-accidentally forgotten about it... Oops. Needless to say, I was so surprised to see it in a shop in June, having not realised it had been released! So, obviously, I had to buy it!!


The Hidden Oracle picks up a short time after The Blood of Olympus left off:

After angering his father, Zeus, Apollo is punished by being sent to Earth to live life as a mortal. After falling from the skies and landing in a pile of garbage in the middle of New York City, in the form of a weak, acne-covered teenage boy. Apollo must learn how to survive without his godly powers and find refuge in the only place he knows - Camp Half-Blood.
If Apollo intends on surviving as a mortal, he must embrace the help of his children and other demi-gods in order to fight the monsters and other gods who have sworn to wipe out Apollo at the earliest opportunity...


I went into this book quite optimistic and excited...
I came out of it in two minds...

On one hand, The Hidden Oracle was hilarious book with scenes that had me chuckling to myself thanks to the vibrant characters and gripping storyline.
On the other hand, I just feel like Riordan is selling himself out a little.

But let's not get onto that quite yet...


The Hidden Oracle was in no way a bad book. I really enjoyed it.
I love all of Rick Riordan's characters and Apollo was no exception. Okay, he was a bit of an idiot, but that's also why he was so likable. He was so self-righteous and unaware of everybody else that his narration was just funny, mainly down to his stupidity. But at the end of the day, he still had some good traits, which made him quite well-rounded overall. I found his narration fun and quirky to read.

I loved the newer characters we were introduced to, like Meg, who also happened to be a well-rounded and, might I say, surprising character.
Possibly my favourite thing about this book, though, was the fact that Percy was in it. I loved hearing from the older characters, like Chiron, Nico, Rachel, and everyone else from Camp Half-Blood. It was so lovely to have familiar characters in, so I didn't have to struggle to get to know everybody and have to learn names and back-stories.


The writing in The Hidden Oracle is standard Riordan. And by that I mean practically flawless. It was easy to read (which I do actually appreciate sometimes in a book!), it was gripping and entertaining, and it was utterly hilarious, as always.

So in that respect, The Hidden Oracle was a fabulous book and everyone should read it. And if that was all I was judging the book on, that it what I would say and I would leave it at that. However that is not quite the case...


My main issue with the novel was its story. I honestly just didn't find it all that entertaining.
I wouldn't particularly say that the storyline was anything special or original, and honestly, it's not dissimilar to Riordan's other books in the respect of a recurring storyline.
Yes, there were some twists and turns in this book that were not in any of the others, but I don't think it particularly had a different feeling to it in comparison to all of Riordan's others.

In a similar way to this, I was quite frustrated over the 'fit' of this novel in terms of other Rick Riordan books. To me, it seemed that it was written so that if you hadn't already read all of the books with the Greek and Roman gods in, they would be spoiled from this book, and you couldn't enjoy The Hidden Oracle without already reading the rest of the books due to lack of knowledge.
I am fully aware of the fact that other authors do this too and it is not only Riordan, but I do feel that this way takes advantage of the reader a little bit.

Also, I felt that I couldn't fully enjoy and appreciate this book simply because of the fact that it just seemed to be setting up the story line for the rest of the series - and of course this was going to be a series.
The Trials of Apollo is set out to be a series of 5 books, the same as Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Heroes of Olympus. But I'm honestly not sure whether or not this is necessary... I've just felt that, to say how much of an amazing writer Rick Riordan is, he's starting to sell himself out a little.

That doesn't mean to say I'm not going to read the rest of his books. As long as he keeps up his great writing, he will keep me as an avid reader. But will I read his books as soon as physically possible and fangirl for hours over them? Probably not, no. Which is sad, because I would love to be as excited towards this series as I was for the previous ones.
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what the next book brings!


Despite what may seem like quite a negative review, I honestly still did enjoy The Hidden Oracle immensely and I still have high hopes for the rest of the series. I gave The Hidden Oracle 4 out of 5 stars because I loved the characters and storytelling, but I did think that it lacked a little in terms of originality.
I probably have to recommend this book only to people who have read both the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series, as if you have not yet read those books, The Trials of Apollo will spoil them.
Rick Riordan books are classed as 'Middle-Grade', so are 'intended' for children around the ages of 9 to 12, but I honestly feel that anyone could read them and still enjoy them, no matter how old they are. I feel like Rick Riordan books are a lot like Harry Potter in terms of audience appeal; no matter what the age of the reader, everyone can enjoy them!



That's all for this review but I hope to be back for more very soon!

Have you read The Hidden Oracle? I'd love to know what you thought about it!


Charlotte xxx



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Thursday, 30 June 2016

LADY MIDNIGHT REVIEW & MEETING CASSANDRA CLARE!!!

So, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare was probably my most highly anticipated book of 2016.
And how could it not be?
A few years ago, I completely immersed myself into the world of the Shadowhunters, reading and rereading (and rereading again!) both the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices series.
I waited (not so) patiently for City of Heavenly Fire to wrap up the series in 2014, but since then, I've felt like I've just been waiting for the new Dark Artifices series.
Of course, we had the Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and who could forget the new Shadowhunters TV show?! But none of those things really brought me completely back into the Shadowhunter world...
Until now!

March finally arrived (oops - this post has been quite a while in the making!) and Lady Midnight was in my arms, just where it belonged!
And here it is now..!

Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare
Published: March 2016, by Simon & Schuster
Length: 698 pages
Genre: YA, Urban-Fantasy

My Rating: 5 STARS!!

Lady Midnight is set 5 years after the events of the Mortal Instruments Series, in Los Angeles. Emma Carstairs, is no longer the child in mourning you may remember from City of Heavenly Fire. She is now a fierce young woman who has sworn vengeance on the deaths of her parents. But first, she must discover what really happened to them that night. Why were they targets and what did the strange markings in an old faerie language on their bodies really mean? Along with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma is intent on finding out. But first, they must encounter a series of strange, demonic killings in Los Angeles, some of which may link closer to her than she realises...


What can be said about this book without spoiling it in so many ways..?
Well, first of all, it was fantastic. It was the kind of fantastic that leaves you sitting in a pile of awe after closing the final page. The kind of fantastic that makes you want to cry of happiness (which I may or may not have actually done). The kind of fantastic that makes you feel so jealous because you know you will never be able to write something as phenomenal as this book was.
Need I really say more?!

To be perfectly honest, I don't want to go into a lot of detail about Lady Midnight because I do not want to spoil the book for anybody. But what I will say is that it was not what I expected.
Lady Midnight definitely had a different feeling to it in comparison to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, which I'm glad about. Cassandra Clare has received a lot of criticism about the sheer number of books she has managed to write in the same universe as each other, with the same creatures and some of the same characters. I do not agree with the criticism in this respect; frankly, Cassie could bring out a thousand books with Shadowhunters in and I would read each and every one of them. And then I'd probably reread them a few times too.
Since City of Bones was published in 2007, Cassie's writing and story-telling has evolved so much and has transformed from the 'slightly-above-average' level to the 'supreme-writing-queen' level it is today. I can't complain about her writing one bit; I am completely in awe of it!


In Lady Midnight, we're introduced to a bucket-load of new characters, which, I will admit, I was initially a little apprehensive about. Of course, we do meet the majority of these characters in City of Heavenly Fire, but they've grown up a lot since then. Since we had been with Clary and Jace for six books before these, I was a little concerned about how I would react to our new main characters, Emma Carstairs, Jules, and the rest of the Blackthorns. But I needn't have worried. We were introduced to these characters in a way that make it feel like we'd known them forever. I 'bonded' with all of the characters right from the start, and yes, I did miss not having Clary and Jace around so much, but I really enjoyed the fact that they were still mentioned and made a couple of appearances!
I loved Emma so much as a main character. She was bright and vibrant but also fierce and protective. In fact, I loved all of the characters in this book. They were perfectly well-rounded characters - what more can be said?


Like I have already said, the writing in these books has evolved so much over time, as have the complexity of the storylines. Whereas I would class The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices as more 'Action Fantasy', Lady Midnight definitely seemed to be a Fantasy thrown in with a Murder Mystery type story, which I really loved. It was so well done, and every page left me wanting more and more and more! This in particular was complimented well by the mystery side of the novel, which was a little different but still completely and utterly enjoyable!

I found the aspect of the evolving relationship between Emma and Jules really interesting; we've already been told that parabatai cannot fall in love, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how Cassie pulls it all off. I do suspect though, that like with all Cassandra Clare books, hearts will be broken!


I absolutely cannot wait until Lord of Shadows is set to release because this book has left so many cliff-hangers and there are so many questions I need answers to! Next April needs to come around faster so that I can get my hands on the beautiful book.

I would recommend Lady Midnight to anyone. Really, ANYONE!! You probably could go into Lady Midnight without reading the other two series, but I wouldn't recommend it as it spoils the ending of City of Heavenly Fire, and there are things that could be a little hard to understand for someone who has not yet read any other Shadowhunter books. In terms of a reading order for all of the Shadowhunter books, everyone seems to have their own opinion but my preference would be reading them in publication order; so reading The Infernal Devices between the later books in The Mortal Instruments. This is the order in which they were intended to be read, and if you've read both the series you'll know why that is.
But whichever order you read them, I just recommend that you do read them!! These books are beyond worth the hype surrounding them, and I don't understand how people still haven't heard of them!!!


*****

Back in April, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to meet Cassandra Clare while she was visiting the UK on her Lady Midnight tour. Cassandra Clare is one of the authors I have always wanted to have the chance to meet, since her books were some of the first to really get me into reading. So when the chance arose for me to join a few hundred other fans in a bookshop, I definitely wasn't going to say no!
I must say, this was the most hectic book signing I have ever been to. After driving 2 hours to get to the bookshop, we noticed that the queue for the signing had already started... 7 hours before the event!
We then proceeded to make the biggest mistake, by deciding that they queue probably wouldn't grow much in an hour and we would have plenty of time to go and grab some lunch and maybe do a bit of shopping...

My gorgeous signed copy!!
On arriving back to Waterstones, we realised how much of a mistake that had been since over 200 people had joined the queue since we saw it before. So, we joined the queue, and then came the waiting... The cold, miserable waiting on the streets of the city centre, surrounded by damp cigarettes and wet chewing gum on the pavements. We waited like this for 5 hours.
Finally, Cassandra Clare arrived and we started moving closer to the shop in which the signing would be held. After a further 2 hours of waiting inside the shop, it was finally our turn and we could go and meet her... We probably all looked bedraggled and homeless by the time she actually saw us, but I don't think anyone cared! We got our books signed and in a moment of dazed star-struck-ness, we forgot the questions we had planned to ask her. But it was all okay... We had got our books signed!!!

I must say, this signing was a lot more hectic and tiring in comparison to the others I have been to, and due to the huge numbers of people there (I think there were around 600!!), there was not time to stay and chat with the author or have our photos taken with her, but I still did enjoy it all, and I have so much admiration for Cassandra Clare being able to sit for so long without a single break and sign for us!! So thank you Cassie!!


That's all I have for this post but I'll be back with another very soon!
Did you get to meet Cassandra Clare on her tour? I'd love to hear your meet-up stories!!


Charlotte xxx



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