Oct 24, 2013

"The Marbury Lens" by Andrew Smith

Title: The Marbury Lens
Author: Andrew Smith
Series: The Marbury Lens, #1
My rating: 4.5 of 5
(Book read from October 1st to October 8th, 2013.)


Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.

 My Thoughts on the Book:

Believe me when I say that Andrew Smith's The Marbury Lens is something else. Also, it's not for the faint-hearted. 
The Marbury Lens is dark, gritty, terrifying, yet unexpectedly addicting, so you'll probably find yourself torn between not wanting to read more, because it might be too much at times, yet at the same time not wanting to stop, because you'll want to see what will happen next. At least, that's what happened to me.

The world of Marbury is full of danger & horrors, and one of the most morbid worlds I've encountered, and I wouldn't want to be a part of it. Yet, at the same time, I was more interested in what was happening there than in Jack's real life.

I don't really know how to talk about this story without spoiling it, but from the beginning, you know that this won't be an easy read, but it's in-your-face dark & realistic, and so, so terrifying & suspenseful - both in the real world & in Marbury. 
Jack gets kidnapped, and we follow what he goes through, and just thinking about that right now, I get the same feelings I got while reading it, so as I said, The Marbury Lens is not for the faint-hearted. After that, Jack goes to England as he planned pretending that nothing happened, and meets Henry Hewitt & gets the Marbury glasses, and delves into that fascinating & terrifying world, and through it all tries to stay sane, and not go totally crazy, although he already thinks he's gone a little bit crazy after what he calls himself - his defining moment. Soon, the lines between the world of Marbury & his real world start to blur, not knowing what's real & what's not.

Andrew Smith's writing style was awesome. He wrapped me up with his words in this unique story he created, and he made me care about what the characters are going through, and got me hooked, wondering what will happen next & I kept turning the pages, until I was finished. He made me cry, he made me sad, and he made me sit at the edge of my sit through most of the book, it was that suspenseful. This was the first Andrew Smith book that I read, but it won't be the last.

I found the characters to be really likable. Jack, poor Jack, my heart was breaking for him, and everything he's been & was going through. I think that his escape to Marbury really helped him in a way, even though he seemed & acted like an addict, but I could understand him, because of Ben & Griffin (I loved those guys). And I really liked the friendship between Jack & Conner, Conner is a real friend when he has to be. But, my favorite character without a doubt was Seth - his story was so sad & heartbreaking, and I cried so much, and he was amazing.

I was really happy with the ending, mainly because I know that there's a sequel, and I'm really looking forward to reading it, I hope it will be just as great as this one, and that what's exactly going on will finally be revealed.

I highly recommend The Marbury Lens to those who don't mind the dark, unique, gritty & different, as well as fans of horror, because this is a book that I know will stay with me for a very long time, and I know I didn't do it justice with my review, but it's one of those rare memorable books, which you just have to experience for yourself.

Oct 23, 2013

"The Outside" by Laura Bickle

Title: The Outside

Author: Laura Bickle

Series: The Hallowed Ones, #2
 My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read on October 3rd-5th, 2013.)


The world is not what it once was. Two thirds of the population has been killed by a plague of vampires, and the survivors hide out in isolated territories - both protected and trapped by forces beyond their undestanding.
Exiled from her Amish community and shunned for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival, Katie enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two "English" friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers wherever they can find them - but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise, the threat of starvation.
 And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?
 In this thrilling sequel to The Hallowed Ones, it's up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves. But what will she have to leave behind in return?

My Thoughts on the Book:

The Hallowed Ones was one of the best books I read in 2012, so I was really looking forward to this sequel. And was The Outside everything I expected? Yes & no. I expected to be great, since everything Laura Bickle writes is unique & imaginative & interesting, and in that aspect I was right, but what I was surprised about was the way the story developed, it was not what I expected, but I still loved it.

What I missed was that I didn't find this story as mysterious & eerie as I did with the 1st book, but I should've expect that, since the secret was out ;) Still, there were some great run-for-you-life moments, and overall I found this story quite interesting & intriguing, but I won't go into details.
What I especially loved was that the author created the opportunity for Katie to experience Rumspringa in a way, as well as to have some fun, and to squeeze in some every day romance in it. I loved so much that she did that for Katie & Alex, it was like she delivered this amazing gift to them, as well as to me.
Saying all that, even though The Outside wasn't as creeptastic as The Hallowed Ones was, it was still amazing book that I loved, and I loved the way it wrapped up the story, and I know I'll enjoy reading this duology again, so I highly recommend it!



"Waiting On" Wednesday #136: The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Golden City
J. Kathleen Cheney
Publication date:
November 5th, 2013

For two years, Oriana Paredes has been a spy among the social elite of the Golden City, reporting back to her people, the sereia, sea folk banned from the city’s shores....
When her employer and only confidante decides to elope, Oriana agrees to accompany her to Paris. But before they can depart, the two women are abducted and left to drown. Trapped beneath the waves, Oriana’s heritage allows her to survive while she is forced to watch her only friend die.
Vowing vengeance, Oriana crosses paths with Duilio Ferreira - a police consultant who has been investigating the disappearance of a string of servants from the city’s wealthiest homes. Duilio also has a secret: He is a seer and his gifts have led him to Oriana.
Bound by their secrets, not trusting each other completely yet having no choice but to work together, Oriana and Duilio must expose a twisted plot of magic so dark that it could cause the very fabric of history to come undone....

What are you waiting for this week?
Leave me your WoW links!

Oct 22, 2013

"Midnight Blue-Light Special" by Seanan McGuire

Title: Midnight Blue-Light Special
Author: Seanan McGuire

Series: InCryptid, #2

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read on October 17th-19th, 2013.) 


Cryptid, noun:
1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that's getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: "monster."
The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity--and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn't quite work out that way...

But now, with the snake cult that was killing virgins all over Manhattan finally taken care of, Verity is ready to settle down for some serious ballroom dancing—until her on-again, off-again, semi-boyfriend Dominic De Luca, a member of the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, informs her that the Covenant is on their way to assess the city's readiness for a cryptid purge. With everything and everyone she loves on the line, there's no way Verity can take that lying down.

Alliances will be tested, allies will be questioned, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity's apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ--assuming there's anyone left standing when all is said and done. It's a midnight blue-light special, and the sale of the day is on betrayal, deceit...and carnage.


My Thoughts on the Book:

First of all, I have to say that I absolutely adore the world Seanan McGuire had created when it comes to the InCryptid series. Discount Armageddon was the 1st book by Seanan McGuire that I read, and right away I knew that it won't be the last, because it was a great book, filled with amazing characters & great world-building, so of course I was looking forward to the next book.

But, Seanan McGuire surprised me with writing prequel short stories featuring the ancestors of the Price family, with Fran & Johnny being the main characters, and she made me totally fall in love with them, too, as well as the world itself even more, so if you're interested, you should totally check them out on her website, since almost all of them are available for free there.

Now, when it comes to Midnight Blue-Light Special, it was another great addition to the series, that actually ended up being amazing, and it only confirmed my love for the series & the characters.

I won't go into details about the story, but it was great, there was some butt-kicking, some heartbreak, lots of awesomeness, some romance, amazing world-building, awesome characters & cryptids, and surprises, mainly in the way the story developed, it was unexpected, but I totally loved it!

And the most positive thing about this book & the way everything wrapped up, was the way it left me feeling really happy inside, and that's not something that every book can do for me.
And the characters, oh how much I love all of them. First of all, Verity Price - she's definitely one of my fav heroines - she's funny, smart, persistent, resilient, and she can dance, she can fight & kick some butt (both cryptid & human) - she's a Price girl :) And of course I loved Sarah as a character - actually part of the book is from her PoV, and that was a pleasant surprise - and although she's sweet, she's also one dangerous cryptid, but amazing friend. Of course there are the Aeslin mice - I never thought I'd love mice, but I love these guys. And then there's Dominic De Luca - I'm pretty sure he's awesome, and I'm hoping we'll get to know him a lot more in future books, and he & Verity are so sweet & perfect for each other. And not to forget all the supporting characters - such a colorful cast, full of different cryptids & characters, that you can't help but like, or at least find really interesting & fun.

The Incryptid series is amazing urban fantasy that I can't recommend enough. I can't wait to read the next 2 books which will follow Verity's brother Alex, I just know it will be awesome, and in the meantime, I'll just have to hope for more prequel short stories. I think I'll never get enough of the Price family & the Healys, they're awesome, and definitely one of my fav families ever!



Oct 21, 2013

"The Creeps" by John Connolly

Title: The Creeps

Author: John Connolly

Series: Samuel Johnson Tales/Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil, #3

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Publication date: October 22nd, 2013

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read on October 16th, 2013,  from an eARC received from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.) 


In this clever and quirky follow-up to The Gates and The Infernals, Samuel Johnson’s life seems to have finally settled down - after all, he’s still got the company of his faithful dachshund Boswell and his bumbling demon friend Nurd; he has foiled the dreaded forces of darkness not once but twice; and he’s now dating the lovely Lucy Highmore.
But things in the little English town of Biddlecombe rarely run smoothly for long. Shadows are gathering in the skies; a black heart of pure evil is bubbling with revenge; and it rather looks as if the Multiverse is about to come to an end, starting with Biddlecombe. When a new toy shop’s opening goes terrifyingly awry, Samuel must gather a ragtag band of dwarfs, policemen, and very polite monsters to face down the greatest threat the Multiverse has ever known, not to mention assorted vampires, a girl with an unnatural fondness for spiders, and highly flammable unfriendly elves.
The latest installment of John Connolly’s wholly original and creepily imaginative Samuel Johnson Tales, The Creeps is humorous horror for anyone who enjoys fiction at its best.


My Thoughts on the Book:

The Creeps was absolutely amazing, and the perfect finale to this hilarious trilogy.

I read both The Gates & The Infernals over 2 years ago, and I loved them both (although I loved The Gates more between them), and I've been waiting for the next book since then, and John Connolly absolutely delivered & the waiting was so worth it, because The Creeps is definitely the best one among them, and as I already said, the perfect ending for these characters that I absolutely adore!

That being said, even though it's recommended for you to read the previous 2 books before you read this one, it's not necessary, because the author in his witty way does explain what happened in them, but believe me, you don't want to miss reading them for yourself.

The story was fun, horrific, hilarious & adventurous, and I loved every second of it, and once again I absolutely loved all the characters, and once I started reading, I couldn't stop until I finished it. And even though for most of the book I laughed at loud so many times, the author also managed to make me cry a lot at the ending, and that was so unexpected, but I don't think anyone will be able to stop themselves if they love the characters as much as I do.

And the writing style as always was amazing & addicting. There's just something special & unique to John Connolly's writing style, he brings all of his characters to life, and you wouldn't want to say goodbye to any of them, both good & bad. So, yeah, although I'm really happy with the ending that all the characters got, I can't help myself but wish for more stories featuring them, even though I know this is the end for them. but, at least, there's always re-reading, and I love re-reading my fav books, and The Creeps as well as the whole series has confirmed its place on my alltime favs list, and I can't recommend them enough to everyone, from children to adults, because I know that everyone would enjoy them!



Oct 17, 2013

"Destined for an Early Grave" by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Destined for an Early Grave

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Huntress, #4

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read on October 9th-10th, 2013.) 


Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger. 

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about. 

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Destined for an Early Grave is the most amazing book so far in the series, and the most heartbreaking, and I absolutely loved it.

I'm actually glad that the author decided to take the story where she did, it was different & necessary, and I can't wait to see what she'd came up with next for my fav characters.

Gregor is one egotistical jerk, and I loved to hate him, and I was so sad about Cat (thank God for Mencheres), my heart was breaking for her & what she has been through. Also, my heart was breaking for Bones so much, as well as for both Cat & Bones, and about the one they lost in this book :(
But, Spade was absolutely amazing in this book, and Vlad was amazing, too, (I'm dying to start his series), and of course Cat & Bones were amazing as always (Cat became even more bad-ass than ever before), and I loved the ending & just about everything. As always, I don't want to spoil the story, you'll just have to read it for yourself, but it was perfect in any way!

Jeaniene Frost doesn't stop to surprise me with every new story she comes up with, making me fall in love with all the characters & the world even more, and making me addicted to the series, so I know I'll never get enough of her books, so if you still haven't tried her books, you definitely must, because you don't know what you're missing!