Sunday, September 30, 2012 14:29

Review 81. Stefan Bachmann – The peculiar.

The PeculiarTitle: The Peculiar.
Author: Stefan Bachmann.
Pages: 384.
Published: September 18th 2012.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘The peculiar.’
Source: Netgalley and Publisher. Also won my own copy in the Goodreads giveaway.
Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them. One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed. First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish .. and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.
Rating:

This book gave me the feeling of reading Harry Potter mixed with Neil Gaiman’s work. And let me say you this, that feeling is fantastic! It felt like I was back in one of my favorite series ever.

Summary.
Once upon a time there was a city called Bath. That was until strange things started to happen. The faeries slipped into the world and the Smiling wars began until humans converged on the fay and scattered them. The ages of Smoke started in New Bath and the fay adapted to their new lives, waiting for a new change to change the world.

“Don’t get yourself noticed and you won’t get yourself hanged.”

That is the rule ever Peculiar must follow if he/she wants to stay alive. They are changelings or Halflings. They don’t belong to the faeries nor to the humans, so they must survive under poor conditions. Bartholomew is one of them, together with his sister Hettie. When a lady in plum appears in their neighborhood, things are about to change. She takes one of his friends with her and he will be one of the many dead Peculiars. Nobody gives the strange murder any attention – they are scum after all – until Mr. Jelliby decides to investigate the matter. He suspects that one of the most important man has something to do with it.

When Hettie disappears, Bartholomew and Mr. Jelliby’s lives become entwined. Bartie will do anything to save his little sister from a horrible fate and Mr. Jelliby is the only one who can stop the destruction of their world.

Opinion.
It’s unbelievable that this author is so young, because his writing style is amazing, almost poetic.

Mr. Jelliby grew on me. He felt a bit arrogant in the beginning, but he is the only one who seem to care about the Peculiars. He puts himself in a lot of danger to safe the world and Hettie. He makes smart choices.
Bartie is a sweetheart. He will do anything to save his little sister. He is very young, but it never bothered me.The enemy is well done. It’s a cruel and unkind person. The world will be plunged into darkness to gain more power and Peculiars are used for his own sake. I liked that one of his helpers reminded me of Voldemort in the first book from Harry Potter.

I absolutely can’t wait for part 2. There is something comforting about his style, like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. His words read so easy, you hardly have the feeling you are reading at all. It’s like everything is playing in your head like a movie, do you know that feeling?

If you like Harry Potter and Neil Gaiman, this is something for you. There is darkness, action and some spooky magic, but there is also hope, love and friendship. Here on Goodreads. You can read 57 pages. Don’t you think it’s wonderful that each chapter has those black feathers?

Friday, September 28, 2012 19:49

Bloggiesta 2. Update.

You can find the first post here: Bloggiesta 2.

As you know I'm participating in this lovely event. I will edit this post every time I do something from my list, so keep checking this if you like to be up to date :)

To-do-list - the real version:
-Make some headers for the memes I participate in.
-Find some new signatures (I love to switch between them.)
-Make my pages up-to-date. Perhaps try to make a normal menu, instead of the list I have now.
-Participate in at least 10 mini challenges.
-Make sure that all my reviews are also on Goodreads; with a link to my blog.
-Write every review and line them up in a nice order.
-Try to refresh some basics about English, because I sometimes really struggle with things like; then/than (and I can't correct those mistakes with grammar control
-Try to visit at least 25 participants from Bloggiesta, to see how they are doing with their to-do-list.
-Clean up the blogs I follow.
-Clean up my favorites and put every link in a folder, so I can find it back if I need it for my blog.
-Make some WoW's and Top 10 tuesdays, so I don't have to do that for a couple of weeks.
-Put some more information about myself on the 'about me' page. If I can come up with things I think can be fun for you :)
-Rating scale.

Update:
The new headers I made!



The new signatures.


Mini-challenges I followed.
Wordpress vs Blogger. Very helpful!
How to be organized by scheduling posts, makinglists and using templates.
How to use Pocket. I'm already using it and it's super handy! 
Get and give great guest posts. I could use information like this, helpful! 

Print your blog. I'm going to give this a try. It should be fun.
Six techniques to revitalize your old content. As you may have noticed; I finally got the Linkwithin!
Back up your blog. I decided to go with it and I made a wordpress account. Just an extra back-up. I found out that I'm pretty happy with blogspot. It's 'thedailyprophecy.wordpress.com' and of course it's private now :)
10 things you should not ignore. I'm actually ignoring SEO, so I really need to get more information about it.
How to embed a youtube video. I haven't done it before, but I might add a book trailer sometimes.
Basic photo editing. I'm not very good at it, so this was nice.

Rating scale.


Other things.
I rewrote the 'about me' page and I'm more satisfied with it now. My pages are updated and I'm still looking for a drop down menu. I think I'm going to introduce it in the new year.
I made a little note about important English grammars.
I wrote every review.

How are you doing? Link me up!


Thursday, September 27, 2012 13:57

Review 80. Anthology – Two and twenty dark tales.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose RhymesTitle: Two and twenty dark tales.
Author: Anthology.
Pages: 340.
Expected publication: October 16th 2012
Publisher: Month9Books
ISBN:9780985029418
Sort: Stand alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.
Rating: 3 out of 5.

From the moment I saw this, I decided I had to read it. I’m not a fan of Anthologies, because I like to bond with my characters and that’s almost impossible here. This book didn’t blow me away. Three stories were left out of my eARC. I will make a list from the books I hated and loved;

I hated:
Nina Berry: As blue as the sky & just as old.

Annoying characters.

Sayantani Das Gupta: – Blue. 
I didn't get the story.

C. Lee McKenzie: – Sea of Dew.
I didn't like the end.

I loved:
Sarwat Chadda: Sing a song of six-pence.
It’s a sad story, but beautifully written.

Angie Frazier: – Boys & Girls come out to play.
Bronwyn’s sister Aelwyn has been chosen to play in the forest with the witches, but Bronwyn takes her place.

Lisa Mantchev: – Those who whisper.
The main character is such a kick ass girl. Sida is banished from her village after the death of her mother, but she manages to survive on her own.

Gretchen McNeil: – Tick Tock.
SCARY! Shannon babysits, but the new family isn’t what she expected..

Suzanne Young: – The wish.
Lovely, but sad story. The main character is a bit naive, but I felt sorry for her.

Michelle Zink: – A ribbon of blue.
Ruby is waiting for the carnival. She is suffering from CP, but someone promised her a long time ago that she would find a cure at the carnival.

Nancy Holder: –Part first: The lion & the unicorn.
I felt so sad when I discovered that Part two is only available in the published version. It was really good.

Opinion.
The other stories were just okay. There was nothing special about them. Well-written, but forgettable. I blame it on the fact that I couldn't connect with the characters, so perhaps it's just me :) The stories I loved managed to give me something extra. A original twist, a character that could surprise me or just a great way of playing with words.
I wished that the stories were scarier. There were two that frightened me, but that wasn't enough. Based on the title and the dark cover, I expected more nail biting scenes. Overall, a nice read, but I'm not going to buy a copy.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 13:14

WoW 23. Fox Forever & Between.



Hosted by: Breaking the spine.

Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3)Mary E. Pearson - Fox Forever.
Expected publication: March 19th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
Series: Part 3 of Jenna Fox Chronicles.

Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.

Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.

I'm not sure about this one. I really liked the first book The adoration of Jenna Fox, but the second one wasn't so good. Still, I love the covers! And it might be fun to see how this story continues.

April Genevieve Tucholke - Between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Violet's grandmother had warned her about the Devil, had talked about him often, as though he were a best friend, or an old lover. But she never told Violet that the Devil could be real. She never told Violet that the Devil could be a dark-haired boy in vintage clothes who takes naps in the sun and likes old movies and vigilante justice.

River West is the seventeen-year old stranger renting the guesthouse behind the rotting mansion on the sea, where Violet lives. And as eerie things start happening in Violet's town, she begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling, coffee-loving liar with rascally eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something else? Something...evil?

Violet's already so knee-deep in love she can't see straight.

And that's just how River likes it.
 The title is awesome! I'm very curious how this story is going to unravel.

Link me up with your Wow :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 14:21

Top 10 Tuesday (16) Series to finish.


Top 10 series I still have to finish. With 2 books I'm waiting for; not published yet.

1. Lauren Oliver - Pandemonium. I quite liked Delirium, but I still haven't started this one. I'm not sure why, because Delirium had a killer ending.
Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)2. Lauren DeStefano - Fever. Wither was great, but I haven't got the time to start Fever yet. Such a shame and I will make some time for it soon.
3. Anna Carey - Once. Eve was pretty good; I actually forgot about this series. I hate it when there is so much time between the first and second book, so I might need to refresh my memory a bit.
4. Carrie Jones - Captive. Need wasn't such a good book, but I still want to give it a shot. I just don't feel like reading it now.
5. Lauren Kate - Passion. I'm not a fan of this series. The characters annoy me and the story isn't great; I just don't like to stop halfway.
6. Stephanie Meyer - Eclipse. *Sight* I'm stuck in this book for at least a year now. I. won't. give. up. I hate them, but I want to read them so I know what everybody is talking about.
7. Jackson Pearce - Fathomless. Can't wait! I loved the other two books, so give me a copy :D Sisters red and Sweetly.
Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)8. Diana Gabaldon - Outlander series. I'm not sure where (and why) I stopped. I believe it was around the third book, but I really liked them! So I definitely need to pick it up again.
9. Jessica Day George - Princess of the silver woods. December! I want it now. I really like her books. Princess of the silver Midnight ball and Princess of Glass.
10. Juliet Marillier - Flame of seven waters. I think you all know that I adore her work. This is part 6 in The seven waters and it will be published in November. Oh, I'm looking forward to it so much.
11. Kiersten White - Endlessly. I haven't got the time to read it yet, but I liked Paranormalcy and and Supernaturally.
12. Julie Kagawa - Iron's prophecy. I have read all the other novella's and they were great. Summer's crossing was my favorite!

Link me up with your unfinished series!
Monday, September 24, 2012 17:55

Review 79. Lauren Oliver – Delirium.

Delirium (Delirium, #1)
Title: Delirium.
Author: Lauren Oliver.
Pages: 480.
Published: February 1st 2011 (first published January 1st 2011)
Publisher: HarperTeen.
Sort: Part one of ‘Delirium.’
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

It’s always hard when you realize that a book doesn’t live up to your high expectations. I kept seeing this book and everybody seemed so positive about it, that I had to give it a try. Especially in the beginning I didn’t get the excitement. The story fell a bit flat and Lena annoyed me. It became much better in the middle and Lena grew onto me, but Alex made this story work. Want to know why? Keep reading.

"Amor Deliria Nervosa: the deadliest of all deadly things.”

Summary. 
There was a time when love was the most beautiful thing in the world. Those times are over. Love is a disease and when you reach the age of eighteen, you will get the cure. Lena is almost ready and she will get her cure on her birthday. She can’t wait and she is counting the days. Her mother died of love and she still has to live with the shame.

”I don’t like to think that I’m still walking around with the disease running through my blood.”

Let me tell you more about her life in this (messed up) world. Imagine this:
The government decides everything in your life. After various board exams, you will get an evaluation. Depending on your grades, they choose your destiny: you can go to the college they pick and study their major or you get married right away. They will give you 4 to 5 approved matches and you get to choose one of them. That’s the man you are going to spend your entire life with. And if that’s not bad enough, they also give you the number of children you will have. Everything, from the music you listen to the friends you make in life, are based on the governments will. Sounds like fun, huh?

Luckily, there are still people who believe in love. They are called the ‘Invalids’ and they life in ‘The wilds.’ Every year they demonstrate against the cure, but they must be careful. When Lena gets her evaluation, the Invalids made a lot of fuss and she has to come back again. A boy catches her eyes and she meets him later. This is Alex.

And he is about to change her life.

Characters.
Lena is naive and obsessed with the cure. She believes that it will make her life better. Every feeling she has, will be taken away and she can start over. She annoyed me. I can understand that she grew up in this society, but what about Hana? That’s her best friend and she is questioning the government. I really liked Hana and because of her, we met my favorite character: Alex. He is so sweet and charming. When the feelings between him and Lena grew, I melted away. They are cute together! Thanks to him, Lena undergoes a wonderful transformation and I started to like her.

“But it does not tell you this: that love will turn the whole world into something greater than itself.”

Conclusion.
Every chapter starts with a part of a book they have to read. It gives you an idea of the crazy things they want you to believe. It really helps to the world-building. The ending was breath taking and makes me want to start in the next one right away.

The writing style was good. The development of Lena was great, so overall, it was a pleasant read. I just expected too much after the hype, but I can understand why everybody likes it so much. The whole concept is fascinating and scary at the same time.

Friday, September 21, 2012 13:14

Feature & Follow (13)


Hosted by: Alison can read.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Q: What hyped up book was worth all of the fuss?

The first book I can think of: Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves... or it might destroy her.
From the characters to the world-building, it was fantastic to me. I loved the whole idea of a society based on certain values. Tris was flawed, but real and I liked the development of the story. There is a lot of action and there are many intense situations, but there is still some time for friendship and romance; no love-triangles or instant-love here.

Link me up with your hyped up book!

Thursday, September 20, 2012 14:47

Review 78. Philippa Gregory – The white queen.

De rozenkoninginTitle:The white queen.
Author: Philippa Gregory.
Pages: 408.
Published
: August 18th 2009 (first published 2009)
Publisher: Touchstone.
ISBN: 1416563687 (ISBN13: 9781416563686)
Sort: Part one of 'The cousins war.'
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors. The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth Woodville rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.
Rating: 3 out of 5.

I loved her books about The Tudors (I read: The other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance and The queen’s fool), but I had a hard time with this one.

Summary.
Elizabeth is a young widow who traps King Edward, from the house of York, into marriage. Some say with witch craft and that is also implied in this book.
Their marriage is the start of political intrigues and treachery. King Edward must fight to get and hold his crown. He and Elizabeth are happy with each other, but it’s also a hard life. She gives him a lot of children; three sons (unfortunately, one dies young) and some daughters. His oldest son, Prince Edward, will become king one day. At least, that’s what he wants.

When King Edward dies after a short sickness, the betrayal begins. He appointed his brother as caretaker of Prince Edward, but his brother takes the crown into his own hands. Elizabeth will do anything to return that crown to her son, but how far is she willing to go?

Opinion.
I liked it, but I didn’t love it. There were things about Elizabeth I really liked. Her love for Edward and the way she cared for her children was wonderful, but her constant battle to return the power costs so many lives; and I’m not sure if it’s worth it.
She also felt a little flat sometimes. I never got the feeling I really knew her - or any of the other characters actually. That made it hard to care for them, even when I was fascinated by their lifestyle. Life at court isn't easy.
Their love is also very instant. From the moment he lays his eyes on her, he is in love. It has to do with the magic from her mother, but I couldn't buy it.

In short: it's good, but I know that Gregory can do better. This one is more for the die-hard fans, so I'm definitely going to continue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 17:46

Review 77. Jackson Pearce – Sweetly.

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)Title: Sweetly.
Author: Jackson Pearce.
Pages: 310.
Published: August 23rd 2011.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
ISBN: 0316068659 (ISBN13: 9780316068659)
Sort: Part two of ‘Fairytale retellings.’
Review part one: Sisters red.
As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too. Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion. Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is. Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
Rating: 4 out of 5. Favorite.

Here is the pretty cover again! This book surprised me in a positive way. There was a twist I never expected and it made this book blend into the first book perfectly. I wondered how this series would stick together and Pearce definitely made it work. I loved the little interview at the end of the book, where Gretchen and Rosie meet each other.

”That’s what love is. It becomes a part of you. It holds you down sometimes: it becomes something you can’t escape.”


Summary.
Ansel and Gretchen are cast out by their stepmother. On their way to their new life, their car breaks down and they don’t have enough money to get it fixed. They end up in a little pub where everybody eyes them with suspicion. It’s clear they aren’t used to newbies, but one of the guys offers them a job. Sophia, who lives on the edge of Live Oak, works in a candy store and she can use some help. They accept it right away.

Sophia is mysterious. It’s a pretty girl and she appears to be very happy, but there are some dark memories haunting her life. Like Gretchen and Ansel, she lost her sister. Gretchen’s twin was snatched away in the woods by a ‘witch’. Sophia’s father was slaughtered by a beast and the whole town distrust her. Ever year, she gives a chocolate party and every time, a girl goes missing.

One day, Gretchen stands face-to-face with her enemy. The so-called witch appears to be something else and she is saved by Samuel; he is Silas’ brother from Sisters Red. She wants him to teach her how to fight and strangely, he accepts. The village thinks he is crazy, a lunatic, but Gretchen her feelings are telling her very different things.

Can Gretchen unravel Sophia’s secrets before it is too late for her and the other girls?

Opinion.
It was a fantastic read. There isn’t much action and it was slow, but in a good way. There was enough time to bond with the characters; to get absorbed by the atmosphere. Sophia is a strange girl and I felt suspicious from the beginning. Ansel starts to fall in love with her and Gretchen likes her, but she keeps her mind clear. She is capable of making intelligent choices and she was such a kick ass girl. Instead of shying away from her fears, she looks them in the eyes. Samuel was lovely. He is a bit distant, but that made him more attractive for me. I like how their feelings really develop.

The story knew how to surprise me from the beginning to the end. Even in the last couple of pages there was an unexpected twist. The writing style reads incredibly fast; you keep running through the pages until the last word hits you in the face. I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on Fathomless, so I can devour that one too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012 13:21

Showcase Sunday 15. Dracula and The passage.


I stumbled upon a very good deal. Two books, one free. So I got these two pretties for only 8 euro! I got them in the Dutch edition.

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
And (I'm going to use the Dutch cover I got, because it's much prettier!)

Based on Bram Stoker's own notes, this authorized sequel is written by a direct descendant of Stoker and a well-known Dracula historian. Fast-paced, full of suspense and rich with historical detail Dracula: The Un-Dead will captivate admirers of gothic literature.

Quincey Harker, son of Jonathan and Mina, having left his law studies for the stage, stumbles upon the troubled production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed by Bram Stoker himself. The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets. Can it be that history is about to repeat itself?

For, twenty-five years since Van Helsing and his allies reduced Dracula to dust, evil stalks Europe once again. One by one the band of heroes is being hunted down. Has Dracula somehow survived to seek his revenge? Or is there another, more sinister force at work.
Link me up with your haul!
Thursday, September 13, 2012 16:10

Review 76. Lauren Oliver – The spindlers.

The SpindlersTitle: The spindlers.
Author: Lauren Oliver.
Pages: 256.
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012.
Publisher: HarperCollins.
Sort: Standalone.
Source: Edelweis and the Publisher.
Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers-evil, spiderlike beings-came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him. Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy, and the road to the spindlers' nests is riddled with danger. She must brave tree snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting serpents before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Liza notices something strange about her brother, Patrick. His eyes are different and she immediately knows why: his soul is gone. The Spindlers stole his soul during the night and now it’s up to her to get it back. Her parents don’t believe her – of course they don’t, because they know nothing about the magical world around them – and they are far too busy with other things. Liza finds the place where The Spindlers left their house and she decides to search for Patrick right away. That’s when she stumbles on Mirabella, the rat.

”They had dropped down from the ceiling on their glistening webs of shadowed darkness and dropped their silken threads in his ear, and extracted his soul slowly, like a fisherman coaxing a trout from the water on a taut nylon fishing line. In its place they deposited their eggs;”
Quote from the ARC.


Be prepared for a lot of adventure and strange creatures. The world ‘Below’ is totally different than the world ‘Above.’ Nothing is what it seems and everything is unfair. That’s what Liza soon finds out. After a trip through several dangerous places, Liza finally arrives at the nest of The Spindlers. She can have her brothers soul back if she can survive the three rooms filled with tricks and puzzles. Is Liza clever enough to find her way to her brother?

Likes.
-Every chapter starts with a lovely drawing and some titles are really fun, like “The lumer-lumpen.”
-Liza is a clever and brave girl. She stands up for what she believes, because her parents always tell her “to stop making up all those stories.” If it wasn’t for Liza, Patrick’s body would burst one day to reveal thousands of new Spindlers.
-I like the different creatures we get to meet. My favorite are The Nocturni. They are the dream-bringers. They sip dreams from The River of Knowledge and they deliver them to their own human. 
-I also like the surroundings Liza encounters on her way to the Spindler’s nest. There is a lot of danger in the ‘Below’ and there is not a moment of rest. Liza always has to run or fight for her life, together with guide Mirabella. The three difficult rooms reminded me a bit of Harry Potter and they are wonderfully done.

Dislikes.
-Sometimes, the lines are really, really long. Just look at the quote. I don’t think those lines are easy for children and I certainly don’t see myself reading this out loud. You will trip over the words. I personally like it when the lines are a bit shorter.

Sneak peek.
Source: Lauren Oliver’s blog.
One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated her and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not.
She could not describe the difference. He looked the same, and was wearing the same pair of ratty space-alien pajamas, with the same fat toe sticking out of the hole in the left foot of his red socks, and he came down the stairs exactly the same way the real Patrick would have done: bump, bump, bump, sliding on his rump.
But he was not the same.
In fact, he was quite, quite different.
It was something in the way he looked at her: It was as though someone had reached behind his eyes and wrung away all the sparkle, leaving only a blank gaze. He walked quietly--too quietly--to the table, sat nicely in his chair, and placed a napkin on his lap.
The real Patrick never used a napkin.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 13:20

WoW 22. Iron hearted Violet & Anne Boleyn.


Kelly Barnhill - Iron hearted Violet.
Expected publication: October 9th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
 Iron Hearted Violet The end of their world begins with a story.
This one.

In most fairy tales, princesses are beautiful, dragons are terrifying, and stories are harmless. This isn't most fairy tales.

Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being -- called the Nybbas -- imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true -- not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon, may hold the key to the Nybbas's triumph . . . or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.

Iron Hearted Violet is a story of a princess unlike any other. It is a story of the last dragon in existence, deathly afraid of its own reflection. Above all, it is a story about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.
Absolutely everything from this book sounds amazing and the cover is gorgeous.

Bianca Ison - Anne Boleyn and the Zombie Apocalyps.
Expected publication: December 25th 2013.
Cover: not available yet.
It all started with a simple bite.

Anne Boleyn woke on the eve of her 16th birthday expecting a small gathering with her father Thomas and her sister Mary and archery hunting in the woods behind their home.

What she got was a country ravaged by fire and death. Her mother eaten in half on the kitchen floor. Her sister and father infected and hunting her down with the rest of the walkers.

And a group of teens hellbent on survival - the Swordsman Marquess of Pembroke, Prince Henry VIII of England, Axe wielder Jane Seymour, and Dagger wielder Catherine of Aragon.

In a world now in turmoil and ruin, Anne must learn to survive the Zombie Apocalypse... or become one of them herself.
Anne Boleyn AND zombies? Enough said.

Link me up with your WoW!

Monday, September 10, 2012 17:50

Review 75. Michelle Diener – In a treacherous court.

In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)Title: In a treacherous court.
Author: Michelle Diener.
Pages: 301.
Published: August 2nd 2011.
Publisher: Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1439197083 (ISBN13: 9781439197080)
Sort: Part one of ‘Susanna Horenbout and John Parker.’
Source: The author was so kind to provide me with a copy for a honest review.
An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire.. 1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die…
Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a wonderful story! The Tudors period is fascinating and I never get tired of reading about it. There is something intriguing about the court and tension.

Summary.
John Parker is waiting for the personal illuminator for Henry VIII. Instead of the stinking, arrogant man he expects, Susanna arrives and she brings a lot of trouble. A man died on board and he gave her some valuable information she must deliver to the king. People are willing to kill her and on their way to the palace, there are already two attempts to take her life.

People keep coming for them and slowly, they unravel the real meaning behind the information. There is a huge complot against the King and the conspiracy comes from deep within his trusted circle. It’s up to Parker, one of his most trusted man, to find out who is behind the attacks; who wants to overthrow the King to put someone else on the throne.

In the time Parker and Susanna spend together, they develop a feeling for each other. There is a certain chemistry between them from the moment they met and it only grows into something more. Susanna starts to play a big role in Parker’s life, but will she becomes his downfall if the enemy uses that against him?

Opinion.
The world-building is great. It felt like I was walking around next to Parker and Susanna. I could imagine the tension at court. Everybody is smiling, but they will stab you in the back if they get the chance to get more status, land and money. There is nobody you can really trust. Imagine how it must feel to be King. Luckily for Henry, he has Parker. I would definitely trust my life around Parker. He is good in fighting and he will do anything to keep the persons he love safe.

Parker really grew unto me. From the moment I met him, I knew I was going to love him. He is a bit distant and dark, but he opens up around Susanna. He is merciless when they harm “his lady” and he is incredibly protective. He sounded very attractive and charming.
Susanna was a great character as well. She is sweet, but definitely not someone who goes down without a fight. She isn’t afraid to tell what’s on her mind and she was able to make intelligent choices. I found her refreshing; you could see she never grew up at court.

It was great to unravel the conspiracy together with them. Every piece of information leads us closer to the enemy and I was surprised by the ending. The enemy is clever and was well-written, like the other characters. They play their part and they complete the story. You could see that Diener has done her research. The story felt realistic and it was nice to see her explanation at the end. About the real history and the things she made up; but it still feels like it could have happened.

I’m looking forward to continue the story with Parker and Susanna, because in the next book ‘Keeper of the King’s secret’ they are up to a lot of trouble. If you like history, Philippa Gregory, The Tudors and mystery with some romance, this book is something for you!

Sunday, September 09, 2012 18:57

Bloggiesta 2.

I participated in another Bloggiesta, which you can find over here: Bloggiesta 1. I had so much fun, that I decided to join again! This time, we will be working on our blog September 28 to 30. It’s up to you to make your own to-do list; you can decide how much time you are going to spend.

This is your chance to make your blog better, to try new things, fix/add/delete something. You can try to write all your waiting reviews, to clean up anything that is out of control. Learn new things, join mini challenges and win prices. Have three fun days blogging with friends; and make new ones!

If you want to join me, click on the ‘sign up here for Bloggiesta’ link under the header, write a participation post about it and link me up with you. I’m already going to try to come up with some things I want to achieve.

To-do-list:
-Make some headers for the memes I participate in.
-Find some new signatures (I love to switch between them.)
-Make my pages up-to-date. Perhaps try to make a normal menu, instead of the list I have now.
-Participate in at least 10 mini challenges.
-Make sure that all my reviews are also on Goodreads; with a link to my blog.
-Write every review and line them up in a nice order.
-Try to refresh some basics about English, because I sometimes really struggle with things like; then/than (and I can't correct those mistakes with grammar control) I just need to read it again and make a little note.
-Try to visit at least 25 participants from Bloggiesta, to see how they are doing with their to-do-list.
-Clean up the blogs I follow.
-Clean up my favorites and put every link in a folder, so I can find it back if I need it for my blog.
-Make some WoW's and Top 10 tuesdays, so I don't have to do that for a couple of weeks.
-Put some more information about myself on the 'about me' page. If I can come up with things I think can be fun for you :)
-Make a page with 'I'm on team...' and 'I love...' mini banners and include some of my favorite authors.




12:08

Showcase Sunday 14. The lost girl & The peculiar.

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This week, I've kept it easy. I have already many books waiting for me, so I didn't request anything from Netgalley/Edelweiss. I also got an email today that I won the 'Back to books' giveaway at Jenryland. Take a look at her blog! :) I picked out this lovely book:

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.




And I won my first book from Goodreads!

Stefan Bachmann - The peculiar.
The PeculiarDon't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.


Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, "The Peculiar" is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel. 

I already got an eARC and I'm reading it at the moment; I love it!

I can hardly believe how lucky I am these days!

Friday, September 07, 2012 15:01

Feature & Follow (12)

Gain New Blog Followers
Hosted by: Alison can read.

In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)Q: What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

I always read several books at the same time, but my 'leader book' is Michelle Diener's work 'In a treacherous court.'
The other books I'm reading are:
Juliet Marillier - Shadowfall (here it's called: Verboden magie)
Mercedes Lackey - The fairy godmother.
Stefan Bachmann - The peculiar.

An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire..
1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die..
I'm obsessed with everything that has to do with The Tudors, so when Michelle emailed me if I wanted a copy from her two books, I was thrilled. I'm almost done now and I love it! It's such a shame that I have to go to school, because I can't read as much as I want to. The conspiracy lies deep within the trusted circles of the King and it's up to Susanna and John to find out who is behind the attacks, before they both die. It's fascinating to see how the court is; filled with snakes, trying to profit from everybody in order to get more money, land and status. Definitely recommended if you like The Tudors and Philippa Gregory. My review is coming soon, so stay tuned if you want to know more!

And link me up with your FF. Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 06, 2012 15:08

Review 74. Maureen Johnson – The name of the star.

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)Title: The name of the star.
Author: Maureen Johnson.
Pages: 372.
Published: September 29th 2011.
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile.
Sort: Part one of ‘Shades of London.’
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“Keep calm and carry on. Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.”

Summary.
Aurora – although she uses the name Rory – lives in America. Her parents are going to work in Bristol, so she will start a new year in London at a boarding school. London is shocked by the bizarre murders lately; they are similar to the murders made by Jack The Ripper.

When Rory spots a man at the crime scene, she becomes a valuable eye-witness. The only strange thing is: Jazza was there and she never saw the man. That’s how Rory’s strange new ability is discovered by a special force and soon, she is tangled up in the Rippermania. She is in grave danger, because the new Jack has made her his next and last target. Why is he so interested in her? Why did he start killing in the first place? And how can you stop someone who seems untouchable?

Opinion.
It’s quite hard to give you a good summary, because I don’t want to give you any spoilers. This is the best I could do without giving too much away. It’s up to you if you want to find out who this mysterious new Jack is. 

Rory is a nice girl, but not really remember able. She was a bit plain, nothing special. She is brave, though and I liked her, but I think I will forget about her soon. One thing I like about this book is that the romance doesn’t play a big role. It’s there and it’s cute, but Jack is the most important thing.

The ending was well done. The story ends, but it gives enough room for the next book. There was a nice build up towards the end and it did deliver. The writing style was pleasant, but sometimes, I wished that the story went a bit faster. You know, it felt like I could skip some pages without missing a thing.

I’m definitely going to read the next book, because I liked it. I just didn’t love it.


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