Friday, January 31, 2014

Feature And Follow #6

Hey guys! 

So this is a blog hop, which basically means, that it's a way to find and follow new blogs, by hopping from one to the other? Hahaha that's what I understand anyway! I also understand that there are a few 'Feature Follow's, but this particular one is hosted by the awesome Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs to get more info on the feature! If you're participating, and actually want to follow my blog, because you're just so awesome like that, just become a member of my blog in the little sidebar GFC thing! Oh and on Bloglovin, if you don't mind! Haha

 To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers.
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Time for Book Spine Poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic.

The Testing in the
City of Ashes
The Fallen
Clockwork Angel
with the Bloodmark of a

Well that was harder than I thought.. haha!
I forgot this was supposed to be a poem, but ah well, it'll do! Haha

See you later guys!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Sorceress by Michael Scott

Title: The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #3)
Author: Michael Scott
Publisher: Random House
Published: 26 May, 2009
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Source: Bought - Easons

Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

 But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

 If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.

You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, they say. Most times it's good to take that advice on board. However, this book or series even, is definitely an exception. Awesome cover, awesome book.
Anyway, onto the important stuff!

The Sorceress starts with Perenelle, who we know is still trapped on the island of Alcatraz, with Areop-Enap. This book actually focused a whole lot more on her than I expected, and I thought it was great. Usually, we follow the twins and their adventures and stuff, which is awesome, but I loved that a big part of the book followed her days on the island, and her escape. Speaking of which, was I the only person who suffered from fits of laughter when she finally escaped? Not really in a bad way, it was just pretty predictable how she tricked Machiavelli and Billy the kid.

The story, beginning with Perenelle and her escape, onto the Archon being awakened, flowed so well. I was really impressed at the transitions. If you think about it, the change is actually quite drastic, but Michael Scott perfectly eased one into the other. The nice and smooth flow also built up the suspense, in a way that I'm just failing to describe right now, but it was awesome haha! You'd be reading for hours, and wouldn't even notice the time fly.

About the whole roller-coaster comparison, I was actually referring to the number of new characters introduced in this book. If you've read, or are reading this series, you'll notice that the number of character, even just in the first book, is really quite high compared to other YA fictional books out there. In this book, the third in the series, we're introduced to Macha and Badb first of all, who are the Crow goddess' sisters. You're introduced to Palamedes and Shakespeare, over which I freaked out. And my personal favourite, Gilamesh, who teaches Water magic to the twins.

The only reason, that I can think of, for my liking Gilamesh in particular, was just how unique he was. His character could have easily been developed to perfection, he is a King and all, but Michael Scott decided against that. Gilamesh is flawed, not overly flawed because that can be annoying sometimes, and it added a certain depth to his character that most of the others didn't have. I loved it!

As always, Scott ends each of these books with a very painful cliffhanger! I feel bad for anyone who tried to talk to me during the final few chapters, because they were blatantly ignored. Haha! The ending was so exciting, what with the classic battle between the Archon Cernunnos and the gang, Dee fusing the Clarent and Excalibur together! Oh, and Scathach and Joan being transported to the prehistoric era? Michael Scott really knows how to get you hooked!
The only problem I had was that I felt the twins didn't really do much in this book. Everything was done for them and it made them puppet-like. It undermined their awesomeness.

Overall, this was a great read!

Thanks for reading guys!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet

Title: Bloodmark
Author: Aurora Whittet
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Published: November 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy 
Source: Author - For review

Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

 In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?

Well.. yeah.. this book.. okay.

Bloodmark is a story of a young werewolf girl, Ashling, who has been hidden from the world since birth, the only reason being because she was, simply, different. One day she's finally allowed back into her Father's kingdom, only to be told that her future husband awaits her. Then..  shit starts to go down.

First of all, I just have to say that 'Bloodmark' had its highs and its lows. The opening set the book off at a high. Well, you know, three-quarters of a high, if that makes any sense whatsoever! It explains early on, why Ashling was cast away from the Boru family kingdom, that she was abnormal in her being able to shift into a werewolf just after being born, instead of at the age of puberty. Little side-note, I had one of my little laughing fits imagining a newborn baby alternating between wolf and human form as it crowned, but that's not important, haha!
Being a naturally curious person, I was immediately questioning how King Porr came to the decision that neglecting his prophecy-mentioned, first daughter was the best way to protect her. Usually in these sort of stories, the protective Father would lock his daughter away somewhere close to him, in order to keep her safe, and you can sort of understand that. But I couldn't understand this one at all. I felt he was just thrown into the story to be hated by the readers. I mean, Ashling spoke about him being a loving, caring and kind man while at the Cliffs, where she grew up with only her Mother, but when we ware finally introduced to him, I couldn't see any hints of the Father she supposedly knew. Not even remnants. So yeah.. that kind of confused me.

It wasn't even just her Father that I didn't get. Ashling, in my opinion, was probably the most confusing. After the first few chapters I had a really good feeling about her. She was excited to see her Father, and the rest of her family again, excited to return to Cashel, where she was born, her home. But all of a sudden her Father surprises her with an arranged marriage. I was all for her reaction, and sympathised with her when she was locked up. I felt bad for her, you know.
I'm not exactly sure where my opinions changed after that, to be honest. Out of nowhere, she's leaving her family behind trying to escape her Father and the arranged marriage to Brychan. Before she goes to far, she meets her Father's oldest enemies, runs straight back and it's like nothing ever happened! It was just all too melodramatic and rushed for me.

The characterisation was all over the place, sometimes spot on and other times, just.. wrong. Personally, a book has got to have good characterisation if I'm going to want to read on. In this book, I felt like everyone apart from Ashling was 2-D, either really really nice or really really nasty. I know she's the girl of the prophecy and all, but I felt like all of the other characters were a bit too nice to her, and to even it out, random, mean people were thrown in. Robert, fair enough, he was the leader of the 'bloodsuckers' hunting Ash. Adomnan, fair enough, he was the typical antagonist from day one, but the likes of Lacey, was that really necessary?

Though I was slightly put off by the characters, I absolutely loved the bonds between them. After my initial 'fed up' reaction with Ash and Grey's 'insta-love', I actually sort of liked their relationship. Was I annoyed at how quickly they fell for each other? Yes. Did I sigh every time Ash described how painful it was to be without him? Yes. Did my head shake at how imperfectly perfect their love was made out to be? Oh hell yes. But after Whittet did some explaining on how love between werewolves was magnetic, and instant and stuff, I grew to accept it. In the end, I actually started to enjoy it. I think..
I also really liked the relationships between Mund and Tegan, Tegan and Ash, and Ash and Mund. It was the sort of undeniable love and loyalty that family members have for each other. It was realistic, and easy to relate to.

Mother of God, the ending! So much fighting and action.. I loved it! Am I mean in saying I would have liked Admonan's death to have been fleshed out a little more? I was looking forward to it the whole book, especially during the boring school-related chapters, that I just wanted it to be a bit longer and more detailed. Apart from that, though, the action in the end was really cool! It's arguable that Ashling was beat up a little too much, but it turned out alright, she got her revenge! Haha

After comprehending all my thoughts and trying to fit them into this one little review, I think I can safely say that I liked this book. The beginning was good, the middle bit could have done with some serious work, but the ending definitely brought it back, and I can't wait for the sequel, as a result!

Have any of you guys read this yet? Would love to hear any thoughts you had on this book!
Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Casting The Characters (Legend)

Hey guys!

So I read this really cool feature post, over at A Day Dreamer's World, called 'Casting the Characters', and it's basically you choosing the cast for a soon to be book-to-film adaptation. Now, I don't know much about this particular adaptation, actually close to nothing really, but I know there's going to be one!

I'm going to be casting 'Legend' by Marie Lu! I've only read the first book in the trilogy, and plan to read the sequel next week, but I love it already!
Alright, here we go!

June Iparis - Emma Watson 

  • 15-year-old prodigy 
  • 1500/1500(100%) on her trial
  • Elite Republic family. Parents mysteriously killed in a car crash, leaving older brother to care for her
  • Day's love interest
  • Very analytical and smart
  • A bit of an uptight tense person

Okay I know Emma Watson isn't 15, but she's how I pictured June, deal with it! Haha
Hollywood rarely casts based on age anyway, I mean, look at the Divergent movie.. *wink wink*

Daniel "Day" Wing - Alex Pettyfer

  • 15-year-old prodigy 
  • Born in the slums of the Republic
  • He is led to believe that he failed his trial, but during the events of Legend, discovers he scored a 1500 (100%)
  • Republic's most-wanted criminal and the prime suspect of Metias' murder
  • Extremely agile, even more so than June. He, like June, is confident and stubborn

Again, the age doesn't exactly match, but they could make it work, right? He's more or less how I see Day, despite the whole long hair thing!
I think he'd be great as Day!

Tess - China Anne Mcclain

  • 13 years old 
  • Day's partner in crime and caretaker 
  • Abandoned by her parents at 10
  • Goes missing after Day is taken into custody by June 
  • Joined the Patriots

This one was kinda hard, and came to me a little while into the book. Tess had to be tanned and younger than the others, but still not too young, you know?
It'd be cool to see China play her!

Metias Iparis - Tom Welling

  • 27 years old when he died
  • June's older brother 
  • Murdered one night while pursuing Day
  • Knew he would be killed by the Republic for uncovering a conspiracy

This one was just beyond easy! For some strange reason I imagined Metias as a sort of Superman figure, and Tom Welling fits the description perfectly! Haha

Thomas - Ben Barnes

  • Metias's old friend 
  • Infatuated with June 
  • Special hatred of Day
  • Responsible for Metias' murder
  • Also murdered Day's Mother

I didn't really put a face to Thomas' name before making this post, I didn't like him enough. But I guess he's a pretty important character and whatnot, so yeah, Ben Barnes is probably it for me!

Well, what do you guys think of my casting? Do you agree? Disagree? I really want to see the actors/actresses you guys have in mind!
I think I was pretty spot on, if I do say so myself haha!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published: August 26, 2003
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Source: Bought - Easons

One boy . . . 

 One dragon . . . 

 A world of adventure. 

 When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

 Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

 Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

I loved Eragon, yet hated it at the same time. It was so incredibly unique, and chalk-full of detail, it was hard not to like it. But maybe it was a little too detailed. I know it's usually the more detailed the better, but with this book, it was the first time I felt overwhelmed with detail. Just keep reading an you're see what I mean.

It's pretty obvious that this book, or series rather, is based on the concept of dragons, and dragon-riders. For the most part, anyway. It's set in the fictional world of Alagaƫsia (or country, I'm not exactly sure!) where to be a dragon-rider, or even to lay eyes on a dragon, was rare, due to the fact that most were wiped out during the Dragon war. Our protagonist, Eragon stumbles upon a blue dragon egg in 'The Spine', aka this great big forest behind their village, and soon enough, he becomes a dragon rider.

First of all, I just have to reiterate that I loved this story. The whole dragon rider concept was so fascinating, especially the way the author, Christopher Paolini portrayed it. It was made unique, lifted above all other dragon-based fantasies that I've read, not just because the plot was interesting, but because Paolini's writing was just brilliant! I mean, this fictional world, AlagaĆ«sia, is supposed to resemble ours between the 9th and 14th centuries, but  Paolini had no problem providing readers with information needed to create the world in our heads, not just his. There were parts that I thought came off a bit silly and unnecessary, but I still enjoyed the writing.

The problem with many fantasy books out there today, is the desperate lack of detail. In those cases, we have to try extra hard to bring the descriptions to life, but strangely, I felt like this book had a bit too much detail. It was fine when the details painted a better picture of the dragons and landscapes and stuff, but when you're given the world's history in pages upon pages, you kinda zone out. There were times when I forgot certain little details which turned out to be important later on in the book, and I would have go back and look for them. For example, when Eragon and Brom were travelling, and the names of the little Towns they passed through actually proved significant later on. It just made reading the book more tedious and it took so long to finish as a result.

So yeah, while I loved the fact that 'Eragon' had a lot of detail, it was also the worst aspect. I really liked the characterisation, especially Eragon and Sapphira, and the world building was amazing, but I guess too much of a good thing isn't so good after all.

Have you ever read Eragon, or seen the movie? What did you think about it?
Thanks for reading guys!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dream Bookcases

Hey guys!

Okay, I'm not even going to waste your time with reasons as to why I'm doing this post haha! I'm getting a bookcase soon, was looking at pictures, and spotted these awesome bookcases! Just.. look at them!

Can you imagine having any one of these? Agh they look so cool!
My favourite is probably number 10, what about you guys?
Thanks for reading/looking, haha, see you later!